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Philippines - where, oh where?

Discussion in 'Philippine Paradise Divers' started by Pelicanne, Oct 11, 2019.

  1. Pelicanne

    Pelicanne Registered

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: UK
    55
    16
    Thank you, Torachen - all extremely useful information. I think maybe I gave Moalboal a raw deal. :)

    What is it that makes you love southern Leytes so much? And where do you usually stay? I just think it looks mesmerising... Sigh!!
     
  2. torachen

    torachen Registered

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Shanghai
    21
    7
    Southern Leytes has both Macro and Wide Angle sites.
    Macro: Various nudibranches, shrimps, pipefishes, ect. not necessarily as rare as those critters in lembeh or romblon. But still plenty of them to make a photographer busy :)
    Wide Angle: Napantao and Limasawa are covered healthy sea fans , soft and hard corals, some small white tips and full of colorful fishes (small tho )
    Night dives: night dives in the Jetty is top notch.
    Whale sharks: Dec- May, great chance to spot whale sharks, at least every time i went for a whaleshark tirp i saw whale sharks (from 3 to 9). No feeding no captivity. purely nature.

    in 2018 Feb we saw 3 humpback whales when we were on our way back from the diving. this is just pure luck. very smaaaaal chance! hah

    I always flight to tacloban and let the resort arrange a car. 3 and half hours ride. if you have 2 or 3 person, it's not that bad (3500peso). never tried the route from Cebu. Do get in touch with resort staff for ship schedules as they are changing constantly.
    the price for room and diving are very reasonable imo.

    i always stay at Sogod Bay Scuba Resort. i was happy for my first stay so never bother changing to another.
    Peter's dive shop is next to Sogod Bay Scuba Resort. I used their service for 1 diving day also quite nice.

    downside of this place is there is nothing much you can do other than diving. the food option is also limited. there is a small restaurant next to these 2 resorts did good food with good price.
     
    Pelicanne likes this.
  3. torachen

    torachen Registered

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Shanghai
    21
    7
    by replying this thread, i'm checking the tickets to go back to southern leytes....:coffee:
     
    xrcjdx likes this.
  4. jaseUK666

    jaseUK666 Contributor

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: UK
    99
    45
    I doubt it will be painless. Check the terminals. If you have to go from one terminal to another on the other side of the runway, you need to take cab and it takes forever.
     
    Pelicanne likes this.
  5. Barmaglot

    Barmaglot Contributor

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Israel
    986
    422
    The route was north from Mactan to Malapascua, stopping to dive at Capitancillo Islet on the way there. Two morning dives at Monad Shoal, and although threshers came out to play only on the first one, the second dive yielded a a jellyfish that was probably a couple feet across. Aside from Monad Shoal, we dived Gato Island and Chocolate Island (total 10 dives in the Malapascua area over 3 days) then headed down to Pescador and Moalboal for four more dives, then to southern Negros - four dives at Zamboaguita, three dives at Apo Island, five dives at Dauin, and then started back north around east coast of Cebu. One dive at Oslob with the whale sharks, then three at Panglao, and on the last day, two dives at Cambaquiz before coming back to Mactan.

    Marine life was biased toward macro, but there was plenty of wide-angle stuff as well, and my experience is probably colored by missing most of Dumaguete area and all of Apo Island due to having ear trouble for two days (I did 24 out of 32 dives as the result). I brought four lenses to use with my camera - 7.5mm fisheye, 10-18mm zoom, 16-50mm zoom and 90mm macro - and got to use all four of them. Lots of different shrimp and crabs, plenty of nudibranches, a variety of odd-shaped bottom dwellers, many frogfish, some small reef sharks, thresher sharks (only once, but still), whale sharks (in a soup of bikinifish at Oslob, but still awesome), schools of sardines and trevallys large enough to blot out the sun (seriously - at Napaling, Panglao, they said in the dive briefing that there might be a small school of sardines, then on the dive, it suddenly gets dark, and it's sardines everywhere), etc, etc. My album from the trip has ~300 photos; I will upload them once I get a proper connection.

    Siren is by far the best liveaboard that I've been on, although my sample size is pretty small - MV Pawara in Thailand and VIP Shrouq is Egypt are my comparison points. It's very spacious - there is more room, per diver, than these other two put together. It carries fifteen crew and sixteen passengers in a space where they could have easily put in thirty plus divers and a few more guides. There are personal drawers at the gearing up stations and at camera work tables, the crew handle all the gear, literally a wall of power outlets to plug in all the chargers, two large rinse tanks just for the cameras and computers plus separate rinse tanks for wetsuits (where water is changed after every dive!) and masks. There is even free beer, which I don't partake in, but still find very impressive. Note that the liveaboard itself is too large to get near reefs, so all the diving is done from two Zodiac-type dinghies. Groups are 5-6 people + guide; most of the guides are local Filipinos. Entry is via backroll, and for exit they actually have a folding ladder on each dinghy - no acrobatics required. Fire extinguishers are everywhere, six out of eight cabins have escape hatches to main deck (two rear cabins are under the main saloon and there are couches where hatches would be), there is round-the-clock watch on the boat and drills are conducted at the beginning of every trip; there is even an oxygen kit on each dinghy, so they take safety very seriously. Dives are limited to 60 minutes, and I don't think we had any that lasted less than 55, with quite a few stretching to 5-10 minutes past the hour.
     
  6. Tippytoes12

    Tippytoes12 Contributor

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: UK
    1,151
    588
    Liveaboards everywhere are wonderful , but are pricey.

    If I had two weeks in March I would go to Southern Leyte first and for about 7 days , your chance of seeing whalesharks in a very very eco friendly interaction is high. And the rest of the diving is wonderful. We caught the ferry from Southern Leyte back to Cebu and then flew to Dumaguete , which has excellent macro and reefs in Apo Island. But for big things you cannot beat Malapascua.

    So I would spend a day or so in or near Oslob and then go to Malapascua for the remainder of the trip. Is there any way you could get three weeks in the Philippines ? Because that would obviously give you way more options , Bohol is beautiful , but for a first visit Dumaguete is very very good. We have stayed twice in Southern Leyte Divers and twice in Liquid Dumaguete. We have stayed in Ocean Vida in Malapascua on several occasions. Would highly recommend all three.

    Does this makes things any clearer ? mmm ..thought so, sorry !

    Enjoy your trip.
     
  7. Centrals

    Centrals Contributor

    # of Dives:
    Location: Hong Kong
    10,534
    3,961
    Tubattaha is available for diving from mid Mar onward until mid June. And weather is the only reason for such a short period. It is the NE Monsoon before Mar and the threat of typhoon from June.

    Another quiet place off the beaten track is Sipalay. A long bus ride(6hrs) from either Bacolod or Dumaguete. SS Panay is good at 40m and still has some remain ofWWII vintage gas mask around.
     
  8. xrcjdx

    xrcjdx Contributor

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: coral triangle
    290
    104
    It should be mentioned that the best public option to get to South Leyte from Tacloban is take a short jeep or trike ride from the airport to the van terminal across from Robinson's mall, and then a shared van to Sogod City. 1 seat will cost you 150 php (as of last month). You will need one for your dive gear and whatever in the far back. Buy at least one more next to where you sit for your day pack (van seats are 4 to the row, so an extra seat is near mandatory), so 3 seats total. Don't be afraid to tell people you paid for the extra seat if someone tries to jam you in. Total price for the van: just under 4.50, USD. A jeepney from Sogod City to either Peter's (my preference) or Sogod Bay SR will cost you another $1 or so. For a few extra pesos there is also a more comfortable local bus option from Sogod, but it departs less frequently. Whatever you take, the driver will drop you right at the resort. The entire jeep/van/jeep ordeal will take approximately 5 hours (depending how long you have to wait for the van to fill). If you can get the front 2 seats on the Tacloban-Sogod van it's possible you might even enjoy the ride.
     
    Pelicanne likes this.
  9. Pelicanne

    Pelicanne Registered

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: UK
    55
    16
    Sounds just lovely. I’m not bothered about it being quiet, though I guess a choice of places to eat is nice... Is there the opportunity to meet local people?

    Humpback whales - wow, lucky you!

    I arrive in Manila at midnight and see there’s a flight at 4am from the same terminal to Taclobane, so that might be a good option... I could be in the water by breakfast time! Dead in the water after 48 hours’ travelling, but still in the water...
     
  10. Tippytoes12

    Tippytoes12 Contributor

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: UK
    1,151
    588
    There is a wonderful night dive under the pier in a little town near the resorts. You head off in a jepeney with all your gear. I remember that there were some little restuarants there that looked quite nice. People in the Philippines are so sweet and so friendly they will talk to you everywhere.
     
    Pelicanne likes this.

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