On the northern tip of Mindoro in the Philippines there’s a small city called Puerta Galera that supports a handful of coastal towns. This area has been dubbed as one of the best diving resorts in the world, it is enveloped in a rich array of soft and hard coral which the bountiful sealife feeds off.
It was here that I chose to take my open water divers course. Blue Ribbon (situated in Small La Laguna) had been recommended, so I opted to go with them. The course cost 18,000 pesos, which is not the cheapest in the area. However, they insisted on a thorough training process which made me feel safe and confident. The course can take from 3 days upwards, depending on how easily the student grasps the skills. At Blue Ribbon they aim to perfect all the skills in the private swimming pool before testing them out in the sea. They also provide video clips and a text book that explains in depth each procedure and technique.
Having never dived or snorkelled before, the whole experience was riveting. There was a multitude of exquisite and mysterious creatures to gaze at in awe, and all of it was in the surreal location, deep beneath the sea.
The only downfall to Sabang was the nightlife. When the sun goes down the small back alleys come to life with a vibrant display of girly bars and other seedy affairs. Of course if you’re a diver who wants a good time in the evening then this is the perfect location for you!
The towns of Puerta Galera are connected by regular boats to Batangas, they take about an hour and from there it’s two hours on a coach to Manila.