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Uapiti

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Hi. I'm planning a 2 week trip to the Philippines for December 2021 (Hoping that it will be possible to travel by then). I had to postpone a trip to Sogod Bay and Cabilao in Summer of 2020, so I was initially planning to just to the same trip in December.

However, I'm a bit concerned about the conditions that time of year, as its considered the rainy season in Southern Leyte. I'm therefore considering Palawan, as I think the conditions may be a bit more favorable. I'm really curious about Dive Sibaltan since they visit sites in Linapacan and Taytay. I spent a week island hopping and snorkeling around Linapacan in 2016, and was really impressed with the beauty and health of the coral, but there didn't seem to be many fish. Also all the reefs we snorkeled on, while beautiful and colorful, tended to be mostly hard coral. I don't know if the lack of fish and soft corals was due to the the fact that we were snorkeling. Perhaps we would have seen more variety if we were diving.

I'm wondering if anyone can tell me how Sogod Bay/Cabilao compares to Sibaltan/Linapacan/Taytay. Also, if we went the Palawan route, is there anywhere else you would recommend for diving? I've heard that El Nido and Port Barton are pretty mediocre, I'm also not a fan of El Nido town. It's too crowded and built up for my taste. I'm also not interested in Wreck diving, but read it might be possible to do trips to Apo Reef from Coron, which is something I would like to do. I've see that there is a Dive Center on Modessa Island off the coast of Roxas, but I really can't find much information on the diving there. Anyone have experience diving there?

One last question. Does anyone know how the diving in Anda compares to Cabilao? Looking at pictures it seems like Anda has nicer beaches than Cabilao. If the diving is comperable, I might switch Anda for Cabilao assuming we stick to our South Leyte and Bohol plan.

Sorry if my post is a little scattered, but I appreciate any advice.
 

Centrals

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Sogod Bay should be your FIRST choice since you are NOT interested in wrecks.
El Nido town was interesting when I last visited over 20yrs ago and the roads were not even paved then.
Fish is at its premium in the country everywhere. How do the fishermen survive over next 10 yrs is anyone guess.

Stick with your original plan.
 

BLACKCRUSADER

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I'm a Fish!
My friends and I had planned similar fly to Mactan airport and go to Leyte, then do the final week in Panglao in Bohol.

Leyte and Bohol both offer good diving and if you like taking photos or video offer a lot. I think we will be lucky if things open up as even in the Philippines they are just opening inter island again.
 

Uapiti

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Thanks for the advice Centrals! Sogod Bay has been somewhere I've really wanted to dive for a while, so I will stick to the original plan. I got a little spooked about the weather, but I've travelled in the Philippines and elsewhere in SE Asia during the wet season, and the rain has never been what sticks out in my memories.

BlackCrusader, I'm going to keep my hopes up that we'll be able to travel in 10 months, because I just need something to look forward too. But if doesn't work out, I will just postpone again until the summer 2021 and have better visibility and weather as a consolation :)

Do either of y'all have a strong preference for any of the Leyte dive resorts? Looks like Peter's, Sogod Bay Scuba Resort, and Southern Leyte Divers are all similarly priced for rooms and diving. I like the looks of the grounds and beach at Southern Leyte Divers, but I'd prioritize better management over aesthetics if one of the other resorts is a better operation.
 

Uapiti

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That's what I've heard, but my husband is a teacher, so our window to travel overseas is unfortunately limited to Jun-Aug and the Christmas/New Year break.
 

Centrals

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I would not recommend travelling in the country over Christmas/New Year! The whole country is on the move particularly for the local and those returning from aboard. Everything is more difficult to arrange and expensive as well. Book well ahead especially flight after 15th Dec.
Jun/Aug is fine as long as there is no low depression. I am talking about typhoon however the peak season is a bit later on. But anything is possible.

Philippines typhoon brings Christmas Day misery
 

Sbiriguda

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sorry wrong post
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xrcjdx

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As always, Centrals dishes up some good advice, particularly about Southern Leyte. As for the weather here, I'll throw in my few pesos worth.
It rains less in April and May. But it being Southern Leyte, it could still rain anytime. Along with April and May sunshine comes April and May smoking, steaming heat. Diving a lot helps. :) The "official" dry season ends plus/minus mid-June. But that doesn't mean an abrupt transition from typically dry to typically wet weather. Temperatures become noticeably cooler and more pleasant. The Bay temperature is pleasant. While it isn't exactly peak season for North American travel in this direction, unless you are coming specifically for the whale sharks, of which there are exactly none at that time of year (unless you luck upon a random stray), I still wonder why more people don't head out this way then.
As for when international travel to the Philippines will be allowed again: your best guess is no better than anyone's here. Since the last post in this thread Philippines is experiencing a spike in covid worse than anything that came before. Domestic travel is again difficult. And the vaccination rate is dismal, with a dismal vaccine to boot. Don't hold your breath but do stay tuned. It's not only Southern Leyte and the Philippines that needs you back. Keep those traveling shoes close by.
 

Centrals

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Duterte should go down on his knee and beg Bidan for ten of million doses of AZ that USA has no use for. And Bidan might even throw in some JJ as a good will gesture!!!!

If the situation in Thailand does NOT get any worst over next wk or so. This could well be the only place in SE Asia that FREE travelling is NOT a dream in late 2021. But anything is possible between now and then.

My suggestion to the OP is to look for somewhere closer to home.
 
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