Open Water: 5 Philippine Diving Sites That You Can Now Head To - Lifestyle Asia

Divers outside of NCR Plus are in luck as these spots have reopened

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The Philippine diving community was hit pretty hard by the travel and movement restrictions instituted because of the pandemic. Thankfully, some parts of the country, particularly those outside of NCR Plus, are starting to opening up, and diving is now allowed in areas that have kept their COVID numbers in control.

Divers concerned about safety will also be glad to know that businesses operating in these reopened areas follow strict health and safety measures. These include regular disinfection and sanitization, limited capacity, and physical distancing.

Here are five dive sites in the country that are now ready to accept visitors:

A diver swims with a thresher shark at Monad Shoal in Malapascua

Malapascua, Cebu

The azure waters of Malapascua Island is one of the Visayas’ most popular places to go diving, with plenty of dive sites accessible to both beginners and seasoned enthusiasts. Swim with the thresher sharks at Monad Shoal, go through the various underwater caves in the vicinity, or head for the famous resident whitetip sharks of Gato Island.

A puffer fish spotted swimming near coral beds in Alcoy / Photo courtesy of the Municipality of Alcoy, Cebu

Boljoon and Alcoy, Cebu

Macro divers looking for a good, quiet spot should consider the municipalities of Boljoon and Alcoy in Cebu. The reefs that are scattered along these islands house a wide variety of rare marine life, such as green sea turtles and the Lembeh Seadragon. Admission to these underrated Cebu towns is now open for those looking for a getaway.

A school of purple anthias in Moalboal, Cebu

Moalboal, Cebu

The beautiful turquoise waters surrounding the islands of Moalboal, located in the south of Cebu, are home to a dazzling array of fish and other marine life! Swim with sea turtles, sardines, Frogfish, white tip sharks, and many more in waters that are accessible to both beginner divers and veterans. The tours in Moalboal are available year-round.


The small island of Siquijor is another must-visit diving locale, with over 10 different dive sites in the waters surrounding the isle. Siquijor hosts two marine sanctuaries, breathtaking walls to dive in, as well as spots for muck diving, all with their own sets of marine life which include reef fish, cuttle fish, barracuda, turtles, and so much more. One popular spot is the Sunken Island, which reaches down to 40 meters and is suited for experienced divers.

A sea turtle swims close to the surface of the shore near Apo Island

Dauin, Negros Oriental

This small municipality half an hour away from Dumaguete in Negros Oriental has 18 different dive spots, with five muck diving sites for those who want to search for life among the silt. Many attractions can be found off the coast of Dauin, including amazing reef fish, cuttle fish, sea turtles, shrimps, crabs, barracudas. One interesting spot is the Ginama-an, a man-made dive site that’s made up of old car tires which now house a lot of marine life.

For more information and updates, visit Dive Philippines on Facebook or Instagram.

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