Thanks guys for positive feedback
The trip route was Manila -> Sagada and Banaue (rice terraces in North-Luzon) -> Puerto Galera (Mindoro) -> Donsol (South-Luzon) Panglao Island (Bohol) -> Apo Island (Negros) -> Moalboal (Cebu) -> Malapascua (Cebu) -> Padre Burgos (Leyte) -> Cabilao Island (Bohol).
In general, divig was best in Cabilao Island; beautiful house reef with very healthy coral. It's also a macro heaven. Donsol was wonderful because its Whaleshark sightings; I saw 15 in 2 days. Biggest dissappoiments were Puerto Galera and Moalboal. Puerto Galera is just awful place underwater because 99.9% of corals is destroyed by hurricane last november. Moalboal was just nothing special, just average diving with below average corals.
BY FAR the best place (and true highlight of my trip) was beautiful island of Malapascua. The place is nice and laid back, not too much tourism, mainly backpackers. Also beach is very nice and if you want to be alone in the beach, just walk few minutes to east along the beach. But the mind blowing thing in malapascua is the Thresher Sharks and Manta Rays in Monad Shoal! I dove Monad 6 times, and saw every single time either Thresher Shark or Manta Ray or both. In fact my best dive was 1 Thresher, 1 Manta Ray and 5 Devil Rays cruising with us for 15 minutes! It truly was the best dive in my life. It seems that you have to be in the right time in Malapascua to see Thresers and Mantas, because I've read/heard stories that you don't see them very often. What I talked with instructors they said that best time to dive is new moon at march or november. Also very important factor to optimize your chances is to go with dive shop which goes as early morning as possible (5.am) and has just few divers i.e. not too big groups. I won't cover any dive shop names but lets just say that there is some dive shops with groups sizes of zillion people. And you know how much bubble that creates underwater...Mantas and Threshers are very shy so they go away if there is too much bubbles/hassle. That's you should avoid time when most of boats are in diveplace.
Unfortunately, there is some diveshops I would advise to avoid. Pete's dive in Padre Burgos is one. They break practically all whaleshark rules by allowing people to dive in whalewhatch sighting and having more (wayyyyyyy more) that 6 people on boat when whalewatching. We saw them and they had atleast 15 korean/japanese snorkelers in whalewatching (or whalehunting shoul i say because it definitely seemed so) and some of them jumped to dive every time they had encounter.
Second shop definitely not recommended is Polaris Dive center in Cabilao Island, Bohol. I had a very unpleasant diving experience with them as one other diver attacked me underwater because apparently he didn't want me to take UW-photos on same subjects as he. Of course this was not their fault. But the way, the incredibly arrogant and insulting way they handled the situation after the dive, that was just unacceptable. It became very clear that Polaris and their instructor named Greg Mach is interested on only one thing, money.
- Puerto Galera: Unfortunately everything is dead underwater. Come back after 10 years, intructors said. And the whole place is teeming of fat-belly 50 year old men with very young filippiino women. Discusting and sad
- Donsol: Best place for whaleshark encountering, but sometimes murky, greenish water
- Panglao Island, Bohol: I heard house reef is not that special. But anyways, all dive shops are making dives in Paligasag Island which is beautiful dive spot with nice blue color water, good wiz and good corals
- Cabilao Island, Bohol: By far the best general diving in places I went. Awesome reefs, nice amount of fish, macro heaven (you can really see it all)!, just beautiful color of water. But if you are alone, you may be bored in a week because there's not much happening and all dive sites are "the same" i.e you can/will see everything in any divesite.
- Apo Island, Negros: Pristine reef, just perfect reefs. But there is no much fish and water is often quite murky and greenish.
- Moalboal, Cebu. Nothing special, everything is average. In fact, everything youll see in Moalboal, you will see in Cabilao except Cabilao is 100 times better.
- Malapascua: Truly wonderful, cozy place with nice beach and awesome pelagics diving. One of its kind in Philippines, and should not be excluded of any dive trip in Philippines!
- Padre Purgos, Leyte: Yes, you can see whalesharks here also and water wiz and color is very good comparing to Donsol. But you'll see fewer and the town itself is very, very small with literally nothing to do. I fact, I stayed in city of Maasin and it was very filthy, polluted and unpleasant city. Sure you can also dive with whalesharks, but you'll have to be very lucky as you'll just go down and wait for 45 minutes that you'll see whalesharks for 10 seconds. Not a value for money, IMO. Besides, consider this: Whalesharks try to avoid divers and they became very stressed of them. So please respect marine life and just snorkel with them instread of diving with them. My longest encounter was 10 minutes and it could be longer, but I quit beacuse I was dead tired of padlling with my fins like maniac. Now that is what I call value for money and a truly wonderful experience.
Hope this helps