Divers can enjoy superb diving all year in Moalboal, and Magic Island is the perfect place as it is a PADI 5 star resort with a dive centre located right on the ocean edge at the bottom of the resort, looking out on the fantastic house reef where you can dive both day and night. Each diver has their own individual post and crate, giving lots of space to hang or place your dive gear, and most of the time the tide is high enough for the boats to pull up all the way to the dive centre, so it just one step and you are aboard! Their swimming pool was purpose built with divers in mind, and whether you are a complete beginner or looking to become a PADI pro Magic Island has you covered.
The resort owns three traditional ‘Bangka Boats’ which are used for the day boat dives, with most sites being around 20 minutes away. You will set off for your two morning dives at 9am, then back to the resort for lunch before setting off for your afternoon dive around 3pm and finally a night dive at 6pm.
Pescador Island is just a 10-minute boat ride away and has to be one of the most famous dive sites in the area. It comprises of tunnels, swim throughs and caverns, its huge walls drop to 60m+ and there is an abundance of reef fish, along with colourful soft corals, gorgonian sea fans, white tip reef sharks and the occasional thresher shark. Tongo Point is a stunning wall dive with ledges, overhangs, and crevices where critters such as nudibranch shelter, turtles, clownfish, and barracuda also make an appearance.
One of the many attractions of the house reef is the Mandarin dive. Every day, except during full moon, these tiny little fish come out of hiding to mate. They chase each other and dance amongst the corals, eventually attaching together, and rising off the reef before releasing a cloud of eggs and sperm. Other delights on the house reef include schools of jacks and tuna, and soft, hard and fan corals. The resort also offers Fluoro Diving where divers use a UV light torch and a special lens over their mask that allows them to see the fluorescent colours emitted by the fish or coral when under UV light. Usually suspects include decorator crabs, nudibranch, snake eels and sea snakes. You can also try a Blackout Dive where, at night, divers head out to the open ocean and descend a few meters and wait to see what comes into view. You are in total darkness apart from the ray of light from your torch, and it is quite intriguing to see what weird and wonderful thing pass by!
On occasion in the Philippines you can be lucky enough to have the most spectacular large encounters, such as whale sharks which visit Moalboal all year round because the waters are rich in plankton, these beautiful creatures range from 7–14m long. Dolphins can also be seen throughout the year.