Imagine having a close encounter with more than a handful Sea Turtles, a giant school of Jackfish, a few Frog fish, a Moray eel and a Sea Krate in a time-span of less than an hour. This dive has certainly been one of my favorites!
Balicasag island is a 30 minute boat ride away from Alona Beach, located in the province of Bohol in the Philippines. The best diving that Alona Beach has to offer is around this island.
Shortly after getting in the water, I found myself surrounded by Jackfish. I had never seen such a big school. The fish weren't afraid of me and I was able to swim in the middle of the school, really cool!
Just a few minutes later I spotted a fairly large Sea Turtle. This friendly creature was having lunch at the time. The menu featured a juicy platter of fresh sea grass. As you can see, the turtle enjoyed this healthy meal and didn't mind having a spectator!
The Frogfish has to be one of the weirdest fish I've ever seen. A master of camouflage, it's hard to spot this underwater predator. They are quite common around the Philippines, I've seen one on almost every dive I did during my three-week trip.
Next up is this juvenile Moray eel, hiding between the coral formations as they usually do, waiting for unsuspecting prey to swim by.
My last encounter on this dive: a Sea Krate. I love spotting these highly elusive and venomous inhabitants of the ocean. Although carrying enough venom to facilitate a very abrupt end to my life, there is no reason to be afraid of these creatures: the Sea Krate's teeth are located somewhat to the back of it's mouth, making it extremely hard for them to deliver the poisson. Besides, they are super friendly and gentle.
If you're a scubadiver and you're ever in the Philippines, I highly recommend to check out this diving spot. You can easily get to Alona Beach by taking a ferry to Bohol from Cebu city (which has an international airport).
Did you ever go diving in The Philippines? I'd love to hear about it, please leave a comment below!