Back to the Philippines as pandemic restrictions end

(personal blog post)

With travel to and from Taiwan possible again without mandatory quarantine, I was finally able to visit the Philippines for the first time since January 2020.

While much has changed in and around my old haunt of Puerto Galera (Mindoro), and quite a few dive shops in the area have closed (in particular those focused on the mainland Chinese market), I’m happy to report that all of the dive shops in my old neighborhood of Small La Laguna still in business. Arkipelago Divers & Beach Resort and Tech Asia, where I teach, have even improved their facilities in the long down time, an impressive achievement considering the utter collapse of their income. Much respect for their hard work and determination in the face of adversity.

What’s more, in no small part thanks to improvements the barangay Sabang has made to its sewage situation, the local reefs are in great shape and brimming with life. I’ve always loved diving here, but these past few days it’s been even more beautiful than I remember. For those interested, I posted a collection of pictures and videos on Facebook by way of example. I’m not exactly a photography expert, but I hope you get the idea.

I would like to invite all those who think about traveling abroad again to consider Puerto Galera and the Philippines in general as a destination. The people and local businesses, especially the smaller ones, have persevered through some very hard times, but have kept their heads high and are looking forward to welcoming you here.

Please contact me for inquiries about dive travel to Puerto Galera. I’m able to make arrangements for pickup from Manila airport (NAIA), transportation to the resort (3-3.5 h total depending on traffic), accommodation, technical and recreational diving and dive training at all levels. Group rates are available, and please feel free to share this post with friends who have a love for the ocean. Looking forward to picking up where we left off.

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