Its quite well known that the Philippines offers some of the best diving in S. E. Asia. My diving experience there is quite limited but i have been lucky enough to visit one the gems of Philippine diving - The Sogod bay in Southern Leyte.
Getting there from Phuket was quite a mission - a change of plane in Manila, then a seemingly endless road trip to arrive at our final destination of Padre Burgos, which sits at the far south of The Sogod bay, essentially at the entrance to the Bay.
My trip there was made possible by my good friends Raya Divers here in Phuket - I have done lots of underwater filming for them over the last decade and they invited me to come along and film for them on this "Staff Expedition". Then of course I let my friends at Earth Touch know and they were more than happy to fund my trip in exchange for the footage and some narratives. I should note that having an underwater camera comes with all kinds of perks!
So this video is the second sequence I edited and it includes some of the best reefs in the Bay. Soft coral is very healthy and covers huge areas with a prolific amount of marine life, importantly including many "Indicator Species" which shows the reef is supporting great bio-diversity and is unaffected by fishing and/or pollution. The opening scenes shows an encounter with a Hawksbill Turtle and I was able to follow her swimming unperturbed and feeding on soft coral. My fave part of the dive was the Giant Frogfish, anyone reading this who dives will know just how lucky it is to find one!
The whole dive was mind blowing really, just fish everywhere and amazing corals both in the deeper wall areas and the shallow reefs near the surface. There really was too many species to mention in this article so best just to watch the video and enjoy. Although I'm sure there are many places to explore the underwater world of The Philippines I can definitely say that The Sogod Bay is world class!
Special thanks again to Raya Divers and to Earth Touch for making the trip possible.