Coron is one of those places I kept coming back, more than its pristine beaches, crystal waters, stunning views and friendly people, I love its mystery beyond the surface. In our fifth homecoming we dove at Irako Maru, Kogyu Maru and the East Tangat Wreck. Penetrating the holes and the darks inside the monsters always blew me away!
Being a water person, diving and snorkeling most often is my agenda in trips and being around in search for interesting sites, I can name five which I recommend worthy to explore. Although my hunt is still on-going I’m pretty sure there are still sites to discover around the country. I have snorkeled in these spots, and I wasn’t disappointed. Aside of the rich marine life and idyllic setting, all these spots are off beaten. So getting there is in itself challenging making the journey more enthralling, or would I say truly enchanting.
5. Lusong Gunboat. Located in Coron Bay in Lusong Island, this shallow wreck is one of the large concentration of WW II wrecks in the area. Lying from the surface about 10 meters, the wreck is very visible and watching the varied colorful marine life surrounding the area is wonderful. Most wrecks are too deep for snorkel, so having one this shallow is too interesting for non-divers.
4. Marine Sanctuary, Balicasag Island. Off the captivating Panglao Island in Bohol, it’s an eco-tourism destination and maintained by Philippine Tourism Authority (PTA), it’s a marine life sanctuary. PTA and Philippine Navy jointly promote the island for underwater sports and as model for environmental and ecological preservation. It’s about 45 minutes by pumpboat from Alona Beach. It’s ideal for snorkeling, docking at fish sanctuary, feeding fish is wonderful as fish go near you up close, viewing deep down under with corals, sponges, star fishes, colorful fishes amidst deep blue waters is so breathtaking! I always believe that there’s much beauty deep down, more than what we see in the dry lands.
3. Enchanted River. This blue river is situated in Hinatuan, Surigao Sur and going there is such a long trip. But just watching the refreshing blue waters is truly enchanting. The marine life consists of snappers, sweet lips and rabbit fish – viewing them through your goggles or mask surrounded by its blue waters can be too mesmerizing, wondering such specie thrive in a river. They have grown in size and number and have claimed the blue waters as their home. Feeding them is an added attraction, at 12:00 noon as if they have clocks, they all float-up for their feeds. Wonderful sight!
2. Shimizu Island. One of the captivating islets we hopped on in El Nido, its just one of those idyllic islands with pristine white beach with a backdrop of limestone cliffs. Just stepping into the shallow waters, you can already catch glimpse of large herd of tropical fish swarming the waters. Shallow as one meter- sergeants, wrasses, damsels and other tropical species come near, so near your hand as you feed them. I have never such encounter with fishes so tame, they are all around swimming in swarm. So lovely!
1. Tojoman Lagoon. A hidden paradise! Nothing could be more wonderful than swimming with the stingless jellyfish not just in tens but millions of them. Those brown jellies in varied sizes swimming and pulsating, so near you. So incredible indeed! So friendly, one can touch. swim and play with these slimy brown creatures.. So serene, so beautiful. The lagoon is secretly tucked in Bucas Grande islands in Surigao Norte, comparable if not at par with Jellyfish Lagoon in Palau.
The above sites are truly worthy for a visit, so give in to your adventurous spirit and have a wonderful aqua trip. Don’t forget your mask, snorkel and sunscreen, its real hot out there!