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Dive Review of Planet Dive in
Philippines/Anilao, Batangas

August, 2004, an Instant Reader Report by Paul Osmond, FL, USA
Report Number 1231
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
Over 1000 dives
Where else diving
You name it, I have been there or nearby. 
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

calm, noCurrents  
Water Temp
77   to 80    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
60   to 100    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
None once dicing ability was demonstrated  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
1 or 2 
1 or 2 
Whale Sharks
1 or 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  5 stars
Tropical Fish
4 stars  
Small Critters
  4 stars
Large Fish
2 stars  
Large Pelagics
  2 stars
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
5 stars  
Boat Facilities
2 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
4 stars  
Shore Facilities  
4 stars  
Plentiful sinks for washing your gear at the resort and they'll let you
keep your equipment and charge batteries in the bar area (which avoids
carting gear up and down the stairs). You MUST get to Basura for some A+
muck diving
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
3 stars
3 stars
Service and Attitude
3 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
Dive Operation
5 stars  
Shore Diving  
5 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
5 stars   
5 stars    
This was my second visit to Planet Dive ([ link]) in Anilao. Anilao is popular with local divers
as it is about 3 hours from Manila and the diving is excellent so you can
do this as a weekend trip. I was there this time at the tail end of a
business trip so it was perfect. As Planet Dive is not near anywhere else
(apart from other dive resorts), you will buy a package which includes
accomodation, unlimited shore diving and all meals. Airport tranfer is
additonal (but cheap and recommended) and you will pay for boat diving with
deals available for buying a # of dives upfront. I recommend pre-booking
2-3 dives on the boat per day and doing 2-3 dives a day on the house reef.

Planet Dive picked me up in a van at the airport even though I got in after
midnight and drove me out to the resort - we didn't arrive til after 4am
but I was in the water at 7:30am. At the end of my stay they also took me
back to the airport as part of the package.

Accomodation is in huts and range from very basic (my choice) with fan
cooled open air rooms to staying in air conditioned apartments. Basic rooms
have a bed, a mattress, a pillow, a small table, a shower/bathroom area,
great views and nothing else. Hardcore divers wont mind the basic
accomodations as you will be tired from diving anyway. More casual divers
may want to upgrade. All rooms have enough electrical outlets for charging
batteries/running laptops.

The resort is built into a hill and has a lot of steep, uneven (and
sometimes loose) stairs, so take your time going up and down.
Food is all inclusive and there is no other choices even if you want
something else. It is plentiful and there is normally choices of various
meat and vegatable meals. If you are there more than a few days it starts
to get real old and you will be waiting for a change, but it isn't terrible
either. Kitchen staff is friendly and go out of there way to try and make
you happy.

The shore dive in front of the resort is fantastic. Entry is over a rocky
beach so make sure you have a sturdy pair of dive boots. A reef runs from
10' to about 80' deep off shore and includes a barge covered in Giant Clams
and Anemone Fish at one end and twin rock mounds at the other end with
Batfish and other larger fish at the other. Crinoids are everywhere and the
night dive here is fantastic. Other dive operations come here as a real
dive site which will give you an idea of the quality of the site - you
could dive it all day without getting bored and I would except there is
other fabulous diving to be had here. Unlimited shore diving is included
and you would be insane not to take advanatge of it.

Boat diving is done off bangkas - which are basically large outrigger
canoes powered by old truck diesel engines. Divemasters are provided, and
Alfie has been my DM for both trips here and is phenomenal - worth
requesting if you can get him.

Sites are hugley varied - and most offer great coral formations and a depth
of fish and other marine life. 

Sombero Island sites are the best if the seas allow you to cross to them.
Current are stronger here on a coral wall, and white-tip and black-tip
sharks are regularly seen here along with the occasional eagle ray and
turtle. Dive the wall as long as possible then up to the top of the reef
for a soft coral saftey stop with thousands of Anthias.

West sites are generally calmer with some spectacular walls, lots of
Barracuda and chances to see all three colors phases of Ribbon Eels amongst
other things.

One other must do site for macro photographers is 'Basura' which translates
into 'Trash'. It is further away and is a muck shore dive. Critters such as
Snake Eels, Sea horses, strange nudibranchs, rare octopus, flatheads,
scorpionfish, shrimpfish schools and clown frogfish are all here and you
don't want to miss it.

Overall this is a great place to do some serious and convient diving with
easy access out of Manila. Planet Dive is a top class operation and a 
wonderful place to do it. Perhaps not enough big life for some (although it
is coming back), fish and macro photo subjects are plentiful and the coral
reefs are healthy and thick. Highly 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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