Philippines - where, oh where?

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Centrals

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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.
I have been to Sogod Bay on few occasions and did not recall ever share a site with another dive boat.
The night dive at the jetty could be different because it is only available at certain days of the week. But it is a very shallow dive ie. no deeper than 10m.
BTW, I believe Peter's has dorm bed for P400.00 per night but not sure if it is still available!
 

jaseUK666

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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.
I did the sardines as a shore dive from Cebu Dive Centre. It was just me and the guide. Didn't see anybody else.

On the boat dives, there were normally a couple of boats, not much more.
 

Barmaglot

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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.

Napaling at Panglao had an impressive school of sardines as well, and not nearly as many divers as Panagsama Beach at Moalboal. There were cliff jumpers there, but they did not interfere with diving.
 

Pelicanne

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I have been to Sogod Bay on few occasions and did not recall ever share a site with another dive boat.
The night dive at the jetty could be different because it is only available at certain days of the week. But it is a very shallow dive ie. no deeper than 10m.
BTW, I believe Peter's has dorm bed for P400.00 per night but not sure if it is still available!

Yes, I think they do, or at a very similar price!
 

ncscuba23

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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
how was the Atmosphere resort?
 

Luko

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how was the Atmosphere resort?
Atmosphere as a resort is wonderful. One of the best I’ve been anywhere, it’s a mix of luxury and coolness. I doubt anyone could question their grounds, the bungalows or the breakfast choice.
Probably the best choice in the Phils for a mix of diving and non diving guests.

Now for the diving I can’t complain I’ve been guided fairly well but I still don’t think it’s worth the price compared to the many excellent options in Dauin.
 

rexman24

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I am always on a budget there. Get to Cebu-you can choose from Cebu, Malapasqua, Moalboal, Oslob, Dauin, Apo Island, Siquijor, Alona beach, Balicasag and Cabilao. They all easy and cheap to reach. I have been to all except Malapasqua. They each offer something special about them.
 

Rickk

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how was the Atmosphere resort?

I just spent a month in the area. I went to several dive shops to ask about price and diving.

At Atmosphere I got the impression it was a luxury resort, nice landscaped grounds, all good high quality outdoor furniture.

The cheapest dive price was a 20 dive package at 48,000 p ( just under $US1,000) Other places offered multi dive packages for 1,100 p or so per dive, less than half. The courses I wanted were also about twice the cost at other resorts. Now I don't doubt that it would be valet diving, they would do everything for me, mount the gear, rinse and clean it after. I don't know about you, but I prefer to set up my own gear and to do the after dive maintenance myself. I know how I want it set up and simply consider all that part of the hobby and want to do it myself.

They also said, with noses high in the air, that they were the best. What really killed it for me there was that they said that guests would have priority over me a non guest. I asked if that meant that if i had booked and confirmed a dive and guests came along 5 minutes before the dive would I be allowed to dive. The response was yes, I could be geared up, walking to the boat and if a guest wanted my slot, at the last minute, I would be out of luck.

If you were a guest, cost was not much of a consideration and you like the idea of valet diving then they would be a good place. Just not for me.

Ended at Liquid Dumaguete, nice friendly dive operation and I ended up on many dives with a private guide at no additional cost. They had the guides and either no one wanted to dive with me or they thought that my skills level did not match up with the others on the boat.
 

Centrals

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Ended at Liquid Dumaguete, nice friendly dive operation and I ended up on many dives with a private guide at no additional cost. They had the guides and either no one wanted to dive with me or they thought that my skills level did not match up with the others on the boat.
Good choice.
 
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