15 – 22 March 2010
With the expedition team complete with our writer Alya Honasan, our first Philippine journey for this leg was to Apo Reef. We spent a few days and nights on a quaint Philippine style liveaboard named Apo Reef Club I. This boat is smoothly run by Apo Reef Club’s charming Swiss manager Michi Roos and we totally enjoyed ourselves.
Apo Reef is a marine protected area declared a Natural Park in 1996. It is situated between the west coast of Occidental Mindoro and the south of Calamian Island group of northern Palawan. Apo Reef is in the tentative list of UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. Let’s hope it makes it in someday!
In the short time we were there, we were fortunate to be able to dive with WWF Philippines Sablayan Community Facilitator Lito Tiongson and Robert Duquil, Assistant Protected Area Superintendent of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources – Protected Area Office and Ferdinand Magno, DENR Park Ranger.
They were doing their regular monthly reef monitoring activity in Action Point or Apo Reef’s South East Corner.
A newly discovered wreck not far from the lighthouse is a steel ship about 50 meters long. It was such an exciting find. Well encrusted with corals and a good amount of fish in and around it, this wreck sits at a shallow 15 meters!
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