The waters around Dumaguete are famous for their marine life. Apo Island is mentioned as one of the world’s top-divesites, not only in South East Asia. The Shedd Aquarium in Chicago (a leader in the zoo and aquarium profession for more than three-quarters of a century) used the reefs of Apo Island as a model and rebuild some parts of it for their own “Clownfish-City” in Illinois. Professional Underwater Photographers coming to Dumaguete to take their shots of the famous Mandarin fishes and all the other Critters in the Bohol Sea (the official Name of the ocean here in the Central Visayas).
Especially in the area around the municipality of Dauin (15 km south of Dumaguete) are many well known beach and diving resorts who are hosting international guests from all over the world to show them the best Scuba-diving around Negros Oriental. Dauin has 8 marine sanctuaries and is also the departure point for dive-trips to the surrounding islands like Apo, Sumilon, Siquijor or Balicasag Island.
Most of the Instructors and Dive-Master in this region are Dumaguetenios with some thousand dives under the belt who know the reefs here like their own pocket. They are one of the main-reasons why most of the guests leave Dumaguete with the promise to return.
On March 27, 2008 many of them met at the Waterfront Café at the Boulevard in Dumaguete to found a new Association: The NEGROS DIVE PROFESSIONALS (NDP). The NPD members are all diving and tourism related and work in different resorts and positions. Diveshop owners, Tour-Operators, freelancing Dive-Masters and Instructors as well as employees of dive resorts founded this association to work together for the benefit of the local diving-tourism.
The goal of the NDP is to work hand in hand with the officials of the region to secure the success of “Diving in Negros”. The first public appearance of the NDP will be at a regional meeting in Dauin where their goal is to provide a better solution and give suggestions for a better system regarding all different, sometimes unpredictable fees and regulations for diving around Dumaguete.
Future goals include conservation projects in a joint venture with different Marine Biologists and Universities as well as the operation of a Recompression Chamber in Negros Oriental.
Diving in Dumaguete and Negros Oriental is one of the best of its kind in the Philippines and South East Asia. The NDP want to ensure that it will stay like that and even improve its status worldwide.
Dumaguete, is the capital of the province Negros Oriental, in the central Visayas. You can get to Dumaguete either with a 60 minutes flight from Manila or by bus and ferry from Cebu. Most of the Dumaguete dive-sides, hotels and dive center are 15 kilometer south of the City in the beautiful little town of Dauin.
Diving in the Philippines don’t has to hide from any “big” destination in the world of diving. It is a paradise for macro-lovers and many professional underwater- photographers are coming to Dumaguete. The diveresorts around Dauin are also the starting-point for full daytrips to the well knows surrounding islands like Apo Island, Sumilon Island or Siquijor Island. Some dive-operators are also offering Island-hoping to the more remote Islands of Bohol and Malapasqua. The dark volcanic sand is home to a enormous variety of critters. The 15 divesites around Dauin can be reached within 15 Minutes with a speedboat. Some of them are accessible even as a shore-dive.
Most operators are offering up to four dives daily and additional Night dives and Mandarin fish-dives. All divespots in this area are protected areas, so called „Marine-Sanctuaries“ A line of buoys around this sanctuaries that no boat and fishermen enters this area. That also means the the diveboat ankers outside and the diver has to swim inside the sanctuary after the water entry and has to return to the boat at the end of the dive. Depending on the time of the year, the moon and the tides you can get into some currents from time to time. The well trained guides usually change their diveplans if that happens and drift with the group all the way to the other side of the sanctuaries. The diveboat will follow the group and picks it up on the other side of the sanctuary.
The local community is also charging a marine-park fee. But instead of a daily or weekly fee the decided to get a fee per dive. It is advisable that the diver informs himself if this diving fee included in the dive-package or not. Some operator run a quite low-price policy but with extra charges for boat, guide, marine-park-fees you pay more than at another diveshop which includes all fees in the original dive-price.
It is relatively quiet after sunset in Dauin. Who is searching for some nightlife goes to Dumaguete. The city has a good number of Restaurants, Bars and Discos. This transfers can be organized through the resort or you jump in a public transport and drive for some peso to town. The surrounding areas of Dumaguete are also worth to explore. Make a trip to the Casaroro Waterfalls, Twinlakes, the wednesday Malatapay Market or the Geothermal Power plants on your non-diving and off-gasing days. For some more thrilling action you can book an ATV-Tour through the jungle of Negros Oriental. There are also some professional SPA-center for your “head to toe ” relaxation and a nice Golf-course in Dumaguete.