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Philippine options in over Christmas

Discussion in 'Philippine Paradise Divers' started by keatster, Jul 2, 2014.

  1. keatster

    keatster Garibaldi

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    Hi,

    I have been lurking for a while, and decided I needed to call upon the expert advice that is given here so often.

    A bit of background
    We (wife and I), have a 2 week trip over Christmas and New year. We have decided to go to Boracay for new year and have 9/10 days for diving before we do.

    In April we have previously dived Anilao and Apo Island (Dumaguette). This time we want to try somewhere different, and were thinking of 2 centers.

    Ideally we would like to minimise the traveling we have to do, both getting to and between dive centers and to Boracay on the 30th. For this reason we have ruled out PG, and while we have an interest in wrecks, we thought Coron might be a bit too much hassle for 3/4 days (but could be swayed on this).

    So internally we kind of decided on the Cebu/Bohol area, but would be open to alternatives.

    My question is, what 2 places would you recommend for 3/4 days each, given the following criteria?
    • good diving, obviously; happy with macro but would also like some pelagic action/lots of fish
    • a bit of life topside, post dive (we're not looking for a party, maybe a seat on the beach and a game of cards)?
    • Given that we want to minimise our traveling to maximise our diving (hard in the Philippines, I know), preferably places that are close(ish) to each other
    • near to an airport with direct flights to Kalibo or, preferably, Catilan.

    Thanks for any answers that may be forthcoming
    Kev
     
  2. Centrals

    Centrals Barangay Pasaway

    # of Dives:
    Location: Hong Kong
    7,529
    2,721
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    1. Anilao and Puerto Galera.
    There is a overnight ferry(2Go ferry) from Batangas Pier to Caticlan!!! If that does not run then there is another ferry from Roxas in Mindoro to Caticlan as well.
    2. Malapascua and Moalboal.
    The transfer between these two places will easily take 6-7hrs. Go to Malapascua first and then Moalboal because it is only 2hrs from the latter to Cebu Airport and with no ferry to catch.
     
  3. keatster

    keatster Garibaldi

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    Thanks Centrals, would you recommend Moalboal over Panglao?
     
  4. Centrals

    Centrals Barangay Pasaway

    # of Dives:
    Location: Hong Kong
    7,529
    2,721
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    Anytime especially with that school of sardines in Moalboal. Hope they are still around when you get there!!
    Panglao Beach has been developed beyond recognition and non-divers are easily outnumber divers nowadays. And if you do decide to stay on Panglao then make sure it is far away from the irritated live-music scene on the beach! I was staying near Aquatica few yrs ago and the noise was awful.
     
  5. Tippytoes12

    Tippytoes12 Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: UK
    1,115
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    Yes agree with above...and at Maolbaol you can also go to Oslob to see the whalesharks. However I really do think that at the time of year just one stop might be enough. Massapequa is fabulous , but the water there will be cold at Christmas....not a deal breaker. On three trips to the Philippines though I have met many people who did not like Boracay and nobody who did. Perhaps consider another option.
     
  6. clgsamson

    clgsamson Koya Kap

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Manila, Philippines
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    I would recommend staying at Panglao Island (Bohol) and do some diving around Balicasag Island. I've used Philippine Fun Divers twice already and they're one of the best dive ops in the area.
     
  7. keatster

    keatster Garibaldi

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    Thanks for all the responses, some good advice.

    Is there much of a chance the sardines will still be around come end of December? I cant imagine that moalboal would keep us entertained for 3 or 4 days, given the lack of activities topside, am I wrong here?

    Would it be worth cutting down on a few days in Panglao/Boracay, and heading to Moalboal as well?

    Boracay is somewhere I have visited before, so I am aware of its pitfalls, and to be honest we want somewhere we can let our hair down for a few days over new year - so it fits the bill - although we could cut down on the time there.
    That said, is Alona beach likely to be nearly as lively as Boracay?

    Keep them coming please
     
  8. Tippytoes12

    Tippytoes12 Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: UK
    1,115
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    There were millions of sardines in Maolbaol a few weeks ago when we were there...but it's impossible to say whether or not they will be there in December. Seeing them though was truly awesome...would try and work this into your trip if you can. We spent 4 nights there and also visited the whalesharks in Oslob ....which we loved. There are lovely reefs there , plenty of turtles ...coaal is damaged in places ...but yes 4 days there is plenty.

    I found Alona very very touristy ,wonderful diving though.
     
  9. antiquediver

    antiquediver Dive Shop

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Pandan, Antique
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    I just recommend because you don't like to travel to much, stay at the main island of Panay and take a look to Pandan, Antique. So far the dive sites are not crowded, but some sanctuaries can be seen. As you are looking for a more quite place, that should be perfect to you and its just 45 minutes away from Boracay.
     
  10. Mucksavage

    Mucksavage Barracuda

    # of Dives:
    Location: The Philippines
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    Malapascua will be great at Xmas. The island is lively with divers and has a great atmosphere. The water temperature will not be so cold. It usually maintains 28 to 29 degrees over Xmas and drops during January and into Feb. El Nino this year might also mean that we have a much warmer December and January then normal.

    Moalboal is a days travel from Malapascua so a good second option for sure. The sardines are worth seeing but Moalboal as a place is not as nice as Malapascua or Panglao for me.

    Alona will be lively over NY also and busy. It has lots of bars but isn't as developed as Boracay for clubs etc. Lots of the restaurants there are beach type places whereas Boracay has lots of well known local chain restaurants more variety in food being offered.
     
    Tippytoes12 likes this.

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