To Scuba Dive in the Philippines! If there was only one reason a globe-trotter would visit the world's second largest archipelago, that would be it.
Why, you may ask?
Read through the 8 interesting facts below and perhaps your next question will be - why not?
1. The Philippines, specifically a certain area in the Verde Island Passage between Mindoro Island and mainland Luzon, has been dubbed by experts as the "center of the center of the world's marine life biodiversity." This makes for an underwater museum of nature's sea life art.
2. The entire cluster of islands comprising the Philippines offers all-year-round diving destinations. As such, there are hundreds of dive shops open 365 and 1/4 days annually catering to advanced technical adventurers, recreational divers, and those yet to "get wet."
3. The Philippines is a major player in the Coral Triangle - defined by the WWF as "A Place of Unrivaled Richness, Importance and Beauty - The Nursery of the Seas." The great number of vibrant coral gardens around the islands offers second by second picturesque encounters when diving.
4. Out of the 7 species of marine turtles (locally: Pawikan) in the world, 5 of them are encountered by divers exploring Philippine waters. These species are the Green, Hawksbill, Loggerhead, Olive Ridley, and the Leatherback which is the largest marine turtle found in the country.
5. Nudibranchs - those sea slugs (and non-slugs) which have caught the attention and imagination of divers around the world. There are hundreds of nudibranch species scattered in locations such as the Sinandigan Wall (Nudibranch Paradise) in Puerto Galera, Malapascua, etc.
6. It would take more than a calendar year to fully appreciate Philippine scuba diving. For limited dive vacations, go for top destinations. These are: Sabang in Puerto Galera, Malapascua in Cebu, Coron in Palawan, Anilao in Batangas, and Balicasag Island in Bohol, among others.
7. LiveAboards are great ways to explore several areas at once in the Philippines. There are even trips that offer a so-called Visayan Safari where most of the must explore diving destinations are. Such LiveAboards may even include a visit to the Tubbataha Reef located in the protected Tubbataha Reef National Marine Park in the southernmost part of the Philippines.
8. Perhaps the best thing about booking a dive holiday in the Philippine Islands is the "never-a-dull moment" feel one experiences whether actually diving or in-between dives. Most areas See entry number 6.
The next time you plan your scuba visit to the Philippines, bear the facts above in mind. You may go back home wanting more but each and every visit will, without a doubt, be a magnificent experience.