A new diving haven in the Philippines emerges with the successful conclusion of the first Camiguin Dive Festival.
An initiative of the Camiguin Provincial Government and the Department of Tourism-Region 10, the event registered over 500 divers from dive groups from Manila, Batangas, Cebu, and Bohol, as well as from Spain, Japan, Sweden, Finland, Australia, Korea, Russia, and the United Kingdom.
Located off northern Mindanao mainland, the island province has 20 top dive sites. Mantigue Island Nature Park is a marine sanctuary surrounded by a nice drop off reef, while Old Volcano has a spectacular canyon.
According to Camiguin governor Jurdin Jesus Romualdo, the two-month dive festival placed the province in the dive circuit of the Philippines. Hence, he stressed the importance of responsible diving and the province’s efforts in protecting its rich environment.
A highlight of the festival was the Underwater Photography Competition which awarded Peter Gosling and Lauren Hubbard, who bested other contestants in wide angle and macro categories, respectively. Both are from the United Kingdom and hosted by Black Beach Divers.
Following the event’s success, Romualdo said Camiguin will roll out programs to support dive tourism campaign.
He added that he envisions the fest to become another sports and adventure tourism event that raises people’s environmental awareness.
Romualdo stated that scuba diving will be an added attraction and activity in the forthcoming 40th Lanzones Festival on Oct. 20-27.
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