With the Philippines' many islands and diverse marine life, the country is a dreamland for many scuba diving enthusiasts, and Puerto Galera, now named the "diving capital of the Philippines," is the best place to get some underwater sights.
It was formally soft-launched during the local government's program "Puerto Galera Shore It Up-Scubasura Underwater Clean Up," which had divers going underwater to clean up any trash that could damage the area's magnificent coral formation.
"Ang gawaing ito ay aming prayoridad bilang pagpapahalaga sa turismo at kalikasan upang mas lalo pang makaakit ang mga dayuhan, lokal man o mula sa ibang bansa na bisitahin ang aming lugar na ngayo'y tinaguriang Diving Capital of the Philippines," Puerto Galera Mayor Rocky Ilagan said of the program.
Known for its numerous pocket beaches and 62 registered scuba diving spots, Puerto Galera was designated a Man and Biosphere reserve in 1977 by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), a prestigious global list of places with exceptional biodiversity.
Aside from being among the 32 world-class dive sites in the world, Puerto Galera is also part of the "Club of the Most Beautiful Bays of the World," being the only bay in the Philippines to be found on the list.
Its waters serve as a sanctuary to huge numbers of fish species, whale sharks, sea turtles, and an enormous variety of corals, according to environmental conservation organization Seacology.