The Philippines, being an archipelagic country surrounded by various bodies of water, is home to a diverse and vivid underwater word. In fact, our entire country lies in Coral Triangle, the global center of marine biodiversity. With the Philippines on its core, we are on the center of world’s marine biodiversity.


For two main reasons, the lesser known town of Balingoan is one of my favorite places in the Philippines for scuba diving. First is of course because of its rich marine life; and second, the absence of the usual tourist traffic that the other known dive sites get. These two translate to dive sites that are generally unspoiled and unexploited! The chances of sighting huge crowd of humans is close to zero. After all, we dive to see marine species and not humans Balingoan is…Continue Reading “Return to the Depths of Balingoan: Banaug Shoal & Lapinig Island”


The lighthouse of Balingoan in Misamis Oriental stands proud in the town’s port overlooking the province of Camiguin. The town of Balingoan is a gateway to the Island Born of Fire from mainland Mindanao which is only an hour away by ferry. Everyday, the town becomes busy with tourists crossing the Bohol Sea to and from the nearby province of Camiguin but unknown to many, the small town offers amazing and unspoiled underwater life. The waters off Balingoan including those that surround the island of…Continue Reading “Snapshot: The Beauty of Balingoan”

Medina Dive Against Debris

A scene underneath the water of Medina Port It is always a slow day at the port of Medina, a small town north of Misamis Oriental fronting Gingoog Bay. Save for a big fishing vessel quietly docked in the town’s concrete port, traffic and activities are almost always very light. The big fishing boat was captured by local authorities in the neighboring town of Magsaysay for violating the Fisheries Code of the Philippines (Republic Act 8550) when they illegally entered the municipal waters. The town…Continue Reading “Medina, Misamis Oriental Dive Against Debris”

Diving in Balingoan

Finally, I got a chance to dive again in Balingoan. It has been a year since I last visited the place when Ate Claudia and I dive in Mantangale and Mantigue Island in 2010. Since then, I was enthralled with the unspoiled beauty beneath. It is among the underrated dive spots in the country and I promised to return. While most tourist frequent the place only as jump off point to Camiguin, for some it is already a destination. For us, it is a small…Continue Reading “Dive Weekend: Back in Balingoan”

Agutayan Island

Off the coast of Jasaan, Misamis Oriental is a small island, virtually a sandbar, surrounded by green waters that is rich with marine life – the Agutayan Island. It is located in Macajalar Bay, five kilometers from Jasaan’s Poblacion. Crescent moon in shape and uninhabited, Agutayan Island has 5,000 square meters of white sand that sits on a 3-hectare marine sanctuary that serves as breeding ground of endangered giant clams. The giant clams are products of successful seeding project supported by the local government, it…Continue Reading “Agutayan Island, Jasaan, Misamis Oriental”