I visited Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park from May 29 to June 3 via M/Y Sakura liveaboard (my first one). I flew to Palawan morning of the 29th then in the afternoon embarked on a 10 to 14 hours boat ride to Tubbataha.
As stated in the handout I received during the orientation, “The Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park is the only purely marine World Heritage Site in Southeast Asia. The Park contains roughly 10,000 hectares of coral reefs and lies at the heart of the Coral Triangle, the global center for marine biodiversity.
The Park is a major source of coral and fish larvae, enriching fisheries in surrounding areas. Its islets are one of the last intact seabird habitats in the Philippines.”
It has seventeen (17) dive sites tagged in the map. Eight (8) in the North Atoll, seven (7) in the South Atoll and two (2) in the Jessie Beazley reef.
On average, we did four (4) dives per day except for the last day wherein we only did three (3). I personally decided not to skip any of the fifteen (15) dives to maximize the experience. We were blessed with generally fair weather with scattered rain especially during the evening.
It was like a dream. Though some of my co-divers said it was not the best visibility, every dive was a great dive. The corals are pristine with the reef wall full of large sea fans.
Marine life is diverse. And most of all, lots of colors abound. It was everything I envisioned it to be. So beautiful.
We were also blessed with sightings of sharks (loads of different varieties), whale shark, turtles and manta.
To keep it short and simple, it was the best site I have been to. The ocean is alive and wonderful.
I did take some photos but mostly I just spent most of my time admiring and absorbing everything my eyes could land on. It is not everyday I get to see majestic beauty. It also helped that I knew I was with a group of diver photographers so I know they will have loads of photos.
All I can say is that we have been so blessed. I hope we all strive to preserve it. God is wonderful; what a beautiful world. Hopefully I can return some time in the future.
To learn more about Tubbataha, you can visit http://www.tubbatahareef.org.