Diving in Philippines, South-east Asia

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Philippines

To see the rare and spectacular critters such as the colourful cuttlefish, red ghost pipefish, needle shrimp, frogfish, mandarin fish and seahorses, you can visit the The Ducomi Pier in the city of Dumaguete in Negros Oriental which is just a 45 minute flight from Manila, the capital city of the Philippines.
Another popular dive sites for beginner divers is in Donsol near Legazpi city, less than 40 minutes flight from Manila. Donsol is the whale shark capital of the world. The gentle giants can be seen during the months of November and April as they feed on planktons.
For the greatest visibility to fully enjoy the sight of magnificent pelagic fishes such as pygmy seahorses, frogfish, ghost pipefish, stargazers, nudibranchs and soft corals, Verde Island in Mindoro Island is a must dive.
Being a tropical paradise, Philippines boasts of an all year round diving sites.

The Philippines is an archipelago of 7,107 islands located in Southeast Asia. Being an archipelago, it’s very rich in marine biodiversity and has a span of 40,000 square kilometres of coral reefs. The Philippines is well known as the gateway to the Coral Triangle or the world’s centre of marine biodiversity. A sublime dive site is found in the Tubbataha Reefs, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This dive site offers what is known to divers as high-voltage diving. It sports plentiful marine biodiversity such as turtles, sharks, manta rays, whale sharks and perfect coral gardens.

Another marine reserve park is found in El Nido, Palawan. This is the most popular dive site for beginner divers sporting crystal clear waters for seeing various marine life. Being rich in WW2 history, wreck diving can also be experienced in Coron in Palawan where you can see sunken Japanese WW2 ships.

To see the rare and spectacular critters such as the colourful cuttlefish, red ghost pipefish, needle shrimp, frogfish, mandarin fish and seahorses, you can visit the The Ducomi Pier in the city of Dumaguete in Negros Oriental which is just a 45 minute flight from Manila, the capital city of the Philippines.

Another popular dive sites for beginner divers is in Donsol near Legazpi city, less than 40 minutes flight from Manila. Donsol is the whale shark capital of the world. The gentle giants can be seen during the months of November and April as they feed on plankton.

For the greatest visibility to fully enjoy the sight of magnificent pelagic fishes such as pygmy seahorses, frogfish, ghost pipefish, stargazers, nudibranchs and soft corals, Verde Island - accessible from Puerto Galera, is a must dive.

 
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The Tubbataha Reef is a well renowned UNESCO World Heritage Site. It sports the world’s most beautiful coral reefs and a very rich marine biodiversity.

The Philippines has a tropical climate. 

There are three seasons that affect the diving conditions in the Philippines. The northeast monsoon brings strong winds from December to March. The southwest monsoon is affecting the months of July through November which is wet but the waters are warm. April through June is the dry months with very little winds.
Water temperature is generally warm being a tropical region.
Depending on the weather, the Philippines has an all year round diving season.
Natural hazards include earthquakes, violent typhoons and heavy flooding.

There are three seasons that affect the diving conditions in the Philippines. The northeast monsoon brings strong winds from December to March. The southwest monsoon is affecting the months of July through November which is wet but the waters are warm. April through June is the dry months with very little winds.

Water temperature is generally warm being a tropical region.

Depending on the weather and particular location, the Philippines has a year-round diving season.

Natural hazards include earthquakes, violent typhoons and heavy flooding.

The major airports in the Philippines are Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Manila, Clark International Airport in Angeles City, Mactan-Cebu International Airport in Lapu-Lapu City, Cebu and the Francisco Bangoy International Airport in Davao City.

There are many shuttle services and taxis going to and from the airports. For those looking for fun, there’s the jeepney which is the flagship of the Philippines mass transportation.

It is advisable to take airplanes for faster travel time since the Philippines is an archipelago.

There are also ferries travelling to and from the three major islands namely: Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao.

In Metro Manila, there are several metro train stations connecting many cities in the capital region.

Use the following links for more information about;

- Decompression Chambers in the Philippines

- Foreign Travel Advice for the Philippines (UK Government)

- More about the Philippines (Wikipedia)

Elephant Trekking & Abuse

On a general note, while in Asia, please do not support Elephant abuse by riding Elephants or supporting Elephant performance.

In Thai culture, the Phajaan or ‘the crush', is the torture method elephants undergo to become a part of the tourism industry. Essentially this involves cruel physical and mental abuse over long periods of time to make the Elephants submissive to humans.
Asian Elephant spines cannot support the weight of people. Carrying people on their backs all day often leads to permanent spinal injuries.
There is responsible Elephant tourism in Thailand - a good rule to remember is that if a tourist outfit offers anything other than getting to spend time with elephants, it is not friendly to them. 
Any outfit that offers riding, circuses or paintings means they have undergone horrific abuse in order to get them to where they are
Please do not support Elephant torture and make your travel companions aware of what lies behind this industry.
  • The 'training' Elephants go through to become a part of the tourism industry involves cruel physical and mental abuse over long periods of time starting as a calf
  • Asian Elephant's spines cannot support the weight of people. Carrying people on their backs all day often leads to permanent spinal injuries.
  • That said, there is responsible Elephant tourism to be found in Asia, a good rule to remember is that if a tourist outfit offers anything other than getting to spend time with elephants, it is not friendly to them.
  • Remember; any outfit that offers riding, circuses or paintings it basically means the Elephants have undergone horrific abuse in order to get there

You can help these magnificent animals by making your travel companions aware of what lies behind this industry; the main problem is a lack of awareness.

Dive Report is committed to raising awareness to the abuse suffered by Elephants used in the tourist industry. If you want to know more you can find out more hereherehere and here. Also see a PETA documentary video here.

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