Creatures from the Deep

We first visited the Philippines in 2014 and the combination of incredible diving and excellent value for money meant that we immediately started thinking about a return trip. This time we brought friends along (Chris, Shelley and Louise) and used some of the lessons we learnt last time to plan the perfect itinerary:

  • Fly via Hong Kong directly to Cebu City (avoiding Manila entirely)
  • Transfer directly to Malapascua (about 3 hours in a minibus plus a short boat)
  • 4 nights at Evolution http://evolution.com.ph (highly recommended)
  • Transfer to Dauin (this was a looong day, boat, minibus, ferry, minibus)
  • 4 nights at Liquid https://www.liquiddumaguete.com/ (even more highly recommended) Transfer to Moalboal (about 4 hours, minibus, ferry, minibus)
  • 3 nights diving with the excellent Cebu Dive Centre http://www.cebudivecentre.com/ to Cebu City (about 3 hours) for the journey home
(All our transfers were booked via the various dive centres)
Intrepid explorers

We wrote about our previous trip to Malapascua here and once again it didn’t disappoint. Monad shoal is THE place in the world to see thresher sharks and Gato island remains one of our all time favourite dive sites.

Thresher!!
Tunnel through Gato island
Getting some sun

Our last trip to Dauin was out of season and we were somewhat skeptical about the stories we heard about the crazy sightings in the April to June period. As it turns out we were blown away by the sheer numbers of creatures we saw – sometimes 10 frogfish or 20 ghost pipefish on a single dive. Dauin is definitely up there with the world’s best muck diving locations.

One of MANY ghost pipefish
Frogfish everywhere
Cuttlefish in natural light
The tiniest frogfish
Giant stride
Hingebeak shrimp
Night dive off the main party beach

Moalboal was new to us, and we were mainly attracted to it by the massive resident school of sardines and it’s proximity to the airport. The town is a bit more touristy than the other places we stayed and we were glad we visited although it lacks the wow factor that Dauin and Malapascua offer. The sardines are impressive and we enjoyed some good coral diving with a nice variety of larger game fish and turtles. Once again, the Philippines has outdone itself, and we will definitely be back!

So many sardines!
Critters in Moalboal

 

Moalboal sunset

Check out our other underwater photos here

Next stop: a few weeks in Joburg, and then polar bear hunting in Svalbard

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