PG or Dauin? (after Tubbataha+Anilao)

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jjmochi

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Hi there

I'm looking to book a 6 day liveaboard on the Philippine Siren to Tubbataha in April, which somewhat awkwardly begins on a Wed and ends on a Tue.

I have 5 nights previously paid for at Blue Ribbon in Anilao and need to use that up. This would be my second visit to Anilao, we spent a similar amount of time last time with Buceo and it felt about right. Loved the macro and wanted to return.

Given all the testing hassle I have to go through I would like to spend at least 2 weeks in the Philippines, and have enough days to go up to 3 weeks if I want. With 2 weeks I'm thinking the easiest to add on is Puerto Galera, with an easy (if not direct) transfer from Anilao, but I've heard the macro is better in Anilao and PG is more party-vibes which I'm not a big fan of. So I'm not sure if I will like PG / if the stuff will feel repetitive? I do want to go to Verde tho - have read it is possible from Anilao, but not guaranteed like in PG.

If I want a clean Sat - Sun trip I would have to do PG->Tubbataha->Anilao, rather than Tubbataha->Anilao->PG, which then takes away most of the logistics/time savings from combining Anilao/PG (I think).

The other option I was thinking of was Dauin, it seems there will be more variety with macro + Apo Island + Oslob. However I will lose at least 2 days in order to off gas for 24h then 1 full day to transit. Whereas for Anilao->PG transfer I think I can do 2 morning dives at Anilao, get on the afternoon ferry, and maybe even make it to PG in time for a night dive. So seems a bit inefficient time-wise to do Anilao + Dauin, and not PG, but if I include all 3 I will need 3 weeks which is a long time to spend away from home (and this will be a solo trip without the husband).

Thoughts on the best combination? With easiest & most efficient transfers / least hassle?

(I'm not into wrecks so decided to skip El Nido / Coron)

ty
 

BLACKCRUSADER

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I prefer not to spend too much time traveling. I would do the LOB then as you love macro go to Dauin. PG is nice and has great dives but I do find it noisy with all the nightlife being so close to where a lot of people stay. It can be very intrusive.
 

Damselfish

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If I want a clean Sat - Sun trip I would have to do PG->Tubbataha->Anilao, rather than Tubbataha->Anilao->PG, which then takes away most of the logistics/time savings from combining Anilao/PG (I think).
What's the attraction of a "clean" Sat-Sun trip? Unless there's no flights on weekdays which I doubt. Or problems booking rooms otherwise which I also doubt. Or you have a work scheduling reason. Or...? There's often advantages to not traveling on the weekends. Plus with all the other stuff you're working out, and the time it takes to move from place to place in the Philippines (time efficiency LOL) the last thing I'd worry about is which day of the week you start and end your trip, or it being exactly 2 or 3 weeks if you're trying to do that.

If you want to do both PG and Anilio it definitely makes sense to put them together before or after Tubbataha, I can't see splitting them with the LOB between. Personally I'd be inclined to pick one - obviously you'd be doing Anilio because of the previous booking - and maybe add Dauin. And I did like Apo island more than Verde.

FWIW I'm not a PG fan (at least not Sabang beach area which I found really seedy, or what we were told about the water quality off there.) I've been to Dauin twice and like that, though I don't know it's the most efficient way to dive Oslob (we were supposed to, and they didn't go. We eventually drove from Moalboal.) Avoiding extra domestic flights feels like a good idea, but the ferrys and long range dive boat trips can certainly get tripped up by sea conditions.)
 

Tippytoes12

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The least hassle would be to do Anilao and/ or Puerto Galera. Navigating into and out of Manila and Manila Airport is not for the faint hearted. Personally I thought that the macro in Anilao was fantastic. Dauin was also great, but in the COVID area not worth losing two days travel for. You will have no shortage of big things and beautiful reefs on the LOB.
 

Centrals

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Most trip to Tubbataha start from Puerto Princesa which is an unusually clean provincial city in Philippines. There is not much there for tourist but the Underground River in Sabang :

You might be able to make it to Puerto Princesa from HK same day.

Anilao + PG make perfect sense to me.
Diving is difference between those two places.
Seediness in Sabang(PG)? Easily avoided. And if anyone stay on either Small or Big LaLaguna Beach, they will never notice anything at all!!!!!!! I do not think the OP will be staying in Korean resort! All bets are off!


Go to PG first and then Anilao as your last stop before heading back home.
I have no idea how is the ferry schedule from Batangas to Puerto Galera nowadays so need to find out first.
 
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jjmochi

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Thanks all for the feedback, very helpful as always

The attraction of a clean Sat-Sun trip is mostly work related, I don't have to burden my team as much to help cover if it's 1 full week vs Tue-Wed where they'll in practice end up covering for most of 2 weeks. Preferred, but not crucial.

Blue Ribbon is not replying to me tho, sent them 3 emails over the course of a week, I wonder if they're still in business... Website says they're open, I hope so! I guess my other option is Buceo but I'll end up losing the $300+ of deposit at Blue Ribbon. It's strange tho cuz they were in touch around Xmas

I reached out to El Galleon for PG leg and wow the transfer price is steep, 110 for a van to the port then 160 for the ferry. They haven't gotten back to me on options from Anilao yet but from google maps at least it looks much closer. I think I am leaning towards liveaboard->Anilao->PG, or Anilao->PG->liveaboard, since it seems I can still dive on the morning of the transfer day between Anilao->PG, and maybe even catch a night dive in PG as well.

I saw Philippine Siren has a 40% off discount for trips in Aug which goes to Dauin and the Visayas, I'm pretty tempted to do that as a second trip instead. Logistically easier to fly into Cebu vs Dumaguete as well.

@Centrals I am now in Singapore actually! Much easier, just pre-departure PCR 2 days before on both ends, and an on-arrival ART on the way back. No VTL application or quarantine required, multiple direct flights to Manila on SG Airlines, many for 12.5k points only. RIP my mountain of cathay miles tho...
 
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jjmochi

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Any opinions on whether to do the macro leg before or after the liveaboard? I was just diving over xmas so not super rusty
 

Centrals

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1. You did mention of moving to Singapore from one of your post a while back. I am pretty certain a lot of Hong Kongers are thinking the same thing for obvious reason. Hate to see my city sliding into .....
2. I hope you will get a reply from Blue Ribbon eventually.
3. Private transfer is indeed expensive and I always try to avoid it.
4. I have no idea if those ferry schedules are still accurate on line. More home work for you.
5. Get the LoB done first because of the cost.
6. Transfer directly to Anilao after the LoB trip from NAIA.
7. If you leave early from Anilao, you should be able to catch public ferry to Puerto Galera(Balatero).
 

GirlonFire

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Hi there

I'm looking to book a 6 day liveaboard on the Philippine Siren to Tubbataha in April, which somewhat awkwardly begins on a Wed and ends on a Tue.

I have 5 nights previously paid for at Blue Ribbon in Anilao and need to use that up. This would be my second visit to Anilao, we spent a similar amount of time last time with Buceo and it felt about right. Loved the macro and wanted to return.

Given all the testing hassle I have to go through I would like to spend at least 2 weeks in the Philippines, and have enough days to go up to 3 weeks if I want. With 2 weeks I'm thinking the easiest to add on is Puerto Galera, with an easy (if not direct) transfer from Anilao, but I've heard the macro is better in Anilao and PG is more party-vibes which I'm not a big fan of. So I'm not sure if I will like PG / if the stuff will feel repetitive? I do want to go to Verde tho - have read it is possible from Anilao, but not guaranteed like in PG.

If I want a clean Sat - Sun trip I would have to do PG->Tubbataha->Anilao, rather than Tubbataha->Anilao->PG, which then takes away most of the logistics/time savings from combining Anilao/PG (I think).

The other option I was thinking of was Dauin, it seems there will be more variety with macro + Apo Island + Oslob. However I will lose at least 2 days in order to off gas for 24h then 1 full day to transit. Whereas for Anilao->PG transfer I think I can do 2 morning dives at Anilao, get on the afternoon ferry, and maybe even make it to PG in time for a night dive. So seems a bit inefficient time-wise to do Anilao + Dauin, and not PG, but if I include all 3 I will need 3 weeks which is a long time to spend away from home (and this will be a solo trip without the husband).

Thoughts on the best combination? With easiest & most efficient transfers / least hassle?

(I'm not into wrecks so decided to skip El Nido / Coron)

ty
I have done Anilao (Buceo Anilao) after 5 weeks in PG (El Galleon) as a solo traveler/diver and was very happy with both. So much so I am in a repeat trip as I write.
I find there is a lot of macro in PG, just not as concentrated as Anilao.
Just last week, at Montaini, there were loads of flamboycuttlefush, seahorses, nudies.. even a pikachu (thecasera Pacifica).
Both are excellent for solo travelers. At El Galleon, it is more social (if your like ) but doesn’t have to be of course.
If you have more questions, DM me.
 

Davez3

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I'm looking to book a 6 day liveaboard on the Philippine Siren to Tubbataha in April, which somewhat awkwardly begins on a Wed and ends on a Tue.

If you are going on March 30, we will be mates on the same ship.
 
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