As Northern Mindanao strives to become one of the country’s top performing regions in terms of technology, socio-cultural, and commerce, it has long been recognized to be housing a lot of beautiful tourist destinations. The waters surrounding the whole region are endowed with amazing different characteristics fit for a novel water diving adventure. As a matter of fact, these places are yet to be discovered and do not need a lot of recognition to attract a bunch of visitors from inside or outside of the country. Let us check them out and see where we can find them.
Coral Garden, Camiguin
The Coral Garden in Camiguin is just one of many underwater adventures one can visit in the beautiful island of Camiguin. Boasting of colorful marine wildlife, the underwater scenery in this part of the island is indeed a remarkable thing to behold. So it is not a surprise if it never failed to attract more and more tourists who are looking for a breathtaking and thrilling diving and snorkeling experience.
The visibility of the water spans from 10 to 30 meters with an average depth of about 26 meters which is perfect for hardcore divers and beginners as well. During the night, the adventure never stops as visitors are also allowed to have a night-time underwater diving. What makes it more thrilling is the different species living underneath Mandarin fishes and sea snakes. Fishes of different vibrant colors, sea cucumbers and anemones would swim along with the divers and corals do not leave their posts to witness the apparent excitement on the swimmers’ faces.
Camiguin Volcan Beach Eco Retreat and Dive Resort, Camiguin
Another destination to remember when visiting Camiguin is the Camiguin Volcan Beach Eco Retreat and Dive Resort that has just begun operating in 2012. Though it is still new compared to other resorts in Camiguin, the two-way benefits of having a hotel accommodation but also the relaxing feeling of a snorkeling and diving activities. Visitors can also choose from different accommodation types of villas and cottages.
Aside from that, the serenity of the place is also suitable for a meaningful retreat. The place is also good for hiking and for a quiet time to do some yoga. The resort’s underwater marine life includes sea anemones, octopus, Barracuda, Moray among others.
Agutayan Island and Marine Sanctuary, Jasaan, Misamis Oriental
Agutayan Island is a place to go for those who want to do camping and swimming at the same time. The crescent moon shaped sandbar is surrounded with green and crystalline beach waters and is home to an endangered species of giant clam.
Just like any other diving spots in the country, Agutayan Island is a sanctuary to different kinds of fish such as varied sizes of Lionfish, Nudibranchs, anemones, angelfish, triggerfish, among others. Apart from that, the giant clams are now being protected in the area and are a product of a seeding project supported by the local government.
Constancia Reef, Balingoan, Misamis Oriental
Constancia Reef in Balingoan, Misamis Oriental is one of the deepest diving spots in the province with its shallowest depth of only 20 feet. Different species of fish and sea animals can also be found in shoal which includes colorful tropical sponges, sea fans, and sorts of territorial fishes on its southern side.
Kantaan Dive Site, Camiguin
Kantaan Dive Site is a paradise in Camiguin that will satisfy your thirst for a thrilling diving experience with its high-speed drifting water. It is surrounded by hard corals like the Acropara and the Lettuce Coral. It also houses other species like the aquarium fish, stingrays, and white-tips.
Sipaka Point, Talisayan, Misamis Oriental
The Sipaka Point in Talisayan, Misamis Oriental is a humble abode of an outstanding marine life and underwater garden which makes it a good site for both amateur and professional underwater photographers. It is the natural habitat of species like huge sea fans, basket sponges, hard and soft corals, feather stars, stingrays, snappers, groupers, and colorful small fishes.
Aside from its captivating landscape of colorful living and nonliving things, Sipaka is also popular among professional divers for its high-speed underwater current.
Medina Springs, Medina
Medina Springs or locally known as “Alibuag” is one of Medina’s notable cold springs ever developed. It is divided into two parts, the Paradise Garden and Aquarium Garden.
Originally an ancient crater, the Paradise Garden provides shelter to a variety of hard and soft corals, lionfish, moray eels, scorpion fish, sweetlips, and turtles.
Aquarium Garden is also part of Medina Springs and is not an ordinary diving destination in Medina. Unlike other bodies of waters surrounding Medina Spring, it has a lot of fresh water exits that attracts various species of small fish and is also a sanctuary for green turtles and batfish. Aside from that, it is also known for its black coral reefs abundantly crowding the surface of the water.
Mantigue Island, Camiguin
Mantigue Island consists of two unique diving spots found in island-province of Camiguin, the Mantigue Crack and Mantigue Whip. Mantigue Whip boasts a combination of Whip and Black Corals and is home to stingrays and other fish species. On the other hand, marine species like snappers, drummers, and clownfish all make up the biodiversity found underneath the Black Coral Trees formation of Mantigue Crack.
Manongul Reef, Balingoan
A popular venue for underwater photography, the waters of Manongul Reef has clear and crystalline view and is a natural garden of a variety of soft and hard corals. It also has many underwater species such as blue spotted stingrays, lionfish, clownfish, and convict damsels, among others.
Talisayan Shoal, Talisayan, Misamis Oriental
Talisayan Shoal was named after the municipality of Talisayan in which it is part of and is surrounded by plenty of fish species, shells, plants, and animals. Turtles can also be seen visiting the shoal.
Sta. Ines Wreck, Talisayan, Misamis Oriental
Aside from the rich underwater marine wildlife, the wreck of a World War 2 pontoon can be found in Sta. Ines Wreck. Also, several coral reefs and fish species have made the shipwreck to be their new artificial habitat.
Punta Diwata, Magsaysay, Misamis Oriental
Punta Diwata diving spot has a unique stair-step type of coralline slope plush with a luxury of marine outcrapping, sea fans, and sponges. Consequently, it is inhabited by colorful tropical fishes like Lapu-Lapu, sweetlips, snappers, and manta rays. Because of its dramatic and broad scenery, it is also a popular place to take beautiful photos.
These are just some of the beautiful diving spots in Northern Mindanao which only proves that the whole region has a lot more to offer. Let us give appreciation to these serendipitous wonders and preserve their beauty for the next generations to come. Besides, they are our own and the only thing we can do is to take care and love them.