We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Once more, same old question: BEST DIVING in Philippines???

Brisbane, Australia
Level Contributor
10 posts
2 reviews
Save Topic
Once more, same old question: BEST DIVING in Philippines???

I am in charge of next years scuba diving excursion and I would like to take the group to the philippines. I used to work in Moalboal/Cebu but perhaps there is better diving around? Can you guys throw me some ideas on location and season? All of us are experienced, nightlife not necessary (but a bar is a must) and we love everything from macro to pelagic. How easy is it to diving around Palawan?

Thanks a ton for anyone throwing me a bone, I will do my own research in the meantime.

Have a great day, Tim

Philippines
Destination Expert
for Philippines
Level Contributor
5,788 posts
263 reviews
Save Reply
31. Re: Once more, same old question: BEST DIVING in Philippines???

@ Wombat

a) Yes - you CAN just turn up and make plans / reservations as you go in Feb / March, EXCEPT during public holidays (durign that time, do expect every touristy place liek Boracay / Palawan / Bohol Alona beach to be crowded except more remote places like apo island).

In feb / March 2014, this would mean avoiding the following dates -

Chinese new year - First week of Feb 2014

Holy week (Easter - but starting from Maundy Thursday) in April 2014 so it should not disturb your plans

b) Your target - 25 dives in 2 weeks - is pretty ok (I guess you will probably do 3 dives per day, with space between for travelling)

c) It is not at all an issue to find dive shops along Alona beach - it has about 20 dive centers (see the Bohol bikers website for a map of all of them) - most are operated by expats - Germans, Scandinavians, etc. Ditto for PG (Puerto Gallera) - but PG is a wee bit more crowded than Alona beach

d) Apo island - has 2 dive shops, but when we visited, it was easy to book upon arrival. They were pretty free (most other people who dive here come from Dumaguete or Siquijor with dive shops there)

Camotes has very few dive shops (just 2-3) and though it was still possible to book them (Camotes, despite it's beauty, sees very few tourists), I did not find the diving that great.

Do let me know WHICH spots exactly you want this info about - I will tell you accordingly, based on personal experience.

e) I have not been to Padre Burgos, hence cannot answer that question

Edited: 23 August 2013, 05:24
Philippines
Destination Expert
for Philippines
Level Contributor
5,788 posts
263 reviews
Save Reply
32. Re: Once more, same old question: BEST DIVING in Philippines???

@ Wombat

I just saw this blog post by a fellow traveller Alex on Malapascua and thought it might interest you - do check out the diving photos. While I did not see such a lot of colourful marine life (perhaps we went to the wrong spots? Courtesy rough seas!) , Alex dove a few months after me and seems to have seen a lot.

Check out her photos of diving at Malapascua and Gato here - alexinwanderland.com/2013/…

UK
Level Contributor
171 posts
12 reviews
Save Reply
33. Re: Once more, same old question: BEST DIVING in Philippines???

YLOO very useful stuff. A big tx.

Based on those hols an arrival of Feb 26-28 should give us best chance of avoiding “sorry full up”.

When I say without reservation I’m thinking advance-book 2-3 days near Cebu (point of entry) then phone next location with a couple of days notice; and so on.

I’m guessing that if we monitor rainfall we may be able to see where river flow will lead to bad viz. I’m assuming if it is raining everywhere then small isolated Islands would be best. And the weather forecast will give the general picture so we can sun ourselves between dives.

And of course we can look here to see if anyone is reporting their current situation. I guess calling dive centres and asking how it is might reveal very little. Everyone has to earn a buck as they say.

I’m rather conscious of this not pre-booking after 4 dives in the Galapagos last April. The viz was bad throughout and the dive shops (three of them) often didn’t go as they couldn’t muster the minimum 3 divers or were booked by groups who filled the boat. But to be fair if it wasn’t for that disappointing experience I probably wouldn’t have justified my trip to the Philippines.

For sure you can get a very different view of a location dependent on dive site, sea state, weather and pure luck. That’s why I don’t have worries doing the same dive twice but hopefully if we hit the 25 target we are bound to have some good luck lol.

Singapore, Singapore
Destination Expert
for Philippines
Level Contributor
11,730 posts
337 reviews
Save Reply
34. Re: Once more, same old question: BEST DIVING in Philippines???

In Malapascua, you do not need to pre-book any dive at any time except during those super holidays like Chinese New Year, Easter, Holy Week, New Year etc.

Chinese New Year in 2014 falls on the 31st Jan. So no worries about it.

There are many dive shops in Malapascua so if one if full, you can always go to another one. One very important point is do not wait till the last minute then you decide to go for the dive trip. Let the dive center know at least 2 hours in advance so they can prepare your equipment.

Feb/March weather is usually good but when I was there this year in March, a day or two before my arrival, I was told by some guest that the rain was torrential. Visibility is poor and wind is very strong.

Remember try to make a trip to Kalanggaman when you are in Malapascua. It is a nice little lovely island.

Philippines
Destination Expert
for Philippines
Level Contributor
5,788 posts
263 reviews
Save Reply
35. Re: Once more, same old question: BEST DIVING in Philippines???

@ Wombat

MH is right. As long as you avoid rush time (which for you will be only Chinese new year holidays), you can do as you have mentioned for Alona beach, Malapascua and most other places. One advantage of making a rough itinerary and researching before hand, is so that you can make your own notes before reaching that place, since you will have net access only if you travel with a dongle (or your resort has wifi).

Plus of course, would you rather be enjoying the beach and water on holiday, or would you rather spend that time surfing the net?

Keep a list of possible resorts (we like to exaggerate in the Phils... so Malapascua is full of resorts! :) / hotels with their cell numbers - gathered of course from the net - (they nearly always give you 2 cell numbers of different cell networks as the call rates differ) and make your plans as you go. Also allows you to stay longer at some places if the weather has been unco-operative (though in Feb that should not be an issue) or more importantly, if you just felt like staying a bit longer. (the latter is a normal malady that affects most tourists who visit Malapascua - me included)

Deerfield Beach...
Level Contributor
6 posts
113 reviews
Save Reply
36. Re: Once more, same old question: BEST DIVING in Philippines???

I will be back diving in the Philippines in November for the second time this year. Heading back to Dumaguete-Dauin, Apo Island, Siquijor, and then around the Bohol region. Taking a group on a three week trip. Diving is excellent with lots of variety. Got some space if you want to join us for all or part of the trip between November 18 and Dec 7. I can be reached at CRBecker@comcast.net for details.

Jakarta, Indonesia
3 posts
Save Reply
37. Re: Once more, same old question: BEST DIVING in Philippines???

I will be traveling to the Philippines in November to watch the Pacman fight (24th). I will be staying for a few more days and hope to get some dives in. The liveaboard sounds like the one for me. I would like a mix of wrecks and corals/muck. If anyone has more info on the available liveaboards, I would greatly appreciate your input/suggestions.

Regards

Ron

Singapore, Singapore
Destination Expert
for Philippines
Level Contributor
11,730 posts
337 reviews
Save Reply
38. Re: Once more, same old question: BEST DIVING in Philippines???

Go to Coron. It is a place good for wreck diving.

Luzon, Philippines
Destination Expert
for Philippines, Bandar Seri Begawan
Level Contributor
16,971 posts
248 reviews
Save Reply
39. Re: Once more, same old question: BEST DIVING in Philippines???

@ Ron: I hope you don't have tickets yet from Jakarta to Manila. The fight of Pacman on November 24th will be at The Venetian Hotel in Macau, Peoples Republic of China.

Jakarta, Indonesia
3 posts
Save Reply
40. Re: Once more, same old question: BEST DIVING in Philippines???

Hi kegler. Yes Im aware the "clash in Cotai" will happen in Macao, I'll be going to Philippines to watch it with a good friend. I can only imagine the country stops for Pacman fights, I think it should be a great atmosphere and (hopeful celebration). Still undecided on diving location.

Regards

Ron