The south of Luzon Island is one of the well-known locations for macro and muck diving in Philippines. Its close proximity to the capital Manila makes this part of peninsula more popular and advantageous for the dive lovers. When it comes to diving, it is very important to choose a diving site which is not only fully equipped but also provides a comfortable and relaxing environment for divers.
The Buceo Anilao Beach & Dive Resort is set on a steep hill next to the small village of Sitio Balanoy in Batangas province. Its location is seven kilometres from the town of Mabini and one hundred and twenty three kilometres from Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Manila. It is an easy and convenient drive and usually takes two and half hour to three hours to drive from Manila to the resort. That estimate is depending on the traffic.
The resort’s deluxe grass roofed rooms and yellow hue has been designed to fit nicely into its green hill location nestling as it does amongst the pine trees overlooking the sea. The resort’s ten deluxe fully air-conditioned 45 sqm rooms have a private balcony with a panoramic view of the sea and the surrounding landscapes. My spacious room had two double beds and one single bed with a large shower room. The resort also has 4 superior and three standard rooms. It was a really hard exercise to climb the stairs to get to my room at the top of the resort but it was worth it as I had the best view from my terrace. There was no TV in my room but I didn’t really notice its absence as I was too busy making the most of my visit.
As I had an all-inclusive package this included meals served in a large restaurant at the lowest level of the resort but with a super view. The local chef cooked a variety of seafood and grilled fish marinated in a tasty fish sauce. My favorites were the vegetable soup and Sinigang, a delicious sweet and sour Filipino soup served with shrimps. The desert selection comprised of ice cream and homemade cakes which made tempting deserts after the lunch and dinner.
Opposite the restaurant is a wooden hut but not any old wooden hut. This one contained a bar and was a great place to relax after each dive. The WiFi is only available in the restaurant and the bar area.
There are two small pools at the middle of the resort, which are used for the basic dive training but can also be used for swimming and relaxing by the guests. The resort also has its own exclusive sandy beach, which makes it even more attractive for visitors. The majority of guests are divers who concentrate on their sport but the resort is also conveniently located for the visitor to enjoy adventurous excursions to the Taal Volcanic Island, Tagaytay Tour, Los Banos Hot Spring and Mount Gulugod Baboy Trek. Nearby towns are well worth a visit and you can even make a day visit of Manila.
Taking the good care of their guests is the main aim of the owners of the Buceo Anilao Dive Resort and their hospitality reflects that. It is also important to them that they provide high quality dives, the best equipment and expertise. The resort is managed by divers for divers. Dave and Martin, two owners of the resort, have been diving for over thirty years.
The resort’s dive center offers a variety of PADY courses from beginners to advanced levels plus several sessions of day and night dive tours around the island. There are over fifty dive sites near the resort to choose from. The dive center is fully equipped with all necessary gear for a safe and healthy dive such as nitrox, air fills and many wet suits for all sizes in the equipment room. The camera room with eighteen matted workstations equipped with individual shelves, air gun, and power outlets is an ideal place for photographers to maintain their cameras after each dive. The dive center has its own Banca boats with outrigger which were manufactured just next door in the village of Sitio Balanoy. The boats are used for dive tours.
The Buceo Anilao Beach & Dive Resort is an ideal haven for divers who are enthusiastic about marine life and particularly macro and muck sea life. The underwater world in Anilao is an amazing gallery of colorful biodiversity. Diving lovers can see a variety of aquatic inhabitants such as nudibranches, seahorses, manta, cuttlefish, whaleshark, moonfish and turtles.
Reza flew to the Philippines on a direct Philippine Airlines flight from London Heathrow Airport to Manila.
For more information about the Philippines and diving, visit the Official UK Travel Guide for the Philippines.
To view more about the Buceo Anilao Beach & Dive Resort and book your next dive visit www.buceoanilao.com.
To see more of Reza’s images of the Philippines, go to www.amirinia.com/philippines.
Images and story © Mohammed Reza Amirinia