Dauin and Apo Island’s splendor

A few hours by ferry from Cebu, dive lovers will find themselves in the pretty coastal town of Dumaguette. Famous for its Siliman University and clean city. However, a 45 minute journey from the city brings one to the spectacular dive sites of Dauin.

To stay in Dauin is to drown in all the marine pride of Oriental Negros. Most dive sites, if not all, are declared Marine Protected Areas.

Along the coast, some of the most popular sites are Masaplod, Poblacion and the banca and car wrecks.

Interesting coralscapes abound underwater in Apo.

Some five nautical miles southeast, or 30 minutes by motorized outrigger boat, and still under the municipality of Dauin, is the Apo Island of international fame, considered to be among the best dive sites in the Asia Pacific.

With Scubaworld at Bahura as ready as the most enthusiastic of divers, trips to these dive sites are easily arranged.

At Masaplod, jackfish, surgeonfish, angelfish, sweetlips and others abound in schools, circling the sanctuary’s healthy coral covers.

Diving the car wrecks should be an all-around pleasurable experience for the diver with a fancy for critters and big fish alike.

Turtles are almost guaranteed sightings in each dive.

Descending into a sandy slope, one is joined by groupers and snappers on their way to the wrecks that harbor a variety of coral growths.

The wreck dive ends perfectly as one ascends to 20 feet where grassy patches are home to six-incher seahorses galloping in place as they cling to grass blades that swish in the currents.

Apo Island attracts thousands of divers from all over the world each year with its abundance of hard and soft corals and schooling fishes.

In Apo Island and its 10 dive sites, Coconut Point is a favorite among experienced divers where strong currents may be expected from all directions—down, up, left, right, into the wall and into the blue.

Even the fish are frantic, mouths agape against the current to receive their fill of plankton, skidding sometimes as they switch gears when the currents suddenly change.

But towards the end of the dive, the ride slows to a perfect stillness, just in time for a show of bubbles rising in streams out of the platform of corals, Apo being a volcanic island.

Staying in Dauin means being part of an underwater experience committed irrevocably to memory.

This six-inch seahorse was in plain sight along a grassy patch at around 20 feet.

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