With over 7,000 volcanic islands and islets, looking at diving in the Philippines can be a bit overwhelming. Maybe one of you loves wrecks while another is mad about wall diving? Perhaps you're looking for a bit of shark action or have an eye for the smaller stuff? Ready to sharpen up your photography skills and put them to the test? Well, luckily for you we've dived the country far and wide and have a spot for them all, and the good news is that we're happy to share our knowledge with you!
Coral in Bohol
The Philippines is stunning top side, with limestone karsts, lush rivers and wild jungles, but for something truly kaleidoscopic, dip under the water to experience some of the most beautiful reefs we've come across. For those who like to drift gently past ornate, rainbow-coloured walls bursting with life, head to Anda, a quieter corner of Bohol, and you'll be greeted with sites brimming with stunning hard and soft corals and walls exploding with colour. Your eagle-eyed guide from Amun Ini can point out the microscopic or you can enjoy a more sedate dive surrounded by turtles above a breath-taking coral garden at Blue Star dive site. The most blissful part is that you'll likely be the only dive boat on the site.
Muck Diving in Dumaguete
This is one for the photographers, although sometimes I love to do a muck dive sans camera to make sure I appreciate the weird and wonderful critters without being behind a lens! Dumaguete rivals the famous Lembeh Strait in Northern Sulawesi as one of the best spots on earth to muck dive with frogfish galore, all manner of cephalopods and crustaceans that will make your mind boggle - at Atmosphere Resort & Spa they'll even tally up your critters for you to pop straight into your logbook. Just don't forget your macro lens.
Macro in Moalboal
Moalboal may be heralded for its sardine ball (which is well worth a visit at Panagsama) but I was blown away with the macro life here, which was a real delight. Pale pink pygmy seahorses cling to their sea fans, candy crabs lurk in soft coral, hairy squat lobsters skulk in the deep grooves of their barrel sponges and hawkfish dart among the dark coral. All you need is the perfect guide to point out these teeny wonders!
Wrecks of Coron
When it comes to wreck-diving, just about everybody has heard of Coron and it does not disappoint. A fleet of Japanese ships sunken by the US in the Second World War, you don't need to your wreck cert to appreciate the rich history that surrounds these stunning hunks of metal, and if you aren't into metal, don't worry - they have turned into stunning artificial reefs teeming with life. Whether you're a deep diver or prefer shallow dives, there are wrecks at all depths and for all abilities.
Big Fish of Malapascua
The Philippines is not known as a typical big fish destination but head to Malapascua and you are virtually guaranteed and encounter with one of the most coveted shark species on divers' checklists - the thresher! You have to be prepared to get up before the crack of dawn, but believe me it pays off. We also have recommendations on how to avoid the crowds, just ask me about my recent trip there and I'll let you in on the secret…
So there you have it, the Philippines is a divers haven because it really has something for everyone