Report on a Classic Destination:

The Glories of the Philippines

Blue Lobstser amid coralsSome of my most enjoyable cruises occurred during the 1980s when I was trying to introduce divers to the glories of the Philippine reefs.For nearly a decade, our clients enjoyed one of the richest arrays of marine life they had ever experienced.





Apo Reef with lighthouse Amphiprion Percula Clown In those days, most of today’s exotic dive locales (Papua New Guinea, Indonesia, Malaysia) were unknown to our divers, and live-aboard dive cruisers didn’t exist there.In the Philippines, however, we had the pleasure of living aboard two 120-foot vessels offering what was in those days amazing comfort.

‘Amazing’ also describes the diversity of marine species in these thousands of islands. As we plied the waters from Batangas Province to Apo Reef to Palawan’s Tubbataha and Jesse Beazley Reefs, many of us dove for the first time with wildly varied nudibranchs, shallow, sunlit shipwrecks, stunning clownfish and their host anemones, curious manta rays, giant jellyfish, huge cuttlefish laying eggs amid the corals and hundreds of other wonders.
Blue Nosed Yellow Angel Our trips were scheduled during seasonally clear (100-120 feet visibility, water clear enough to allow starkly sharp, color-drenched photos. Every day was filled with adventure, and the shallow reefs often allowed us up to six dives per day.
Clown A Sandoricinos

Over that decade, however, the problems associated with destructive fishing methods (including dynamite) intruded on our dive sites. When we could no longer guarantee that a great reef would still be there for our next visit, we reluctantly had to withdraw.

Adolescent Imperial Angel For old times’ sake, I’ve had our webmaster Patricia assemble some of the photos from that Camelot of diving history. I hope you enjoy seeing them as much as I did taking them!

Please review the PhotoGallery at: Philippines PhotoGallery

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