The island of the Philippines has some of the best scuba diving sites in the world.
And Anilao in Mabini, Batangas is regarded as the birthplace of Philippines scuba diving. Just 2.5 hours drive south of Metro Manila via the smooth SLEX - South Luzon Express Way, it remains the most popular weekend getaway for Manila diving folks to get their fix for compressed air.
Anilao has one of the highest concentration of marine biodiversity in the planet so it has something for everyone. From the beginner divers who have their check-out dive in one of the many beautiful shallow reef, to the advance divers who enjoy drift dives on strong current, to those training to be technical divers, it has deep sites that goes down to 140ft (43m).
Underwater photographers are a common lot in Anilao. It isn't rare to find a group of divers each carrying his own transformer like uw camera setup. It is a haven for macro-photographers for wide range of nudibranch species and underwater critters. It will neither disappoint wide angle enthusiasts as Anilao water is teeming with pelagic and beautiful walls and gardens of corals, both hard or soft.
Some of the most famous (reasonably priced) dive resorts are: Aquaventure Reef Club, Balai Anilao, Dive and Trek, Diver's Sanctuary, and Planet Dive . There are over 20, maybe 30, dive resorts situated beside each other to suit every type of budget.
To Get There:
Hop on any bus bound for Batangas and ask to be drop off at Mabini or Bauan. Take a tricycle and be drop off at one of the 20-30 dive resorts scattered around the cliff.
Insider Travel Tip:
For travelers, or new divers with no group yet, log into one of the many dive forums/scuba board online and join planned weekend divers. You can hitch a ride and contribute on gas, and share boat and DM costs.
There is NO beach in Anilao. You have a cliff and a reef. You snorkel here or scuba dive. Or catch the spectacular sunset by the resort deck.
Written and contributed by wanderlass