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blueline

Phillipines

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Hi rinjani - I agree with your concise summary except for one thing. I've been diving Anilao several times a month for years now, and there are definitely turtles at some sites. They are not easy to find and more than a little skittish, but they are around. But the real magic at Anilao is the macro and closeup life - the wide variety of nudies, frogfish, and pygmy seahorses are my favorites. I also agree with you about PG - calling it "seedy" would be generous and I just can't tolerate what passes for nightlife there. Anilao has absolutely no night life other than the bar at your resort, which suits me fine. Cheers!

 

I stand correctred on the turtles, no one ever mentioned them so I assumed there were none in Anilao. But the focus there is macro and there's plenty of it. I would also add that the weekends are much busier with many folks coming down from Manila on Sat and Sun mornings. Then it all calms down again and you don't run into very many divers and the sites are really uncrowded.

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I have dove PG 1x and Anilao 2x in the past year and I have been to Manila 3 x.

 

Either PG or Anilao is easy to get to from Manila. I usually spend the night at the Mandarin in Makati (Manila) after the long flight to the Philippines. The roads to Batangas (area of transfer to PG or Anilao) is much improved and the travel time is about 2 hours depending on traffic and your driver. The last trip I had a fast driver and no traffic and we made the trip in 90 minutes.

 

I highly recommend Club Ocellaris in Anilao. The dive guide Alexis was one of the best dive guides for a photographer I have ever seen. He is not there to baby sit you, but he is there to find critters. He will disappear for 5 minutes and then come back when he finds something interesting. No time limits. Stay down as long as you want. Really a great experience. The rooms are like tree houses. Very basic. No AC but lots of airflow.

 

I have also stayed at Acacia Resort. Much nicer rooms with AC. However the dive guides were not as good as Alexis at Club Ocellaris.

 

Anilao is quite and PG is more honkey tonk with hawkers and prostitutes. PG does have good diving and Verde island is a must do.

 

Both locations are so close it is easy to do both on one trip.

 

When I go back to Manila, I would most likely go back to Club Ocellaris.

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