Philippines

The USS Johnston off Seattle, Washington (USA), on 27 October 1943

USS Johnston, world's deepest known wreck, identified

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.

Howard Johnson, Anilao Scuba Dive Centre, Shala Caliao, scuba diving news, PPE, COVID-19, face masks, plastic pollution, Rosemary E Lunn, Roz Lunn, X-Ray Mag, XRay Magazine, Philippines
Polymeric materials used in face masks can be a potential source of plastic and breakdown into microplastic pollution.

Abandoned face masks found on Philippine reef

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.

The Philippines' Puerto Galera

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.

The Philippines' Southeast Bohol: Diverse Diving at Anda

A female Tomato Anemonefish hiding amongst a bubble-tip anemone

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.

Capturing the Fire Dancer
The Gurnard lionfish (Parapterois hentururus) is a small, nocturnal species of lionfish common to the Philippines.

Capturing the Fire Dancer

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.