Anilaois considered as the birthplace of Philippine scubadiving. The firstdiveresortssetup operation in the 1960’s and whilevariousislands in the Philippines have alsobeenknown for
scubadiving, Anilaoremains to be the most popular weekend dive destination for Metro Manila folks. It’swhere most of usgotinitiatedinto the wonderful underwaterworld. And it onlytakes 1.5 hours drive south of Metro Manila via the SLEX-STAR (TR3) connection.
Finding Nemo in D&T
Anilao is actually a barangay in Mabini, Batangas but scubadiversuse the name to collectivelyrefer to the municipalities of Mabini to Tingloy, which has all the dive sites. The area is so diverse that it has something for everyone, from beginnerdivers to advance and eventechnicaldivers.
Anilao has one of the highestconcentrations of marine biodiversity in the planet and is designated as the “nudibranchcapital of the world” by the folks at UnderwaterPhotography Guide. The
coralsareextremelyhealthy, thanks to the efforts to preserve it by the earlierdivers, and it’struly a haven for underwaterphotographerswhateveryourinterestmaybe. Secret Bay, Twin Rocks, and Basuraaresome of the favorite sites of macrophotographerswhile Beatrice has one of the most beautifulunderwater scenes for wide-angle enthusiasts. Sharks and biggerpelagicareoftenspotted at Ligpo or Mainit Point wherecurrent is usuallystrongest. Thereareperiodic sightings of pelagic drifters in one of the dive sites, whaleshark, mantas, and most recently a mola-mola (sunfish)!
reefsquidduring a nightdive at Twin Rocks
One of the bestthingsaboutliving in the Philippines is thatscubadiving is possible the wholeyearround! WhileJuly to September is considered as lowseason due to the monsoonrain in the region, this never reallystoppedus from going. The logicbeingwhy not? Are youafraidyou’llgetwet? So we in Manila, rain
or shine, we sport oursunglasses and head south on weekends!
Because of all these, there is absolutelynoshortage of diveresorts in Anilao. On the top of my head, I caneasilyname 10 to 15 resorts for all types of budget. The diveresortwe most
frequentbeforewasAquaventure but more recently, we’vebeencoming back to Planet DivewhereTwin Rocks is a short entrydive.
Planet Dive Deck
A typicalday trip for a group of 5-6 divers with theirown gears willcostbetween 1,500-1,700 pesos ($30-35) per person. This includes 2 boatdives, dive master/guides, lunch at resort, and divepass. If you go to resorts with awesome house reefsuch as Planet Dive, Diver’sSanctuary, Dive and Trek,
thenyoucaneliminateboatwhichcosts 3,000 pesos (to beshared) and spend<1,000 pesos for the day trip with unlimitedshoreentrydive. An overnightstaywillcostabout 2,000 pesos ($40) for twinsharing. Discoveryscubadivingcostsabout 3,000 pesos inclusive of briefing, gears, and discoverydive.
It goeswithoutsayingthatgettingcertified in Anilao is verymuchaccessible.
Popularcertifyingagencieslike PADI, SDI, and NAUI arethere for yourchoosing. It costsaround $300 for lecture, books, cards, and 4-6 dives. Most if not all Manila basedDiveInstructorsconducttheir check-out dives in Anilao.