Malapascua Island is the only place in the world where you can dive with thresher sharks nearly on a daily basis in their natural habitat. In fact, thresher sharks are regarded as local celebrities on the island, with thousands of tourists visiting every year for guaranteed encounters. But that’s not the only thing that makes Malapascua a true island paradise. The underwater scene in Malapascua Island is teeming with beautiful corals and rock formations, perfect for divers, underwater photographers, or anyone who wants to experience life under the sea.
Imagine yourself swimming over a million sardines in clear blue waters just a few meters off the shore. Many who have tried it call the experience surreal, exhilarating, and definitely “once-in-a-lifetime” that cannot be missed. Diving is still considered the best option to be in the middle of this huge dancing ball of millions of sardines. The reef drops off dramatically around 20-30 meters away from shore and this is where you can watch these fish congregate, move, glide, and race about when huge predator fish like jacks and tuna come near that will surely take your breath away.
Mactan is one of the most popular dive sites in all of Cebu as well as one of the most popular dive spots in the Philippines. Located in Central Visayas, this small island is separated but connected by bridges from the Cebu mainland by the Mactan Channel. The shore-based diving is said to be excellent and there’s a rich variety of dive sites to be explored. From sheer drop-offs, deep walls, steep slopes, coral mounts and plateaus, seagrass beds, caves and caverns and even two wrecks, diving here is an amazing experience. Mactan dive sites are suitable for beginners, experienced, and technical divers of all levels.
At the southwestern part of Puerto Princesa in Palawan, where the heart of The Coral Triangle sits, is the Philippines’ crown jewel, the Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park. The word “Tubbataha” is a Samal term that means “long reef exposed at low tide.” It is the largest Marine Protected Area in the country, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and is part of the Ramsar list of Wetlands of International Importance.
The vicinity of Sangat Island in Coron has the largest concentration of sunken ships; 11 of them are within recreational scuba diving depths of 25 to 40 meters. The shipwrecks are in great condition and highly recommended among Advanced scuba divers to penetrate. Things to look out for include a three-barrelled anti-aircraft gun by the sandy area near the base of the huge crane and the crane’s intact machinery and gears. It also has a huge rip at the stern which divers can use to penetrate it.