Philippines: Where to scuba dive

The Philippines is known not just for the hospitality of the Filipino people but also its islands that make up some of the world’s best tropical destinations for dream holidays. Being an archipelago allowed this country to continuously capture the attention of tourists on a global scale with its breathtaking beaches, scuba dive spots and other natural wonders.

Of course, when it comes to booking a flight and spending a few well-deserved holidays to get your dose of vitamin sea, you’d probably want to create some new memories through adventures you either haven’t done before or want to do again. One of these sought out water thrills that consistently entices the market is scuba diving. Through this, you won’t just enjoy the clear blue waters of the sea, but you actually get to experience it while being introduced into this wonderful country’s underwater riches. To help you out, we’ve listed the top three must-visit dive destinations for your next tropical vacation:

1. Tubbataha Reef, Puerto Princesa

Scuba diving in the Tubbataha Reef in Puerto Princesa, Palawan is something you would surely not want to miss. Here, you can experience the ocean in multi-colors of marine biodiversity especially since Tubbataha Reef is part of what is called the Coral Triangle.

The Coral Triangle is globally-recognized as the center of marine life making up 75% of the world’s coral species and 40% of the world’s reef fish. Scientists who have been studying and visiting Tubbataha since the 1980s have found that this UNESCO World Heritage Site is home to over 359 species of corals, over 600 species of fishes, 14 species of sharks, 12 species of dolphins and whales. If you’re all about coral gardens, then you won’t be disappointed as the reefs boast of an amazing 100-meter perpendicular wall, two coral islands, and a few extensive lagoons. You can also expect to see over a hundred bird species, including migratory birds.

The best time to visit Tubbataha for a dive is during mid-March to mid-June and is reachable only by boat leaving from Puerto Princesa’s harbor at sunset for a 10 to 12-hour journey arriving at this marine sanctuary by sunrise.

2. Monad Shoal, Cebu

Considered as the number one dive site in Malapascua, Cebu, Monad Shoal is the only place in the whole world where divers can witness Thresher Sharks in their natural habitat. But there is more to this underwater island than that. Since Monad Shoal is part of the Coral Triangle as well, this wall is a marine protected area making it possible for visitors to still see its soft coral species as well as other pelagics fishes like Manta Rays. Critter lovers will also have a good time diving in Monad Shoal is home to various species of Nudibranchs, Mantis Shrimps, and Pygmy Seahorses, among others.

If you’re into underwater macro photography as well, it’s best to visit this during summer so you won’t have to worry about sudden rains ruining your plan to scuba dive. Visibility ranges from 10m to 15m, with a maximum depth of 24m. Currents can be strong but if you are an experienced diver, you’ll surely enjoy the waters.

One final word of advice, make sure not to sleep too late the night before so you can witness the magnificent Thresher sharks at early in the morning, which usually requires a 5 a.m. departure from Malapascua.

3. Panglao Island, Bohol

In Bohol, besides the world-famous Chocolate Hills, adventurers can also enjoy scuba diving at Panglao Island with an area that stretches to over 94 kilometers. Inside this island lies one of Bohol’s treasured beaches called Alona, popular for its white sand, clear blue waters, and rocky cliffs. Since Alona Beach is situated in close proximity to a house reef, water thrill seekers can expect colorful corals and fishes with or without diving gear. This makes Panglao Island famous for a number of underwater activities such as snorkeling, freediving, and scuba diving.

Alona Beach dive site boasts of colorful species of western clown-anemone fishes, angel fishes, Moorish idols, pufferfishes, and baby barracudas. Night dives are also possible here and is the perfect time to scuba dive if you want to see boxer shrimps, cleaner shrimps, moray eels, and decorator crabs.

Summer in the Philippines usually begins the moment the month of March steps in so if you want to experience this tropical destination has to offer in terms of adrenaline-pumping water activities, then we suggest you book now! If you’re a first time or amateur diver, no worries, Filipinos are known for being warm, welcoming, and accommodating so they’d gladly guide you as you discover the diver in you! Plan your trip with us now!

Cebu’s Hidden Gems

Cebu, Queen City of the South, is consistently becoming one of Philippines’ most visited destinations. The place may not be the first name that comes to mind when you think about dream vacations and tropical holidays but if you just, for a moment, try to stop yourself from going through inviting photos of the more popular beach destinations like Boracay or Palawan, you will see that this city is where the buzzing electric of the metropolis meets the quaint charm of a tropical island.

The city is known for being home to some of the country’s most historical places. From Magellan’s Cross to the Minor Basilica of the Holy Child (the oldest Roman Catholic church in the Philippines), there is more to Cebu than just history (which we still suggest you see, of course).

Cebu, being one of the most developed provinces in the Philippines, has the second busiest airport in the country so you can be sure that booking a holiday travel here will be breeze. To guide you on the not-so-obvious, hidden secrets that Cebu holds, read on:

1. Ka-Tinggo Falls

Ka-Tinggo Falls may not be that dramatic in terms of height but this 100-meter waterfall is a sight to behold and a journey to experience. It’s a great place to explore for adventurers looking for an adrenaline-pumping ride because to get to Ka-Tinggo Falls, you have to trek, crawl, climb, and swim. Because of its friendly height, it is a perfect destination for jumps and dives. Besides the actual falls, you could also enjoy another attraction leading to it- a hanging bridge built over clear waters.

2. Binaliw Spring

Located in the north-eastern part of Cebu, the shallow spring locally known as Binaliw is rumored to have extraordinary healing powers. Near the source of the spring, a grotto with a statue of the Our Lady of Lourdes is erected. Tourists and visitors are more than welcome to take a dip in the spring while basking in the magnificent flora that surrounds it.

3. Virgin Beach

Now we get to the part we know you’ve been waiting for- the beach. Who says Boracay and Palawan are the only tropical destinations that offer sun-kissed white sand beaches? Another of Cebu’s well-kept secrets is Virgin Beach, a quiet, secluded, idyllic beach resort located in Daanbantayan Northern Cebu. The resort has everything you need for a peaceful tropical vacation away from the city chaos- the beach, the pool, the cottages.

No more waiting around! Book a flight now and get roundtrip fares starting $608! Plan your trip here.

DOT goes on US roadshow to promote Cebu

THE Department of Tourism (DOT) 7 is currently conducting a roadshow in four cities in the United States to lure more foreign tourists to come to Cebu via the Philippine Airlines’ (PAL) new direct link between Cebu and Los Angeles next month.

The agency, together with three Cebu-based travel agencies and travel operators/representatives from Manila will market Cebu and the Philippines to Filipino communities and US nationals in Las Vegas, Los Angeles, San Diego and San Francisco from Jan. 29 to Feb. 6.

Direct flights between Cebu, LA to bring in more business, tourism for VisMin

Bacolod City (CNN Philippines) — More business and tourism opportunities await the Negros Island Region (NIR) with the start of operation of direct flights from Cebu to Los Angeles in the U.S. and vice versa on March 15.

This, according to Harry Inoferio, sales head of Philippine Airlines (PAL), during the Visayas Roadshow in Bacolod City on Friday (February 12).

PAL opens Cebu-Los Angeles flights California dreaming from Cebu

MANILA, Philippines – Philippine Airlines (PAL) opened its newest international service between Cebu and Los Angeles on March 15.

The thrice-weekly service, which coincides with PAL’s 75th founding anniversary, further expands the flag carrier’s international flight route network to the US. This latest offering is part of the airline’s ongoing route expansion in response to market demand.

‘Twas more fun on PAL’s inaugural Los Angeles-Cebu direct flight

LOS ANGELES — With a lot of “fun fare” PAL, Asia’s first airline, marked its 75th year in business by opening its 40th route – the Cebu-Los Angeles-Cebu direct flight, flying in Fil-Am and U.S. media reps on a familiarization tour of Cebu and Los Angeles and a press conference and gala on March 18 at a premier hotel, the SLS Hotel in Beverly Hills.
On March 15 at six in the evening, the first direct Cebu-Los Angeles route touched down at the Tom Bradley International Airport. On board were Philippine media, and PAL senior officers led by Harry Inoferio.