27 – 31 March 2010

The charming clownfish finds a symbolic home out of water in this quaint dive resort by the sea in Anilao, Mabini, Batangas.  Club Ocellaris is where I first entered the water with a self-contained underwater breathing apparatus and Boy Venus was there to teach and introduce me to this wonderful world of diving.

Great friend Boy Venus back again into his underwater photography habits

Great friend Boy Venus back again into his underwater photography habits

Catering a lot to the discerning group of underwater photographers worldwide, Club Ocellaris makes sure there are many camera consoles outside each room

Catering a lot to a discerning group of underwater photographers worldwide, Club Ocellaris makes sure there are many camera consoles outside each room for many monster camera housings

Club Ocellaris was where, for many weekends of my single life, I spent glorious time with dear Filipino friends laughing hard and diving.

From the balcony looking out to the sea, Mabini, Tingloy otherwise known as Anilao has endless supply of critters that make you keep coming back for more

From the balcony looking out to the sea, Mabini, Tingloy otherwise known as Anilao has endless supply of marine life that make you keep coming back for more

Filipino style of relaxed atmosphere, many divers local and foreign find this place special and irreplacable

Filipino style of relaxed atmosphere, many divers local and foreign find this place special and irreplaceable

His resort started small and homey with wonderful “lutong bahay” or homemade style cooking that is one big secret why divers keep coming back

Boy’s resort started small and homey with wonderful “lutong bahay” or homemade style cooking that is one big secret why divers near and far keep coming back

As everywhere in Asia, all a diver has to do in Anilao is to put on his wetsuit. Everything else pertaining to ones dive gear is prepared – ready and waiting for you in the boat.  Service spoiled divers would ride outrigger boats to the dive site, put their weight belt on, stick out their arms while sitting on the boat’s edge for the boat crew to put on their heavy tanks with BCD & regulators and just fall back to enter the water.  Bliss. I have to unspoil myself when we go back diving the Great Barrier Reef.

During a surface interval, Boy tries to take a quick nap at the edge of the boat

During a surface interval, Boy tries to take a quick nap at the edge of the boat

Depending on the number of divers booked in the resort, dive boats miraculously appear every morning from nearby communities to assist us have a wonderful diving time

Depending on the number of divers booked in the resort, dive boats miraculously appear every morning from nearby communities to assist us have a wonderful diving time. Boats are owned and operated by people from the community thereby spreading income to many families

Catering to underwater photographers worldwide, Club Ocellaris has dive guides with sharp eyes and minds and can name the usual suspects by their scientific names. Most of our dives were not shorter than 100 minutes and it was the norm! The only reason we surfaced was lack of air!

Two brilliant dive guides Peri and Alexis of Club Occellaris along with a new photographer friend Phil who also comes from Cairns, we pose with good 'ol panda!

Two brilliant dive guides Peri and Alexis of Club Occellaris along with a new photographer friend Phil who also comes from Cairns, we pose with good ‘ol panda!

Many may ask why we feature private enterprises like liveaboards and dive resorts in some of our blog entries. It’s our chance to say thank you to these wonderful operators who, because of their generosity in hosting us, has allowed us to photograph and show the world the beauty of life within their waters during this monumental expedition. It is in their areas, in amongst their many dive spots, that the biodiversity of the Coral Triangle is evident.

I couldn't get over this image of yellow crinoids! It was just so abundant in many of the dive sites in Anilao giving so much color and warmth underwater!

I couldn’t get over this image of yellow crinoids! It was just so abundant in many of the dive sites in Anilao giving so much color and warmth underwater!

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