Philippines - where, oh where?

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Tippytoes12

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Thé whalesharks at Oslob are tracked and this has shown that they do not stay there for long, they migrate up to Donsol via Southern Leyte and then back down again. We saw whalesharks in Leyte three years ago and there was a researcher on our boat who told us that this is definitely the case.

I saw them in Oslob first in 2012 and again in 2014 and couldn’t believe how much the town had grown in that time. We spoke to the helpers, who said that these jobs meant that they could feed their children and send them to school. And to stop fishing !

Feeding creatures in the wild for money is far from ideal , but whalesharks were brutally butchered in this and many other areas of the Philippines not all that long ago.
 

Barmaglot

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it’s not ideal , but whalesharks were brutally butchered in this and many other areas of the Philippines not all that long ago.

This. I saw a video somewhere a while ago - don't remember where, and I have no interest in searching for it again - of a still alive whale shark being cut up by a chainsaw in a marketplace. Feeding them in Oslob as a tourist attraction, while derided by purists, is a far better alternative.
Only tangentially related, but diving off Gato Island, we heard multiple blasts - it seems that dynamite fishing is still quite prevalent in the Philippines.
 

Pelicanne

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I thoroughly enjoy diving Puerto Galera. So much so that I returned several times. For me the highlight was diving the Alma Jane wreck. A 30 meter Japanese vessel that lies at a depth of about 30 meters. The cargo ship was sunk intentionally for divers in 2003.

Here's a couple links to segments of a dive I did last December.

divevid11 - Streamable

divetest2 - Streamable

Thanks very much - looks great!
 

Pelicanne

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Thé whalesharks at Oslob are tracked and this has shown that they do not stay there for long, they migrate up to Donsol via Southern Leyte and then back down again. We saw whalesharks in Leyte three years ago and there was a researcher on our boat who told us that this is definitely the case.

I saw them in Oslob first in 2012 and again in 2014 and couldn’t believe how much the town had grown in that time. We spoke to the helpers, who said that these jobs meant that they could feed their children and send them to school. And to stop fishing !

Feeding creatures in the wild for money is far from ideal , but whalesharks were brutally butchered in this and many other areas of the Philippines not all that long ago.

Yep. I worked for a while in the Middle East among many Filipino women who hadn't travelled home or seen their children for years. It was the hard choice they made to be able to send their kids to school. Little in life is perfect.
 

Wiggsy

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Mmmm.... The Philippines is full of great options - it depends on what you are after. For nice coral walls, excellent soft corals and great fish life there are some great spots on Bohol - Amun Ini at Anda is a superb resort (high end) on a perfect beach with great wall and some excellent macro diving (the night dives are amazing - Wonderpus and all sorts of critters). Pura Vida Cabilao is more affordable with equally good diving and very clear water generally. They can also do the Oslob Whale sharks, Sumilion and Balicasag as day trips. For value and convenience, it is hard to pass up Anilao - only a few hours bus trip from Manilla - outstanding macro diving (very highly ranked) and there are affordable options - I've dived from Aiyanar Resort (mid-high range) and loved it. They can get out to Verde Island also which is world class - ripping currents but great reef life. Truly the macro and blackwater options at Anilao are world class. One of my favourities though, is the diving around Dumaguete - I'm running my fifth group trip back there June 30 - July 9 next year. We're staying at Atmosphere resort (very high end) but it isn't all that exxy relative to other options. You have great macro and small coral bommies along the Dumaguete coastline, excellent hard coral blue water dives over at Apo Island, and can also do the whale sharks of Oslob as a day trip. On a good day it is possible to get down to the very clear water wall dives of Siquijor (sp..?) I reckon Dumaguete diving has the perfect mix - big and small. Someone once described the macro diving as "Lembeh with visibility". Tall order I know. Here's a googlephotos gallery of my underwater images from our July 2015 trip - https://photos.app.goo.gl/4ikBaskxu8rHYfWY6
And I have spaces for a group trip June 30 - July 9 (leaving ex Melbourne, Australia - but other departure points are no problem - can do land content only) . Details at Atmosphere Resort, Dumaguete, The Philippines June 30 - July 9 2020 group trip
 

Pelicanne

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Mmmm.... The Philippines is full of great options - it depends on what you are after. For nice coral walls, excellent soft corals and great fish life there are some great spots on Bohol - Amun Ini at Anda is a superb resort (high end) on a perfect beach with great wall and some excellent macro diving (the night dives are amazing - Wonderpus and all sorts of critters). Pura Vida Cabilao is more affordable with equally good diving and very clear water generally. They can also do the Oslob Whale sharks, Sumilion and Balicasag as day trips. For value and convenience, it is hard to pass up Anilao - only a few hours bus trip from Manilla - outstanding macro diving (very highly ranked) and there are affordable options - I've dived from Aiyanar Resort (mid-high range) and loved it. They can get out to Verde Island also which is world class - ripping currents but great reef life. Truly the macro and blackwater options at Anilao are world class. One of my favourities though, is the diving around Dumaguete - I'm running my fifth group trip back there June 30 - July 9 next year. We're staying at Atmosphere resort (very high end) but it isn't all that exxy relative to other options. You have great macro and small coral bommies along the Dumaguete coastline, excellent hard coral blue water dives over at Apo Island, and can also do the whale sharks of Oslob as a day trip. On a good day it is possible to get down to the very clear water wall dives of Siquijor (sp..?) I reckon Dumaguete diving has the perfect mix - big and small. Someone once described the macro diving as "Lembeh with visibility". Tall order I know. Here's a googlephotos gallery of my underwater images from our July 2015 trip - https://photos.app.goo.gl/4ikBaskxu8rHYfWY6
And I have spaces for a group trip June 30 - July 9 (leaving ex Melbourne, Australia - but other departure points are no problem - can do land content only) . Details at Atmosphere Resort, Dumaguete, The Philippines June 30 - July 9 2020 group trip

As I said in my OP I’m very much on a.budget and looking for somewhere quiet, so I think most of your suggestions won’t work for me. I realise you’re looking to advertise your trip but, as I also said, I’m travelling in March. Thanks anyway.
 

Centrals

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I am not sure if Apo Reef really suit you. Getting there is more complicated than Sogod Bay or Sipalay.
Sogod Bay will just wipe the floor with anything mentioned on #35!
If you want budget diving then Harold Mansion in Dumageute and Apo Island worth a bit more researching!!

Good luck.
 

Wiggsy

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As I said in my OP I’m very much on a.budget and looking for somewhere quiet, so I think most of your suggestions won’t work for me. I realise you’re looking to advertise your trip but, as I also said, I’m travelling in March. Thanks anyway.
No worries at all. I reckon Anilao might have some good options for you, and as it is only a bus trip from Manila that saves some bucks too. There's a heap of varied accommodation in Anilao from five star to backpackers - it is a favourite of the Manila crowd who flock there on weekends. You'll get good rates mid-week but beware - some dive resorts charge you a whole boat rate (divided by the number of divers) so if you're by yourself the dive rates can be really expensive. Pays to check on per dive rates - the boats in Anilao tend to be outsourced.
 

Pelicanne

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No worries at all. I reckon Anilao might have some good options for you, and as it is only a bus trip from Manila that saves some bucks too. There's a heap of varied accommodation in Anilao from five star to backpackers - it is a favourite of the Manila crowd who flock there on weekends. You'll get good rates mid-week but beware - some dive resorts charge you a whole boat rate (divided by the number of divers) so if you're by yourself the dive rates can be really expensive. Pays to check on per dive rates - the boats in Anilao tend to be outsourced.

Thanks very much, Wiggsy, that’s useful to know - all good info!
 

Pelicanne

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I am not sure if Apo Reef really suit you. Getting there is more complicated than Sogod Bay or Sipalay.
Sogod Bay will just wipe the floor with anything mentioned on #35!
If you want budget diving then Harold Mansion in Dumageute and Apo Island worth a bit more researching!!

Good luck.

Thanks again for all your help, Centrals - Have been researching like mad, but Harold Mansion is a new one on me, so will look that up! Have to say the more I read the more Sogod Bay appeals - no crowds, small groups, varied and apparently unspoiled diving... As long as I’m safe on my own if I want to walk from the resort into town? What I REALLY don’t want is half a dozen dive boats on top of each other. Although I realise I’ll have to put up with that if i want to see the thresher sharks at Malapascua or sardines at Moalboal as well... I hate circuses.
 
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