PUERTO PRINCESA CITY – Palawan’s Tubbataha reef has just been named the world’s eight best dive site by CNN’s travel news website CNNGo.com.
“Super-size your dive experience at Tubbataha where everything comes in giant form. The main advantage to diving at Tubbataha is that the water is exceptionally clean, so the marine life lives much longer, making it grow to silly proportions,” the website said.
CNNGo added that the Palawan reef offers “an inner lagoon with overhangs, slopes, crevices and caves with more than 300 different types of coral and 379 species of fish.”
The Tubbataha reef, which is a UNESCO-declared world heritage site, was once nominated as New 7 Wonders of Nature in 2008.
Tubbataha reef is located between the Palawan island and several Visayan islands in a vast expanse of sea that extends up to Sulu.
Another dive site in the Philippines, The Canyons in Puerto Galera, Oriental Mindoro, also made it to the list of 50 best dive sites in the world, according to a Yahoo report.
“Schools of spotted and ribbon sweetlips, shiny trevallies and weird-looking batfish make up the scene at this first-rate drift dive site. There’s also an explosion of coral and plant life including beautiful delicate gorgonian sea fans and hollow barrel sponges; look inside for critters lurking within,” the website said as it described The Canyons which ranked 45th.
Barracuda Point in Malaysia’s Sipadan Island topped CNNGo’s list of world’s best dive sites while Yongala in Queensland, Australia and SS Thistlegorm in Egypt’s Red Sea followed in second and third spots.
The Philippines, being an archipelago, has actually many other good dive sites like El Nido and Coron in Palawan, and areas in the Visayas and Mindanao, including Sulu and Tawi-tawi whose waters extend up to the Malaysian border.