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This bustling, metropolitan Southeast Asian city is a cultural melting pot where east meets west. You’ll find everything from small traditional communities to high rise skyscrapers and 5 star hotels. Diving opportunities from manila involve trips to Puerto Galera, Subic Bay and the stunning Batangas.

Diving in Manila

Quick facts

If you are looking for a metropolitan and upcoming vibe, Manila, the capital of the Philippines, has it all. Dining opportunities range from street-side food carts to five star restaurants and places to stay are just as far ranging. This bay-side city mixes Spanish colonial architecture with modern day skyscrapers creating an international feel whilst retaining its traditional charm. When it comes to diving from Manila, you will find numerous opportunities in the north at Subic Bay or down south in the Batangas region or Puerto Galera. Many PADI Dive shops in Manila will operate dive trips to these nearby regions or others around the country.

When to go

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Mainit Point – Located south of Manila in Anilao, Batangas, this is one of the most talked about dive sites in the Philippines for good reason. Healthy, vibrant corals combined with the likelihood of seeing passing pelagics make this an exciting spot. Highlights include white and black tip reef sharks, occasional grey reef sharks, tuna, turtles, marble rays, schooling jacks and trevally. Bahura de Layag layag – Another dive site located in Anilao, the name ‘Bahura’ literally translates to ‘reef’ and this dive site certainly lives up to its name. This sloping reef features small drop-offs, overhangs, swim-throughs and is teeming with fish. Look out for passing reef sharks, eagle rays, tuna, schooling mackerel, red tooth trigger fish, jacks and hoards of colourful reef fish. San Agapito Point – Located south of Manila in Verde Island and also accessible from Puerto Galera, this is a stunning pinnacle site that will entice pelagic lovers and macro fans alike. Schooling jacks and fairy basslets are a highlight along with frequent sea snake sightings, vibrant corals, huge gorgonian sea fans and a myriad of macro crustaceans. View more Puerto Galera dive sites. The Canyons – Located in Puerto Galera, the three canyons make up this action packed dive site which is a hot spot for schooling trevally, groupers, drummers, snappers and barracuda. Huge gorgonian sea fans and an abundance of soft corals make this a colourful site. Look out for resting turtles, hiding octopus and passing reef sharks. View more Puerto Galera dive sites. USS New York – Located in Subic Bay, north of Manila, the wreck was built in the 1890’s and used in both WWI and WWII. It is one of Subic Bay’s most iconic wrecks lying between 17-27 metres / 55-86 feet with all eight of her guns still intact. She was scuttled in 1941 in Subic Bay to prevent failing to the invading Japanese forces. View more Subic Bay dive sites.

What to see

Diving in areas nearby to Manila provide a diverse array of marine life including white tip, black tip and grey reef sharks, turtles, schooling jacks, trevally, sweet lips, groupers, red tooth triggerfish and butterfly fish. You’ll find stunning coral reefs which support an abundance of critters and unusual bottom dwellers including scorpionfish, moray eels, ribbon eels, leaf fish, lion fish, nudibranch and a plethora of crustaceans and cephalopods.


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The capital city of Philippines, Manila is the most populous metropolitan area of the country. It is also the hub of major economic, financial, education and business activity. Metro Manila is composed of city of Manila and adjoining cities like Makati, Mandaluyong, Muntinlupa, Pasay, Quezon City and Taguig. While the city of Manila is known for being overbearingly crowded, polluted and a site of myriads of concrete structures, it has nevertheless developed rapidly into a major urban center with a happening night life. The city has a rich history and exciting cultural background. Manila is largely considered as a stopover for travelers vying to reach the more scenic and natural locations in Philippines. However, you can still sample a different flavor enriched by city’s multi cultural heritage and unique history.

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