Agutayan Islet – Mindanao’s new scuba diving destination

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY – The provincial government of Misamis Oriental has found an ally in the development of a new diving spot in Mindanao for domestic and foreign tourists.
The Presidential Commission on Sports Scuba Diving (PCSSD) said that they would wait for the “formal proposal of an intent from the provincial government of Misamis Oriental and the regional office of the Department of Tourism (DOT) on the matter.”
Executive Director Karen A. Chan, said that the PCSSD as an attached agency of the DOT, would be willing to hold an exploratory assessments of the Agutayan Islet in order that the DOT would sanction the islet’s surrounding waters as a diving spot.
The crescent moon-shape Agutayan Islet, a 30-minute boat ride from the shoreline of the mainland town of Jasaan, east of Misamis Oriental, is a 5,000 square meters sandbar that shines like a myriad of white crystals amid the Macabalan Bay during ebb tide.
The provincial government has declared the Agutayan Islet and its surrounding three-hectare coastal waters as a marine sanctuary to serve as the breeding ground of endangered giant clams, seeded by the local government in the area.
Chan said that the PCSSD has shown interest in the islet after reading reports that the surrounding waters is home of the extinct “Thresher Sharks” and two species of stingrays previously endemic only off the waters of Cebu.
The Thresher Shark, known as the “Alopias Vulpinu” or “Fox Shark,” is “lahoy” in vernacular. Its name comes from the sharks unusually large tail (caudal fin), which, in most cases, is as long as the shark itself.
Chan said that through the efforts of the Commission, a so-called new touring road in the area would fast track the ferrying of tourists to and from a new developing diving spot in Surigao Del Norte.
She said that the only known diving destinations recommended by PCSSD are located in Camiguin, Davao, and Tawi-tawi.
Last week, provincial Governor Yevgeny Vincente B. Emano, of Misamis Oriental, disclosed a plan to develop the coastal town of Jasaan into a comprehensive tourism destination in the future.

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