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Dive Review of Planet Dive in
Philippines/Anilao, Batangas

Planet Dive, Aug, 2004,

by Paul Osmond, FL, USA . Report 1231.

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

Weather cloudy Seas calm, noCurrents
Water Temp 77 to 80 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 60 to 100 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions None once dicing ability was demonstrated
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks 1 or 2 Mantas 1 or 2
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles 1 or 2 Whales None
Corals 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
UW Photo Comments 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):

Accommodations 3 stars Food 3 stars
Service and Attitude 3 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving 5 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 5 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments This was my second visit to Planet Dive ([planetdive.net 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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