Philippines Diving Adventure: Exploring Mactan Island

With our Australia trip coming up in July, we decided we wanted a little more diving practice since we only did our certification dives so far. When we came across a great flight deal on EVA to Cebu, we couldn’t pass it up and decided to jump on it.


While we didn’t get to fly EVA’s Hello Kitty Jet between SFO and TPE, we had some time at Taipei airport and could get our fix of Sanrio character themed cuteness. We also didn’t have to fly all the way to Cebu using regular. boring airplanes – between TPE and CEB we got to fly the Gudetama Comfort Flight. Branding didn’t just stop at the plane’s livery – everything in the interior from safety cards, to headrests and silverware were Gudetama branded.

The flight between Taipei and Cebu was fairly short at ~ 3 hours, but since we flew over many of the Philippines islands, the scenery was fantastic. No need for in-seat entertainment when you can watch this for most of the flight.



Since the purpose of our trip was diving, we went right ahead and spent our first full day on a boat.  Getting on was an adventure as you can see in the first video, but this was a great way to explore multiple dive sites around Olango Island. We dived at these tree sites, which were picked by our dive guide:

  • Talima Marine Sanctuary
  • Baring Dive Site
  • San Vicente Marine Sanctuary

Our boat and dives was organized by SiDive, a local dive shop in Mactan we found after doing some research online. Everything was taken care of – we just needed to show up at the shop and try on our gear. They also prepared a yummy Philippino-style BBQ for us on the boat in between dives.

Below are short videos on each of the three dives. We used a GoPro Hero 7 Black with an underwater housing and red filters to shoot these. Colors are pretty natural for the first 2 videos, but in the last one we tried the Light Red filter, which caused it to be a bit on the blue side as it’s meant for shallow depths or very clear water.


Talima Marine Sanctuary


San Vicente Marine Sanctuary

All videos were taken with a GoPro Hero 7 Black:

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