Tubbataha: Pristine Diving in the Philippines

We came up over a coral ridge and yet another vista of beautiful hard and soft corals met our eyes. It was late in the day and the diminished sunlight was quickly turning the dive into a dusk adventure. After four dives in the day, we were both tired and exhilarated, and it was time to begin our ascent and head to the boat for a well-earned dinner.

The Philippines: Southern Cebu

Cebu Island is one of over seven thousand islands located in the Philippines. It may be best known as the place where the early 16th century Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan met his unfortunate end. There is a 20-meter tall monument at Punta Engaño on Cebu erected in honor of the native chieftan, Lapu Lapu, who in the 1521 Battle of Mactan, proved victorious over Spanish forces led by Magellan.

Terry Gosliner

Dr Terrence Gosliner is the Senior Curator of Invertebrate Zoology at the California Academy of Sciences

It’s fair to say that Dr Terrence Gosliner has developed a healthy obsession with Anilao over the years. He is the Senior Curator of Invertebrate Zoology at the California Academy of Sciences, overseeing the scientific research programs and guiding the Academy’s efforts to discover new knowledge and help promote the preservation of life’s diversity.

Malapascua Island: Where thresher sharks roam

As picture perfect as Malapascua is, in a nation of 7,107 palm tree fringed islands, 2.5km long Malapascua wouldn’t be on anyone’s radar were it not for the thresher sharks that treat the island like a spa. Each morning as the sun peeks over the mountains on distant Cebu, Pelagic threshers rise from the depths to be cleaned by reef fish along a deep ledge known as Monad Shoal.

Beyond the Muck

Muck diving is a term used quite frequently these days that can be applied to either a dive site, a type of diving or even an entire region like Lembeh Strait in Indonesia or Anilao in the Philippines.

These areas of the Indo-Pacific have consistently ranked amongst the highest in terms of high coral counts, reef fish and of course the high impact Holy Grail of critters.

Japanese Battleship

Nowadays, the name Yamashiro could have different meanings depending on where you come from. If you live in Los Angeles, a huge pagoda near Hollywood is the oldest structure in California and hosts a famous restaurant named Yamashiro or “Mountain palace” in Japanese. If you live in Kyoto, Japan, Yamashiro is the name of an area close-by.

Creatures of Cabilao

Closer inspection of soft corals reveals a variety of residents such as the porcelain crab

After a two-hour car ride and an hour boat travel, I finally reached my destination—Cabilao, an island paradise located near Cebu, Philippines.Before coming here, I had read exciting accounts about Cabilao Island, particularly about the stargazers and pygmy seahorses that reside in its surrounding waters. On this trip, I was determined to see these critters, at the same time discover other things that Cabilao had to offer.