If you want an unforgettable diving adventure and an intimate encounter with pristine marine life, you need not go further than a two-hour drive from Manila. Batangas, located in southwestern Luzon –one of the Philippines’ more than 7,000 islands– is home to more than half of the world’s species of coral and a well-known tourist destination for its premier diving sites.
Batangas is one of the provinces which circumvent a reef area known as the center of the world’s marine biodiversity, together with Verde Islands and Mindoro. More than that, the province is also famous for its open beaches, sheltered coves, subterranean caves and deep harbors, the world’s lowest volcano, an excellent brew of coffee, and warm welcoming people.
Among Batangas’ numerous dive sites, Anilao, Balayan Bay, and Nasugbu, are teeming with beautiful coral reefs and diverse sea life and have the greatest visibility for most of the year. Batangas’ dive sites offer wonderful views for divers of all levels, snorkeling fans, and underwater photographers.
Some beaches would require a boat ride to get a fantastic reef but in Batangas, most of the piers in Anilao are ready to jump right into. It is also a great venue for macro photography with multi-hued crinoids, a variety of nudibranchs, and rare underwater creatures. Anilao waters have a large number of species of hard and soft corals and sponges, perhaps more than anywhere else in the world. It has around 30 dive sites filled with sandy slopes, drop-offs and vertical walls, swim-throughs and overhangs, ship wrecks, sea grass beds, and pretty coral gardens—everything you may need for an exciting swim.
Anilao’s coral-covered Cathedral is one of the best known dive sites and is spectacular for night diving. Sepok, another diving destination, has nice coral gardens and a vertical wall. Reefs can be found diving on ledges that drop to 90 ft (27 m). Sites in Ligpo Island, Sombrero Island, Batalan, Mapating Rock, and Layag-Layag Reef host a variety of coral formations and unusual sea creatures which are great for snorkeling.
Located minutes away from Batangas, destinations like Anilao-Mabini, Culebra Island, and Malajibomanoc Island are surrounded by shallow ledges at a depth range of 15 to 25 ft (4 to 8 m) abundant with soft and hard corals.
The warm waters of Batangas are sanctuaries of diverse and rare marine life and coral reefs, some endangered and unmatched anywhere in the world. While Batangas is welcoming to tourists and adventurers, great care and protection for its fascinating marine biodiversity are asked from its visitors and locals.
Enjoy the bountiful marine environment with admiration and gentleness to keep Batangas’ beautiful aquatic flora alive and abundant for generations to come.