The 115m-long US Navy destroyer is widely known for her bold action in the Battle off Samar, the Philippines. The actions of the relatively lightly armed Johnston—sunk after a fierce battle with a large fleet of Japanese warships—helped stop the Japanese Admiral Kurita's Center Force from attacking vulnerable U.S.
The popular dive spot is southeast of the Philippine capital, Manila.
BBC Philippine correspondent Howard Johnson joined dive professionals from Anilao Scuba Dive Centre as they resumed diving, following the national lockdown. The dive centre is affiliated to the United Nations Environment Programme’s Green Fins, which promotes sustainable marine tourism in South-East Asia.
Being an avid wreck diver, Coron in the Philippines has been on my bucket list for ages. Having followed the underwater remains of the Pacific Theater World War II battles, I have found myself in some of the most beautiful places on earth, from the Solomon Islands to Truk Lagoon and many others. Coron is no exception.
I have spent decades covering the Caribbean for major dive magazines. But when it is time for a personal trip, I usually set my sights farther from home. One destination that has become a personal favorite over the last ten years is the Philippines. The waters of this island nation lie within the “Coral Triangle,” a region recognized as having one of the most biodiverse marine ecosystems on the planet.
Dumaguete sits down close to the southern tip of Negros Island in the middle of Visayas Island group in the Philippines, approximately 500km south of Manila. A coastal province, it is bounded on the east by the Bohol Sea and the Tañon Strait, which serve as a natural border to the neighboring provinces of Cebu, Bohol and Siquijor.
Tap, tap, tap! Our dive guide was rapping on his tank with such enthusiasm that I knew he had found something truly special. I had been searching in the muck for over an hour in hopes of finding octopus, but so far, had come up empty. As I swam over to where he was hovering, you could see the broad smile on his face as he pointed to his slate.
According to Philippine Department of Tourism Director (DOT) Robert Alabado, the facility is expected to open at the Southern Philippines Medical Center (SPMC) in Samal this October. The hyperbaric chamber will ensure divers receive efficient medical support when diving off Samal Island, situated off Davao in Mindanao.
It's large, fan-like fins wave and flare like the skirts of a Flamenco dancer, revealing vibrant shades of rust and orange with flashes of royal blue as it hunts its prey under the cover of night. As beautiful as its dance may be, one prick from one of its long dorsal spines will inflict a very painful burning sensation.