AWCP Dive Trip to Anilao

Trip Start Jun 22, 2008
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Trip End Jul 04, 2013


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Where I stayed
Acacia Dive Resort

Flag of Philippines  , Batangas,
Sunday, July 26, 2009

This is from an article Jane is writing for the AWCP magazine (American Women's Club of the Philippines). It was easier than writing a whole separate blog story!

A weekend away from the concrete and craziness of the city was just what we all needed.  The AWCP  dive trip to Anilao was a chance to explore the underwater world of the Philippines while bonding with friends and fellow adventure lovers.  The Acacia Dive Resort was the venue for this event and offered a pleasant setting whether the plan was for undersea adventure, socializing or just relaxing with a good book. 

The diver's were lead by our divemaster, Gigi Santos, to the various dive sites along the reefs of Anilao.  Diving in Anilao is always an exciting experience.  The Philippines is at the center of marine biodiversity on the planet and Anilao is close to the bullseye.  There are more marine species in this part of the world than anywhere else and new species are being found all the time.  So it is not surprising that we were able to find so many interesting creatures on our diving and snorkeling adventures.  Among them were turtles, octopus, lionfish, eels and giant clams. The divers and snorkelers both got to experience the swirling vortex of silvery jacks all following after each other like a massive fish tornado.  The jacks dispersed and we found ourselves engulfed in fish as if we had joined the school ourselves.  It was an awesome experience.  But not all impressive experiences are of the large variety.  Anilao is known as a destination for macro photography and there is an endless source of tiny subject matter.  We saw numerous brightly colored nudibranchs, sea slugs and flatworms that appear to have arrived from another planet.   There were cleaner shrimp providing their services to the larger species and anemones serving as nurseries for broods of tiny Clownfish. We even saw a pygmy sea horse hiding in a sea fan which was so small it needed to be viewed with a magnifier - a reminder that its time for me to order a prescription dive mask! 

When we weren’t exploring the reefs we were able to relax in the comfortable surroundings at Acacia.  The deck overlooking Balayan Bay helped in the effort to leave the city and its cares behind as we listened to the waves hit the rocky shoreline.  The in-pool lounge chairs were a great place to read a book while staying cool and we were well fed by the kitchen staff who served a variety of foods buffet style.  Overall, the trip was a success and we left with the question still lingering – where are we going next?  With so many options for undersea adventure in the Philippines, I’m sure that question will be easily answered.
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