[This is a guest post by my friend Clint; an account of his recent dive trip to Puerto Galera in the Philippines. Some wrecks, some coral, and beautiful pictures to boot. Enjoy!]
So Feb 28th finally arrives and I board my plane from KL to Manila. Just 3.5 short hours later I arrive at Ninoy Aquino International Airport, collect my luggage and my cousin (who arrived 1 hour earlier from Singapore), locate our driver and his car and off we drive to Batangas which is about 110kms south of Manila. At Batangas we jump from car to private Banca (boat) and take the 1 hour sea crossing to Sabang, Puerto Galera.
This is my 6th or 7th dive trip to Puerto Galera and I love diving here. Firstly the accommodation we used, Out Of The Blue Villas and Resort, is simply fantastic. No dive shop accommodation here, luxury all the way for very reasonable rates!
Secondly the dive shop. There are numerous dive shop/company’s in Sabang but we choose to dive with ABwonderdive and I can’t say enough good things about them and the staff here. They are like family!
Lastly the weather. Lazy sunny days and warm water of between 26c and 28c even at 30 metres!
There are a number of bars in downtown Sabang. By downtown I mean a couple of small alleyways running parallel to the beach no roads here. The biggest and best is the Big Apple Bar facing the ocean which has a couple of good pool tables and great staff.
Ok, onto the reason we are here, diving! What can I say? The diving is great here. There are numerous dive sites around Sabang and Puerto Galera. From deep water dives, to wreck dives, to muck dives, to drift dives to coral dives. Most are within a 5 min boat ride.
This trip we dove the “Sabang Wrecks” which are 3 small wrecks that attract an abundance of fish life just metres off the Sabang Beach. Infact you generally break the surface right next to one of two floating bars! Very nice, if drinking is your thing and I don’t mind a cold one or two I have to admit.
We also had a couple of deep water dives at the “Alma Jane”, a large wreck that you can swim through and “Dry Dock” which as its name implies is a sunken dry dock that attracts some larger fish such as the Bat Fish.
We did a number of other great dives including the Giant Clams, Escarceo and the aptly named Fantasea Wall.
However, we finished off our dive trip with the kind of dive that keeps you coming back for more, “The Hole In The Wall”. As the name suggests there is a large hole in a coral wall that you can pass through from one side to the other. It’s a dive that has everything. A little drift diving, a lot of coral, a lot of fish and a lot of fun. It was the perfect dive to finish off the trip.
Overall the marine life is amazing here and this trip was no different. We saw 3 different turtles, sting ray, sea snake, moray eels, Frog fish, Scorpion fish, Stone fish, Lion fish, Sea horses, Nudi branches, Trigger fish, Bat Fish and numerous other aquatic life form.
The 4 days went by way too quick and I’m counting down the days until I’m back in Puerto Galera once more. I’m still in search of the elusive Mermaid so I guess I will keep on diving until I find her.