Dive Ilocos Sur - Vigan Trip Report 2019

Scuba diving, underwater photography, padi, paparazsea
Diving in Ilocos Sur is surprisingly good. Caverns, Healthy coral and Big fish await. Kat and Conz pose after a trip to Salomague Island
Sometimes, the least expected places to go underwater leave the most favorable lasting impressions and diving around Ilocos Sur via the historic heritage town of Vigan can be described as surprisingly good.

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Coastal view, Cabugao, Ilocos Sur

First and foremost, Diving Ilocos Sur is at it's infancy, where Conrado Paz, owner of CBP Marine services and Trident Commercial diving alongside Ian Verzosa, Manager of Dive Ilocos Sur for two years have been mapping out the best places to dive up North.  

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Fancy Cavern Diving, beneath Salomague Island will treat you to unending sea-trails. A statue of Jose Rizal awaits at 60 feet. 
Conrado, more known in diving circles as Conz is no stranger to exploring virgin sites. Having with friends (the Floro brothers) discovered and made famous Manta Bowl in Ticao and dove wrecks beyond recreational diving limits in the Bicol region, he is currently one of the few go to guys in the Philippines for commercial diving solutions. (raising wrecks, dam construction, laying fibre optic cables for telco companies, etc..etc..) where after two decades has a seasoned team for every job commercial under his wing.   

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VC Reef steady currents daily keep seamounts healthy and vibrant

Having explored Ilocos Sur with Conz and Ian for 7 days, every dive was quite surprising and unique. There will be less variety of fish life versus diving in the Batangas and Visayas region but who knew sharks are quite abundant, having seen at least two in a dive where the river meets the open blue. 

white tip, black tip, grey reef sharks can be seen during the colder months of the year

Sharks are still quite skittish, they are not used to divers and you always perpetually see them in motion, making them quite difficult to get photos off, but none photographers are quite guaranteed an encounter with them during the colder months of the year. 

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The Grotto at Narvacan holds another surprise beneath the sea

Beyond sharks and colourful reefs, Ilocos Sur is home to a surreal dive with rock formations from beneath which looks like it was chiseled by the ancients. The currents just carved Narvacan's reef into a majestic wall of a thousand steps. 

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Beneath the Grotto, Narvacan

There is still much to explore in the area. Conz and Ian are still finding lots of surprises and I myself am hooked to what they will share to us next

The outer reef of San Esteban is the final resting place of a ww2 battleship, cut in half for the safety of modern sailing ships

Cabugao is home to never-ending caves and caverns, safe for both novice and experienced divers

Huge kedge anchor, more wrecks waiting to be found?

In Summary...

Diving in Ilocos Sur is a delightful surprise. While it may not have the density of fish of the Batangas region, it more than makes up for its unusual seascapes, seamounts, caves, caverns and the presence of sharks is a huge plus. The sharks are quite an enigma, why were they there, was it because of having a bustling city nearby fishermen have elected to steer clear of the nearby reefs? So many questions are left unanswered and so many answers are waiting to be uncovered.


Dive Ilocos Sur in Two Minutes


want more information about diving in Ilocos Sur, contact Conz Paz at www.facebook.com/diverconz or contact globe/viber/whatsapp  +639178707337
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