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Dive Review of Planet Dive Anilao in
Philippines/Anilao, Batangas

June, 2011, an Instant Reader Report by James Castanino, DC, US
Reviewer   (6 reports)
Report Number 6154
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
251-500 dives
Where else diving
Bay Islands, Bonaire, Belize, Cozumel, St. Lucia, Bermuda, BVI, US
Northeast, Philippines
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

sunny, cloudy  
calm, choppy  
Water Temp
78   to 82    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
40   to 60    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
On the guided dives, you were allowed to stay under as long as the last DM.
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
Whale Sharks
1 or 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  3 stars
Tropical Fish
4 stars  
Small Critters
  4 stars
Large Fish
1 stars  
Large Pelagics
  1 stars
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
Boat Facilities
Overall rating for UWP's  
Shore Facilities  
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
3 stars
3 stars
Service and Attitude
4 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
4 stars
Dive Operation
4 stars  
Shore Diving  
4 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
5 stars    
4 stars   
3 stars    
I was on a business trip to Southeast Asia and had a weekend to kill in the
Philippines. Rather than spend time in Manila, I decided to head south for
two nights at Planet Dive, in Anilao, which is in Batangas Province. I
found Planet Dive online and had a few email exchanges with Dennis
Catienza, who was managing the property during my visit. Overall, I had a
fantastic experience at Planet Dive, which appears to be a resort very
favored by locals. The people were fantastic.

Resort. Planet Dive is ~3 hour drive south of Manila, depending on traffic.
Dennis arranged a car service that picked me up at my hotel right on time
and drive me to the resort on Friday afternoon. Cost was $100 and the price
is the same is you have a group. I was the only person in the van, which
wasn't efficient but I was traveling alone and this option is much better
than renting a car. 

The resort is built on a hillside overlooking the water. Cottages are very
basic, but have AC and their own bathrooms. They are not fancy but I
appreciated the simplicity. My room had three single beds and a a wall of
windows, but no screens, which meant AC at night. This is by means a luxury
resort, but the facilities are perfectly adequate for an affordable resort
that is centered around diving and social interaction with the other guests
and staff.

My package included all meals, which were basic and served buffet style on
a large, open-air deck overlooking the ocean. The food consists mostly of
local dishes and is a very good value for money. The portions are seemingly

Note that there is nothing nearby the resort. Once you are there you aren't
going anywhere--you will dive, eat and hang out here. But, since everyone
is doing the same, this makes for a very nice social atmosphere.

The diving. I was only able to dive on Saturday (due to flight on Sunday)
and did three dives, two from the boat and one from the shore. Planet Dive
is located right on the Twin Rocks dive site, which is a protected area and
very popular. You can dive as much as you want from the shore, a nice
advantage of the location. 

The coral health did not appear to be great in Anilao, and the water
clarity left something to be desired. That said, the diversity and
abundance of marine was fantastic, especially for a lifelong Caribbean/US
diver. Saw two very large frogfish, massive turtle, giant clams (endangered
but restored to the area by local university), colorful nudis and lots of
small tropic fish (clown fish, etc). (Please keep in mind that my
experience was limited to three dives, which is not enough to get a true
sense of the marine life, diversity, etc.) 

The DMs were excellent. Friendly, safety conscious and fun at the same
time. Rental gear was adequate but pretty beat up. Wore an old shorty but
water was warm enough so it didn't matter.

By far, the best part about Planet Dive was the people. By the end of the
weekend everyone at the resort had made me feel welcome and part of the
family. I was very quickly invited to dive with a small group of regulars,
which made for a nice day. At meals the staff and other guests invited me
to join them and by the end of the weekend I felt as though I had made
several new friends. The same is true of the staff. On checkout, I ran into
an issue of being short cash (no banks or ATMs nearby, no credit cards
accepted), but Dennis was very understanding and worked out a convenient
way for me to pay the balance. One of the locals generously offered me a
ride back to Manila, saving me the car service.

All in all, I don't think you can go wrong here. Recommended.
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Note: The information here was reported by the author above, but has NOT been reviewed nor edited by Undercurrent prior to posting on our website. Please report any major problems by writing to us and referencing the report number above.

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