Birthplace of Scuba Diving in the Philippines
Anilao, the “so-called” birthplace of scuba diving in the Philippines boast of teeming marine biodiversity, with the abundance of corals and dense underwater creatures, making it popular not only in the Philippines but throughout the world, a truly world class diving destination.
Due to its proximity to Metropolis, it is the most frequented diving spot of the people from the Metropolitan Cities. The coastal town is located in Mabini, Batangas, around 170 kilometers from Manila and a two-and-a-half to three hours drive from the nation’s capital. So, if you are based in Manila, you can have very good dives/snorkeling sessions in Anilao during weekends or Holiday on a day tour, no need to file a leave, and that’s what we did.
To get there from Manila via public transport, catch a Batangas City bound bus in Buendia-Taft (near Gil Puyat LRT Station) or in Cubao, get off at Batangas City Integrated Bus Terminal, catch a Mabini bound jeepney to Anilao Port and then hire a tricycle to bring you to your resort.
Buses bound to Batangas City leave Buendia every hour, 24-hours a day, fare cost is P157.00. Total travel time from Manila is at two hours during off peak hours and at three to four hours during day time and rush hours.
|Route/Mode of Transportation||Travel Time||Fare|
|Manila to Batangas City Bus Terminal (Batangas City bound bus)||2 hours to 3.5 hours||P157.00/person|
|Batangas City Bus Terminal to Anilao Port (Mabini bound jeep)||40 minutes||P40.00/person|
|Anilao Port to Resort (tricycle)||~15 – 20 minutes||P100/trike|
Dive Shops and Costs
When you reach Anilao, you can choose from a wide selection of resorts in the area. AquaVenture Reef Club, Planet Dive and Anilao Outrigger are among the famous resorts here. You can also contact any dive operators in Anilao and they usually take care of everything including the resort.
Day tour diving can cost for as low as P2500.00 for two dives with buffet meal. The cost can still go down if you have gears or if you opt to bring your own meals. Intro driving is also at P2500.00.
Fun at Sea
We chose AquaVenture Reef Club on our two weekends day tour diving of Anilao, and I must say their buffet is really sumptuous. The resort is close to The Cathedral, the famous diving spot in the area, it was named Cathedral after Former President Fidel V. Ramos installed a cross in the site. It is home to variety of fish and corals, but recently, a whaleshark (butanding) has been spotted in the area. Fish feeding is a must try here. Best time to dive here is in the morning because the current can get really strong in the afternoon.
We also dove at Sombrero Island, Koala and one of my favorites – the Twin Rocks, where I saw a school of jack fish (talakitok/mackerel).
There are more than twenty spots in Anilao alone, and for sure we will go back again and again and again, as most divers who frequent Anilao say “there are always something new in Anilao in their dives”. I am loving scuba diving more and more, and this is just the start for me.
This is just a comment for Planet Dive resort since this article is being used by people as reference on where to stay in Anilao. No offense meant to the author but since I used this blog myself to decide where to stay when I planned my trip to Anilao so I’m sure others are doing the same.
We had a terrible time on our last day in Planet Dive resort (which was just a while ago I couldn’t wait to write about it – 8May11). WE WERE TREATED SO BADLY BY NONE OTHER THAN ONE OF THE RESORT OWNERS OF PLANET DIVE. In a nutshell, he would’ve wanted his guests to stand in the pouring rain rather than offer a shade in his house. Here are the details:
There was a storm due to the Low Pressure Area and on our way out, we sought shelter to what we thought was the receiving area, but was actually the house of the owner. We never meant to trespass. Otherwise, if it were obviously a private house or room with personal belongings with bedroom furniture inside, we would have the decency to respect private space and would’ve went out immediately. On our first day we even went first to the owner’s building since one would really think it was the receiving area with its view deck and lounge chairs and besides, it’s the first building you see when you go inside the gate. It didn’t help that there were no resort staff or security above to point us to the right direction to the lobby. As many of you may know, Anilao resorts are perched on cliffs and the orientation is downward. So from the main road when you enter the gate, what you see is the parking lot, the building, a few houses on the side, then on the side are the steps going down to the resort proper (there are no directional signage to show you the way).
So on our way out & up, we went inside the building (it was the closest enclosed place nearest to the main road) to seek shade from the pouring rain since it would be some 10 minutes before our tricycle driver can come pick us up when we heard a man from the resort downstairs shout from the top of his lungs, “Sino yung mga tao sa kwarto ko?!” (in English: Who are those people in my room?!” He sent his hotel staff and manager to us then we explained to them we were just seeking shelter from the pouring rain while we were waiting for the driver who was on his way and would be there in less than 10 mins. So the staff went down to the owner and explained but then they came up immediately and said we couldn’t stay coz their boss wouldn’t allow it. They never really gave us any options so I appealed to the manager and said “You know we are guests here are you saying we should wait outside in the rain? If there is a waiting shed, we will. But you don’t have any and this is the only safe place we see where we can wait. If you let us stand in the rain, we will never come back to this resort.” This was no drizzle by the way, it was a storm named “Pepeng” so you can just imagine how strong the rain and wind were. The manager took pity on us but knowing his boss still wouldn’t approve, he just took us to his room across instead where we can wait. It was a private room with a bed and everything. We were thankful nonetheless to the manager but to the owner??? I can’t believe someone like him could own a resort with those values. He was so disrespectful and selfish. It’s not like we were nosy or he should be alarmed of his personal security since he know were resort guests just trying to find a shade. The manager was apologetic and excused his boss’ behavior even saying he is like that since he is an artist and his ways are different. One shouldn’t use the excuse that he/she is an artist and justify why they treat people badly or differently. We are all artists by profession in our own fields of endeavor. Being a painter doesn’t make you more of a person/superior to others. Anyway, I would never come back to that resort. Diving and snorkeling is amazing in Anilao BUT THERE ARE TONS OF RESORTS THERE WHOSE OWNERS IM SURE WOULD BE KIND AND ACCOMODATING ENOUGH TO HELP THEIR GUESTS. I hope this review reaches the eyes of that owner (the “artist” one) and I hope he realizes how disrespectful he was. And learn from it. I hope this review too would enlighten tourists to take a different option. Again, there are other resorts in Anilao with better hospitality and service than Planet Dive. This resort has been a reflection of the owner’s values and being helpful to customers is definitely not one of them. By the way, since this is a review, they can do better with the food and beverages they serve. Php 1,360 for full-board meals was not worth the value of your money.
Thanks for the feedback Ken 🙂
Thanks for letting us know…expect that me and my friends won’t go to the attitude artist
Sir…next time you’re in Anilao, try Sepok Wall and Diver’s Sanctuary dive sites.
When I was still connected with Intel Philippines, we had expats (on assignment at out Intel site in General Trias, Cavite) who got their Open Water certifications in Anilao…and even those with existing PADI certifications frequented Anilao for weekend diving.
I had my checkout dives there through Scubaworld (Anilao Outrigger Resort).
next time you go diving…sama naman ako…
hi angel, inggit ako! 🙂 see you soon…
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