Results 1 to 3 of 3

Thread: Sabang and Anilao Philippines

  1. #1
    Registered Users
    Join Date
    Apr 2009

    Default Sabang and Anilao Philippines

    Philippines 2009

    Sabang Mindoro and Anilao Batangas

    This trip came about differently; I bought a macro lens last year for my video camera from a dealer on EBay in the Philippines ready for our trip to the Maldives. His communication was superb; I even got an email a couple of weeks later asking me if I was happy with it?

    This led to regular email conversations about lenses, video lights and cameras and, little did I know that one day I would get to meet the man at the other end. Jovic, from Splash Photography, was always helpful with my questions and replied with prompt answers, often the same evening, even though he is 8hrs ahead of us!

    I typed his email address into facebook one day and sure enough it showed the same photo that I had seen on his webpage and sent him a message and a friend request.

    We chatted some more and he asked if I had ever been to the Philippines? It’s not your usual holiday destination but we were intrigued now, we did a bit of research and found out about some of the great diving there.

    In November 2008 we went to the dive show in Birmingham at the NEC, out of all the entrances to the halls we could have chosen we walked through the one right in front of the huge Philippines stand! After an hour or so of working our way around it and speaking to all the different resort stands and collecting armfuls of brochures we hit the rest of the show.

    Back home we did some reading up and searching on the web. We even went to the huge local travel agents and came away with a blank as no one does a holiday trips there! Was it that much of a secret that only dive tour operators go there?

    We bounced a few ideas off Jovic, over the internet, sending him links and trip itineraries, which he was really helpful with and gave us recommendations of where were good areas to think about.

    We were drawn back several times to the brochure from Go dive Philippines, a small operator compared to the ones we had used before, the website showed a tour covering two areas using two resorts and was to include 27 dives and everything except alcoholic drinks.

    It looked like a good deal to us, so we sent it to Jovic who said go for it! The following day a phone call was made, we spoke to Paula Blake, Robert was away on a trip but kept in touch by email when he could, answering our questions.

    A booking was duly made for the “corals and coconuts tour” and with only a short time before we were due to go. I wanted to get a new video light and had been asking Jovic about a new model on the market, he was stocking them and they were selling fast! Jackie also wanted a strobe for her camera but would we get them in time??
    And buying them from Jovic was miles cheaper than buying them over here!

    We had the details of the Go Dive contact in the Philippines and Robert put us in touch with him, Jan Acosta mailed us to say he knew Jovic and could collect the package for us ready for when he would meet us at the airport.

    With over Seventeen million people in Manila and the two people we had contact with knew each other!!

    Plans were made to meet up with Jovic during our trip sometime.

    A very informative information pack came from Go Dive, covering just about everything we would need from immigration to emigration, from what medical supplies to take to the cost of the local rum and beer and, what type of regulator first stage attachment to take, a great touch.

    We received news that our trip was revised due to resort bookings and were a little disappointed as it had messed the plans about to meet up with Jovic but couldn’t be helped and, as it happened in the long run, it was to work out better for us as you will see later but did mean that we had a longer journey ahead once we landed.

    Very soon we were packing and then on our way to Heathrow airport after the 4am alarm call. We flew with Singapore Airlines on one of the new double decker A380 planes, very nice too, great food and decent legroom for the 13½hr flight to Singapore where we had a 2hr stop over, then another 2½hr flight to Manila, where we were greeted at the airport by Jan.

    Mat Peeling was also on the trip with us and was a returning customer with Go Dive; introductions made we headed off to Batangas to catch the ferry over to Mindoro Island, it was about 30degC and sunny. On the way we were given a welcome pack with water, some Pilipino produce and log books for our trip, with the dive sites and local information, a nice touch.

    Immediately we felt comfortable with Jan, his gentle nature and sense of humour showed through, we all chatted and asked questions, finding out about each other was good as we would all be together for two weeks, we all hit it off straight away. The 2½hrs to Batangas went quickly, then it was onto the ferry for another 1½hrs, then about 20-30 mins by jeepney to the Oceana resort.

    It was approx. 30hrs from door to door as we pulled into Oceana, we were tired and glad to arrive, we had a great welcome from Jenny, who more or less ran the place since it was built seven years ago, and told us the resort was under new management.

    We were given cold drinks and shown to our hut, the grounds were superb, right next to the sea with lots of coconut palms, a pool, 2 cabanas, a bar and dive centre, a fabulous setting.


    The hut though was a bit disappointing, very basic inside and in need of sprucing up, still, we would only be sleeping and showering in it as it was warm and sunny and alfresco was the way of life.


    We settled in, showered, had our evening meal, sampled the local beer and discussed the following day; we were the only people at the resort! We were told that the resorts are busy at the weekends mainly as people like to get away for the weekend, but during the summer months business would pick up more.

    The next morning was a bit grey and breezy but a warm 28degC, we had breakfast and met Raegan a trainee divemaster at the resort, the boat (Banca), a double outriggered boat pulled up to the beach as they were not kept at the resort.


    We loaded the gear onboard and headed out to the first dive site of the day “Sabang beach point”. We back rolled in off the banca and did buoyancy checks, our 3mm wetsuits were enough in the 27degC water. We knew Jan was going to be watching us for the first couple of dives, but we gave him nothing to worry about.

    We were surprised with the visibility, it was about 8mtrs with lots of suspended debris but had a great dive seeing Barracuda, 2 mantis shrimp, Nudibranchs, a shoal of catfish feeding on the bottom, small moray eels and an eel garden. Lots of colourful soft anemones and corals too, a good first dive.


    Then onto Sabang wrecks in Sabang harbour, 3 wrecks in 20mtrs of water, again viz was poor but what we saw made up for it! Huge batfish, loads of Nudi’s, Mantis shrimp and 3 frogfish! To name just some species.


    Back at the resort the, by now traditional, Post dive beers were consumed and logbooks filled, Jan and Mat soon grew to like our post dive tradition! We had a lazy afternoon which was followed by the evening meal and a chat about the days diving; the travelling was catching up with us so we headed off to bed.

    The next day was similar weather wise, today we were to do 3 dives and the first was on the Alma Jane wreck at Sabang, it sits at 30mtrs so we planned to drop down the fixed shot line at the stern to the seabed and work our way up and around the wreck, we knew it would be a short dive.

    We followed the plan and saw my first ever Spanish dancer by the prop shaft, a beautiful creature! A huge shoal of Batfish swam close by, more nudi’s, lionfish and another mantis shrimp were all seen. We moored up in Sabang and went for a wander round, Jackie’s wetsuit needed a repair as the stitching had failed down one of the legs, a street cobbler sewed it whilst we had a look around and wanted only about 50pence for doing it!

    We bought pointers from a dive shop, a length of stainless steel rod with a wrist strap. Jan and Raegan both had them and used them by tapping them on their tanks to get our attention when they saw something of interest, or standing them in the sand to mark something close by, a handy tool that got christened the “pokey stick”.


    We bought some local rum, about 75p for a 3/4litre bottle. Next dive was “West Escarceo” a great drift dive where we saw a huge banded sea snake, lots of bright coloured corals and lots of nudi’s, anemones and of course the ubiquitous clown fish.


    We had lunch moored up at a beach then off to “The Hill” this was to be our first ever “muck dive”. We dropped down to the gravelly bottom at 16mtrs and I thought what the hell are we gonna see here!! Then something moved then something else, the place came alive! the more you looked the more you saw but all well camouflaged to the seabed, we saw Seahorses, lots of different shrimps, crabs and pipefish; it was amazing and on surfacing my first words to Jan were “ I wanna dive here again” we had had brilliant hour.


    Back at the resort the usual PDB and shower then dinner, then out came the local rum and Calamances, small local limes that produce lots of juice, a great combination with some ice added! It became another regular habit each time we went on land during a days diving to buy some rum.

    Next day was “shark cave” where we saw a white tip reef shark and a sea fan where we saw another first, Pygmy seahorses! Two of them. I now have the greatest respect for anyone that can turn out a shot of something the size of a grain of rice that is perfectly camouflaged to its surroundings; they are that hard to see even when pointed out to you!!!!!!

    We saw lots of nudis again on this dive. I finished the dive with exactly 100hrs 00mins of bottom time ( I planned it!)

    Next dive was “Sinandigan Wall” otherwise known as Nudibranch city! No prizes for guessing what we saw there, but there were loads of them! We also saw Porcelain crabs in anemones, a great dive.

    The next dive was “Manila Channel” a great reef dive.


    We had been amazed at the colour and diversity of life in the Philippines, Jan was amazed when we said we thought the diving was better than the Maldives and he looked stunned!

    When we got back to the resort we were joined by Fiona Kwok from Malaysia, she was over for a wedding and wanted to get a couple of days diving in too. Fiona was a real Nudibranch buff and her logbook bore this out with coloured drawings of new species she had seen.

    The following day we were to dive at Verde Island, to dive “San Agapito Point” apparently a world class dive site with the most bio-diversity in the world. “Look it up!” Usually strong currents run here around the top of the underwater mountain, which almost breaks the surface but fails by 7mtrs, but it was dead calm! This was nudi heaven!!!! with lots of fish and beautiful corals.


    We took our surface break and looked at the currents, still none! We dived it again but the other way, simply amazing is all I can say, mating pairs of nudi’s crabs, shrimps, all sorts were seen.

    We took lunch on the beach, while the boat boys took the prop shaft out and started thrashing it with the trunk of a palm to straighten it, we watched laughing then realised we were 1 ½ hrs from home!!!

    After lunch we went over to the dive site, it had been so good we all wanted to dive it again! So made the most of the calm waters. Jan borrowed one of my strobes to try with his Canon G10, we saw a huge black frog fish which took to Jan and swam from the coral towards Jan, he back peddled and I fired the video up and the frog fish settled on the strobe!

    Then it came to me and then went over to Fiona and settled on her shoulder, Amazing stuff!! A huge Tuna swam by as did a shoal of snapper, we saw another sea snake and loads more nudi’s. a top day!!!


    Back at base we had a couple of beers and showered then we went to Sabang for the evening, on Mats recommendation we went to the Point Bar. This is above Asia Divers headquarters and they have happy hour and 2 for 1 cocktails, what a great time we had.

    Jan and I being slightly sozzled rode the roof of the jeepney back to the resort and had a great laugh clinging on! while Jackie and Mat sat inside, so we occasionally dropped a leg over the side to let them know we were still up there!


    Next day was our last on Mindoro, so we were off to dive “The Canyons” a series of depressions which usually shelter large shoals of fish in strong currents but again, there was no current, so we had a gentle bimble around the reef and had a great encounter with a big green turtle.

    Again we saw lots of nudis on this dive.

    Next dive was “Sabang Wrecks” again as we had enjoyed it previously, we saw an angler fish and a large green frog fish, numerous shrimp species and the usual suspects we had now become accustomed to seeing.

    Lunch was followed by our other favourite site “The Hill”, we saw a small frog fish of about 30mm long, cuttlefish, seahorses, crabs, and shrimps and as we headed for the shallower water a field of huge starfish. Again a great dive.


    The following morning we packed our bags ready for the trip across to Batangas on the ferry.

    We had a great week at Oceana, the setting was great, the staff were helpful and very friendly and the food was superb. The wildlife on site consisted of huge toads that came out at night, bats and the crabs that burrowed into the sand and could occasionally be seen.

    Geckos would climb the bars pillars at night to catch the odd mosquito that appeared.
    The guys who manned the bancas were very good, friendly and very helpful and were always up for some mischief ! We said our farewells and headed off, excited about what the next resort would be like?

    It was a hot day and inside the ferry it was sweltering as the sea was quite choppy and the crew rolled the sides down to stop the spray coming in. We were then driven up to Anilao by jeepney and stopped on the way to sign up for a photo competition which was being sponsored by Jovic, and happened to be on the same weekend we were there.

    As mentioned earlier our weeks had been switched, this meant that we had the chance to enter the competition and would also meet Jovic for the first time and, over the weekend, get to dive with him, so it had worked out better for us than we first thought!
    We pulled into Pier Uno resort to a totally different type of setting, it was set on the sea shore again but on the sloping edge of a hill, nicely laid out with an open sided dinning room.
    The accommodation rooms were in blocks of four, very nice and modern and colourful, the rooms were nicely decorated having 2 big beds and shower room and a terrace. Ours was next to the pool and had a great view overlooking the sea.

    The dive centre was below the pool and sun deck and had access by stairs and a steep slipway.

    It was a very comfortable place, the security guard carried a handgun so we made a point of smiling and saying hello, and for the rest of the week he always said hi to us!!
    He had no reason to use the gun as we were some way from the nearest town and it was purely a deterrent.

    It was lunchtime when we arrived, so we went to the dinning room and met some of Jan’s friends and his lovely girlfriend Jules who had come down from Manila for the weekend for the photo competition, which was attracting quite an entry, they all made us very welcome. All around were laptops with photos being looked at and discussed, some stiff competition was there!

    Sadly I couldn’t use any of the photos I had taken the week previously, we had to set a month, date and year into the cameras which was given to us at registration so the judges could see by the information on the photos when they were taken, a good idea but it meant that we had to go looking for inspiration now!

    Originally we were going to take the day off as we hadn’t had one yet, we had dived the planned day off at Oceana, but Jan’s friends were going out and invited us along, Jackie wanted a rest, but me turn down a dive??? And I had to start shooting for the competition too!

    We went to “Bebots Reef” and had a pleasant bimble around taking photos to possibly enter into the competition.

    At dinner in the evening, Jovic and some friends came by, now for the first time after talking online for so long we were able to meet, it was really good to see him. He looked much younger than the photo I had seen of him, we had a good chat and made plans to dive together the following day.

    Jan’s friends and I did a night dive at “Basura” just 500mtrs along the beach, we saw Squid, and a large shoal of filefish that would not leave my video light alone! various shrimps and crabs, a porcelain crab on an anemone and lots of fish in hiding.

    The following day we dived with Jovic and his friend Padoy at a site called “Beatrice” a beautiful reef that stopped short of the surface by about 15mtrs, with deep gullies that allowed us to escape the strong currents, it was here we had a group photo taken by Jovic.

    Then it was off to “Taurus” for our first muck dive of the second week, for which the Anilao area is more noted for.

    We had a great dive that lasted for 78mins, which was only halted by near empty tanks and we saw cuttlefish, tiny frogfish and a deadly blue ringed octopus, 2 white ornate ghost pipefish, (the last two species being firsts for us) more seahorses and mating nudies.

    Jan had to go back to Manila that afternoon to pick up Jane and Andy Richardson, who we were to spend our second week with here, before they went down to Oceana for their second week and we flew back, so Jackie and I had a bimble round the house reef.

    That afternoon the resort pretty much emptied as people went back home and we more or less had the place to ourselves. The only other person staying was Jason Lai from Hong Kong, a very keen photographer and very knowledgeable and interesting guy who showed us some of his photos, they were superb!

    The next morning Jan surfaced for breakfast looking tired, they had got back to Pier Uno in the early hours so Jane and Andy were having a lay in. Mat was off sorting his visa as he was looking to stay and find some work, so Jan, Jackie and I dived “Cathedral” it was also my 150th dive.

    We were having a great dive with lots of friendly fish that thought we were going to feed them until, as I was filming a scorpion fish. I was kicked about the head several times by a pair of yellow fins, I ducked and looked up, a group of Korean divers were barging past Jan too so they could have their photo taken on the concrete cross that had been mounted on the reef.

    How could the diver have missed me with my video lamp blazing away?? I went up to him and in no uncertain terms let him know what I thought of him, I emulated a certain coffee advert in his face and no I wasn’t “magicing the beans”!!!

    When we finished our dive and surfaced Jan was furious with them and so was I, so, fully kitted I swam to their boat and politely told their boat crew to tell them to have more respect for other divers and be more careful, they knew I was not happy, Jan spoke to them in their own Language, enough said!!! It seemed reminiscent of the Russians taking over Sharm !

    Back at base Jane and Andy had just had breakfast as we arrived for lunch, it was nice to meet them for the first time, Mat joined us and the six of us headed off to “Secret Bay” for some muck diving. Jan gave us the usual briefing, 60mins, 30 bar on the surface etc.etc.

    It was hot as we kitted up so I back rolled in then got my camera, as we were only in a few meters of water Jan was happy for me to go down to cool off, he had dived with us for over a week now and knew I wasn’t going to go wandering off to far.

    Straight off the anchor line and I had found a mimic octopus, where I photographed it and waited for the others, we saw ornate ghost pipe fish, seahorses, mantis shrimp, dragnets, and another mimic octopus that darted off and led us straight to the female sitting on its eggs!

    After 80mins and near empty tanks we reluctantly poked our heads above the surface, so much for the 60 mins and 30bar!!! what a great dive we all said, apart from Andy. He didn’t really enjoy it, he was more into corals and colour, Jane on the other hand seemed to really enjoy it.

    Our next dive was for Andy at “Twin Rocks” a colourful dive with giant clams, large Batfish, egg laying nudi’s and lots of corals of hard and soft varieties, a nice dive. That evening we sat around and got to know Jane and Andy better and introduced them to the post dive beer tradition, they too seemed to like it!

    Next day Jason joined us, our first dive was “Kirbys Rock”. We dropped down to 25mtrs to a huge fan coral to look for pygmy seahorses, we were lucky we spotted 3; they were smaller than the ones we saw the previous week! The rest of the dive was over colourful corals and anemones, a great dive.

    Then on to “Darilaut” the wreck of a floating casino, that was sunk under dubious circumstances (allegedly)! It was situated in a long narrow bay amongst small fishing settlements and, as there was little tidal movement, the visibility was very poor at about 5mtrs as we dropped down the line to the wreck at 23mtrs, we saw a longnose hawkfish, frogfish, and flat worms, pipefish, nudis, lionfish and the rest of the usual suspects, a good dive.

    Then it was lunch time, the banca headed off to the shore at a small settlement, with some well shaded tables and benches, some dialogue went on with a lady, it appeared that they had negotiated a price for us to have lunch there, it cost about £1 for us to rent the shelter.

    All around we could hear the sound of children laughing, we were miles from anywhere so did they even have a school here?

    Next to us was a tiny wooden shelter, a girl sat in the shade doing some washing, laughing and smiling; I wandered over with my camera in hand, she had a pretty smile and I asked if I may take her photo, one of the two men sitting behind her said yes it was fine. Mat had seen me and suggested I show them the photo, I did and she sat there giggling whilst the three of them looked at the photo and we had a short chat, I was amazed how good their English was, considering where they lived.

    The last dive of the day was at “Sombrero Island”, named after the shape of the hat! We dropped into a strong current and headed straight down into a fast drift dive, we rounded the island and left the current, we had a great dive around the colourful reef and saw a cowry half enveloping its shell with it’s mantle, and as usual lots of nudis. Time to surface and we made a blue water ascent, a tough but good dive.

    We said goodbye to Jason that night as he was heading home the next day, and we all had a great evening.

    The next day we were of to “Mainit Bubbles” a dive site with a difference, in this area volcanic activity is present, we watched sulphur bubbles rise from the seabed with voracity over a very large area, I hovered just off the bottom to film and photograph the streams of bubbles, I decided to rest my hand on the bottom to steady myself for some close up filming but, as soon as I touched the sandy bottom, I burned my hand! Amazing as I didn’t think it would be that hot!

    We saw a ribbon eel for the first time, and the usual suspects, a good dive.

    We took our surface time at a hot spring on the beach under a shady cover next to where a new, very large, resort was being built. We put eggs into a bag and put them into the hot bubbling water, 15mins later we were eating soft boiled eggs!

    Next dive was “Mainit Point” a fast drift dive round the point of the headland, we tucked in behind the reef, a shoal of big jacks swam by as did a shoal of large yellow fin barracuda. We saw colourful corals and the usual nudis and fish, it was a good dive.

    After lunch we dived “Arthur’s Rock” a large rock that just breaks the surface off the coast below Arthur’s (a local boatman’s) house! We dropped down and had a tough swim against the current to the rock, which then sheltered us on the reef, we saw a huge lionfish, another ribbon eel and the usual suspects of nudis and fish.

    That night we did another night dive at “Basura” and saw a tiny frog fish, a mimic octopus, filefish, cleaner shrimps, puffer fish and squid. We surfaced and the boat was nowhere to be seen! We shone our torches around for about 5mins before the boat came over, we were not impressed! The crew on the previous night dive had followed us along the dive, this crew had moored up on the beach and not followed us, Jan had words with them!!

    The next day we dived the house reef at “Dive and Trek” resort, Jan was the manager here for a few years before becoming a dive instructor. Mat was off to get his visa sorted at the immigration office today so didn’t join us. We had a nice bimble over hard corals and some giant clams; we saw nudis laying eggs and had a pleasant dive.

    We jumped in for dive two, for a drift dive; I reached up for my camera, I had a flood in my camera housing!! The guys on the boat had put it into a tub of water that had been sitting in the sun and got very hot and swollen the o-rings, the camera was toasted! Fortunately I had put an empty card in that morning so my previous photos were safe, I was as you would expect disappointed, but it was not the end of the world as I had bought the camera second-hand from eBay only for the lenses and strobe that were with it. The screen was very small and the camera slow to operate but I had some great shots from it. I had my Fuji F30 as a backup as well as my video camera that takes great stills.

    We took our surface stop at the resort, it looked a nice place and had quite a bit of work going on putting in surface drainage and upgrading the grounds.

    The next dive was the last of our holiday at “Ligpo Pinnacle” a small island just off the mainland with a huge house on it. We had a great bimble around the reef over colourful soft and hard corals and saw two of the dreaded “crown of thorns”, the first time I had seen one and was surprised at the size of them. We surfaced bang on the hour for my 31st dive in eleven days, with 28hrs and 40mins of bottom time for the trip.

    We went back to Pier Uno for lunch, Jackie and I could have done the afternoon dive but decided it would be wise to wash the gear and get it dried in the sun ready for packing. Everyone, myself included, was surprised by my decision not to dive!! So, just for the hell of it, Jackie and I had a beer over lunch whilst the others couldn’t, boy was it nice, but we got some stick for it!

    We waved them off for their afternoon dive and had a lazy afternoon. We saw the boat heading back and headed off to the bar to grab some beers for them, we hid theirs and stood there supping beer as they got off the banca, and did we get some abuse! Whilst they started washing their gear we opened the bottles for them and all had a laugh.

    That evening in the bar we had a good time, a large group of people from Hong Kong had arrived, we sat around looking at the photos of our trip and showed Jane and Andy the photos of Oceana only as they had asked, otherwise, we would have let it be a surprise for them.

    As we looked at the photos, one of the group from Hong Kong came past and stopped, looking over my shoulder at the laptop screen. She called some of her friends over to see some of my photos, there was much excitement and laughter when they asked what the names of some of the fish were, “Frogfish” I said “how do you spell it” came the reply, “F-R-O-G” “ Ah Flogfish” came the reply, boy did we laugh!!!

    We had a great evenings entertainment at their expense, but they could see the funny side as they couldn’t pronounce the letter R properly, the beer consumption helped too!

    Jan had a message to say that Oceana was fully booked and Jane and Andy had to make the decision on whether to stay at Pier Uno for an extra night or two or go to the fully booked resort. At Oceana they had taken on students to help out and serve, with 64 guests it would be chaos there! They made the call, helped by us and stayed on, a wise move!

    The next day we were going to Manila; we saw the guys off for the days diving and said our farewells to Mat, Jane and Andy, then after breakfast we were off.

    Pier Uno was a great place, sadly we had to ask on occasion for towels and loo rolls, other than that the service was good, the food was great and the guys in the restaurant/bar were great and had our names within a day of being there and were always pleasant and game for some fun; the security guard said good morning/evening and said farewell to us too!

    The guys on the boats weren’t as good as at Oceana and not as helpful, especially on the night dive when they were nowhere to be seen when we surfaced! And putting my camera into a tub of hot water didn’t endear them to me, a shame as a few small things let the stay down here.

    We arrived in Manila in torrential rain and, at the hotel, Jan came in with us thankfully as the hotel had lost the booking!! Fortunately Jan had the booking saved on his laptop and eventually we had a room. We made arrangements to be picked up later and go to Jovic’s camera store in the Greenhill’s shopping mall. Jackie and I had a look around the mall next to our hotel and saw some familiar shop names and tried the local ice cream, if you go don’t bother!!

    We Met Jan and he took us to Greenhill’s, a huge shopping mall where you could buy just about anything! The entrance had armed guards and the police all carry guns in the Philippines, it is a deterrent. One huge area had mobile phone stalls, another clothes, another area sold jewellery, and it was a vast place!

    We went to Jovic’s shop, this was fatal! As my camera had flooded and I had been eying up Jan’s Canon G10 all week and been very impressed with it I decided to take the plunge, a new housing was ordered!!

    We had previously arranged to have dinner later that evening with Jovic and his wife Janice, so we went over to a newly developed area called “The Rock” with lots of shops and restaurants, a really nice place that was buzzing late evening with lots of families out to enjoy the evening.

    We found the restaurant Jovic had suggested and went in for appetisers and a drink, Jan’s phone rang - Jovic and Janice were in the restaurant, so were we? It turned out the same chain had two restaurants in the area and they were in one and we were in the other! We had our beer and appetisers, paid up and left laughing!

    We got to the other place and had a great Mongolian meal with Jovic and his lovely wife Janice, and it turned out the other one was closing down and the food wasn’t as good there! After a great evening it was time to head back to the hotel for a good nights sleep.

    The next morning Jan picked us up and took us to the airport, we said our farewells; we had had a great two weeks with our new found friend.

    Our flight from Manila to Singapore was fine, then we had six hours to kill at the airport, we toured the huge shopping area and looked at the electrical goods, they were actually cheaper in the UK!!!

    The overnight flight back to the UK was disturbed for most of the time by crying babies all around us! Feeling very tired when we landed at 7am we could have gone straight to the London International dive show from Heathrow, but we had a 2 1/2hr drive home to do, so opted for that instead.

    We had returned from a superb trip, we had met some lovely people and seen some amazing creatures. It had opened our eyes to an amazing country that is not on the regular holiday destination list, is totally unspoilt and has amazing food and cultures.

    We booked our trip with Go Dive Philippines on the corals and coconuts tour, it was well organised with a good choice of locations. Communications were very good throughout.

    Robert Blake made the effort to answer emails when he could whilst he was away and having now seen how slow connections are in the provinces we are impressed. The information pack was very informative and helpful.

    Jan Acosta is a great ambassador for his country and we had such a great time with him and learned so much about his homeland. His enthusiasm and caring attitude was faultless, we had to tell him to sit down we could make our own tea at times! Jan you are a real star, and we hope to dive with you again someday in the not too distant future.

    Jovic Santos what can I say, great service from a great guy! Thanks for your hospitality.

    I first had contact when I bought a lens from him via EBay, great communications and service, always helpful with questions, his 100% feedback is unquestionable.

    The Philippines is amazing, the people, the food, the culture, the laid back way of life, the unbelievable diving!

    Singapore Airways, faultless, just put the screaming babies in the overhead lockers next time please!!

    Dave Shrubb and Jackie Carty
    Last edited by digitalldave; 01-31-2010 at 02:42 PM. Reason: edit wording

  2. #2
    Wreck Diving Moderator acelockco's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007



    That has to be one of the best and most detailed dive reports I have had the pleasure to read. Thank you for sharing your amazing experience with us. I can only hope that I have such an opportunity some day.

    Please try to post links to your photos/videos or add them to your album here as they would really help to complete the report. You know the saying a " a picture is worth 1000 words".

    Thanks again for posting.


  3. #3
    Registered Users
    Join Date
    Apr 2009


    Thank you Ace
    That is very kind of you.
    I did have trouble uploading photos with the text, Dave has just done some very time consuming work and added photos from the original from a friends website you will find it in the guest section along with some of my other trip reports.
    Also found on my own site along with more of my photos.
    And of course Facebook where there are photos and some video clips, feel free to add me as a friend ;-)

    Happy diving

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts