I visited Sogod Bay in the Philippines last year and was stunned by the beauty of the corals, the arrival of whale sharks and the fact there were few other people around. Diver magazine in the UK have just published a story which shows it’s still as good
My very first visit to the Philippines was in April 2007, and I did a double dive trip of visiting Sogod Bay in southern Leyte and then the jewel in the crown of Philippines’ diving, Tubbataha Reef. I didn’t really know what to expect from Sogod besides the fact it was meant to be quite remote and isolated, and there was a good chance of seeing whale sharks there too. (My dive guide Pedro got some amazing whale shark video footage which I featured on my Travelhappy page In The Water With The Biggest Fish In The World)
It was true it was isolated – there are only a couple of dive operations in that area and a local village, nothing else – and the natural scenery around Leyte gulf is beautiful. What I hadn’t been ready for was the stunning coral reefs in the Sogod area and the diversity of the macro critters hanging around there too. If you want super huge or really small, Sogod has got it, in a pristine environment where very few people go — I think it’s only a few hundred a year make the trek there. In my book, that’s always a good thing – I like to dive on reefs that are not crowded with other divers.
This excellent report from marine biologist Matt Doggett in the July 2008 issue of Diver magazine in the UK provides a great overview of what makes the region so unique for divers, and there’s some lovely photos too. I know that I definitely will be heading back to Sogod in the next year or so before the word really gets out about what a great place this is to dive. It’s also nice to see Asian destinations appearing in UK dive titles (mainly because I hope they will publish some of my stories one day…)
I dived with Sogod Bay Scuba Resort who I highly recommend – they are a great bunch of guys.