Saturday, September 7, 2013

Panglao, Bohol, Philippines

Alona Beach
Panglao is located southeast of Cebu, at the southern tip of Bohol island. To get to Panglao, one need to take a ferry from Cebu to Tagbilaran of Bohol (about 2 hours), from here a car ride to Panglao Island (about 1 hour). Panglao Island and Bohol Island are connected with a crossway. Alona beach is the famous white beach where lines of Resorts, Dive Center and Restaurant established.

Panglao was my first overseas dive destination back in 1999. I still remember my first wall dive, the feelings of looking down from the edge of the coral wall was like looking down from a tall building. I hesitated to swim off the wall as I was scare that I will fall... My heart beat increased, I wanted to hold on to something, so I held on to my dive buddy. Slowly I forgot about the fear and enjoy the beauty of the wall and clear water. Sometimes I didn't realised that I was sinking until my buddy caught hold of me. :-) 

Seaquest Dive Center
Returning to Panglao after 5 years, the beach still looks the same, with a few more restaurant and resorts built. We check in to Oasis Resort just 2 minutes walk down to the beach where the Seaquest Dive Center is. The resort is very pretty, the chalets are built with wood and  palm leaves, green surrounding and a swimming pool in the middle. 

Oasis Resort
Oasis Resort
We were given first class service, our equipment were brought to the dive center, after we sorted out our equipment in the basket, we just need to show up for the dives. Here we dive from bangka. Very comfortable boat. There are 3 islands nearby, Balicasag, Pamilacan and Cabilao Island. The last being the Best! We have asked for 3 dives per day. The first 2 dives are done on a single trip out in the morning, after lunch we will head out for our 3rd dives.

The group
Dive sites here are mostly slope and wall which drop to endless depth. Visibility is usually above 20m. During March, water temperature drop to 26°C, we were always freezing underwater. Marine life around Panglao island are mostly macro, with seahorses  nudibranches, flatworm and frog fish are commonly seen here. At Balicasag, current can be strong, big fishes like barracuda, napoleon wrasse, jacks and school of mackerel. Cabilao is beautiful! The wall is decorated with corals and sea fan, school of trevally, jacks, barracudas and colorful anthias carpeted the coral reef. We only did one dive in Pamilacan, the visibility was not good but the dive site is full of soft coral and sponges.

Local fishermen

Travel date :  Nov 1999, 26-31 Mar 2004
Travel route : SG -F-> Cebu -> B -> Bohol -> C -> Panglao
Accommodation and diving : Oasis Resort & Seaquest Dive Center (
Type of diving : Muck, reef, wall
Water temperature : 25-32°C
Best time to dive : Dive-able all year round. July-October is the wet season.

 -F-> Flight -B-> Boat -C-> Car

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