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

Planet Dive Anilao, Jun, 2011,

by James Castanino, DC, US (Sr. Reviewer Sr. Reviewer 7 reports). Report 6154.

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

Weather sunny, cloudy Seas calm, choppy
Water Temp 78 to 82 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 3
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.
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

Sharks None Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles 1 or 2 Whales None
Corals 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 N/A Boat Facilities N/A
Overall rating for UWP's N/A Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments [None]

Ratings and Overall Comments 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Accommodations 3 stars Food 3 stars
Service and Attitude 4 stars Environmental Sensitivity 4 stars
Dive Operation 4 stars Shore Diving 4 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 5 stars
Beginners 4 stars
Advanced 3 stars
Comments 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 unlimited.

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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