|I personally call Lobo the Final Frontier of Southern Luzon when it comes to diving, Its the only province in Batangas where the local government has not sold out to mining and oil conglomerates,|
Lobo has fascinated me for so many years as it is a town located at the Southernmost tip of Batangas which directly faced Verde Island, the center of the center of Marine biodiversity. There isn't a modern dive resort yet in the area but the local government headed by Mayor Manalo has been quietly busy for many years getting ready for an influx of tourism and has successfully warded of Mining and Oil giants from setting up camp in Lobo.
|Bantay Dagat is Watching...|
Spent ten days with the local government unit and the Lobo bantay dagat to explore what lies beneath the oceans of Lobo. Similar to my 2012 trip to Romblon prior becoming a well known diving destination, I was delighted to find Lobo to be another untouched slice of underwater paradise. While I had a lot of help in Romblon finding critters, I had to find my own critters this time around as there are still no dive centers to be found in the area but the big difference is I worked directly, eat slept with the local townfolk and had the privilege of spending 10 days at the Mayors humble abode. I'll be quite selfish this time around and would want to keep Lobo to myself for the meantime so here are the Top Five reasons why you should NOT DIVE Lobo Batangas
1. You will find everything special found in Anilao to be in LOBO
Anilao has now become the one of the Planet's benchmarks when it comes to awesome critter diving. As shared in previous posts, the Philippines has 7,100 islands, there are areas which are sure to be similar in wealth of marine fauna and LOBO is definitely one of them.
|Sheep Nudi (Costasiella kuroshimae) can be found everywhere that is sandy|
|Seahorses are quite abundant at the shallow sandy portions|
|Frogfish had enough|
|Ellysiela Pusilla Nudibranch, one of my favorite Nudis found on Halimeda leaves|
|Pipehorses the size of toothpics, lovely|
|lots of Coleman Shrimps, there is one pair out of ten fire urchins|
2. If you love diving deep for Rocks, Lobo is not for you
Lobo's Seascape bursts with color. Below sea level is very similar to Bauan where gigantic seafans of all textures, colors and sizes abound. The fascinating thing about Lobo is its like a mix of Anilao and Bauan all rolled into one, which makes the area a one stop shop for both Critter and Reef lovers.
|Potato chip corals are vibrant and healthy|
|Barrel sponges abound rooted on colorful coral foundations|
|fascinating fans everywhere|
|Seafans in every corner of some divesites|
|Finding nemo is easy in Lobo|
|Giant Bouquets are normal fare in Lobo|
3. Complete Ban on Spear and Net Fishing
One of the more welcome developments in Lobo is the local governments ban on Spearfishing. Lobo is the best kept secret of old timer divers and they have managed to be silent about Lobo's big fish fauna so they can do the sport as they please. The Bantay dagat however is more active than ever and the local government has issued a complete ban on spear fishing. Beyond that, they also have been actively warding off illegal fishermen from neighboring coastal towns who obviously go to Lobo since they've depleted their own wild fish stock. Stay away from Lobo's coastal areas for fishing, the mayor will seriously throw you in jail and fine you with extreme prejudice
The first quarter of every year brings forth thousands of juvenile silversish along the coastlines of Lobo
|View of a thousand juvnile Dulong, Tamak, Sardines while Blackwater diving|
4. If you're not into helping the marine eco system, dive some place else
Lobo is light years ahead when it comes to artificial reef building. While the coasts of Lobo are healthy, there are sandy areas which benefit from having artificial reefs. While I've shared to the local government more artificial reefs may harm the life cycle of tiny wildlife (fish eating critters), at a big picture level, more homes for fish is a good thing.
|Art reef projects can be found in Lobo|
|Larger than life statues already breeding coral|
|Local government initiative, Future homes for fish|
5. I'll be selfish, I will enjoy this reef for myself first
While I usually provide information about costs and how to get to a diving area, google will be your best ally here as i'll keep mum, would like to dive Lobo alongside the few people who enjoy its close to pristine reefs. How many times have you went diving minus at least a dozen divers in a dive site... I rest my case.
|Casper thinks ints a seal, he just loves free diving :)|
If you do insist wanting to dive Lobo, drop me a line at +63915-9473888 or inquire by mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.