The Philippines was recently named Best Overseas Diving Area by a trade publication during an awarding ceremony in Tokyo, where the Department of Tourism also showcased clips of the country's undersea kaleidoscope.
Readers of the Marine Diving Magazine deemed the country "a first pick for many diving lovers." It was first time that the Philippines topped the Overseas Diving Category, receiving 814 out of the 3,572 total votes.
"This award is a testimony that diving is more fun in the Philippines, with each underwater paradise offering a unique adventure and experience to behold, and return to. Our underwater landscape is a colorful kaleidoscope of nature's living jewels, one that divers cannot find anywhere else," said Tourism Sec. Bernadette Romulo- Puyat.
According to the magazine, the diving sites in Cebu, Bohol, Moalboal, and Busuanga have "captured the hearts of many divers and make them want to revisit the Philippines again and again."
Aside its easy access from Japan and reasonable tour prices, the country also boasts rare and endemic species like whale sharks, snappers, and dugong, among others.
Puyat said, "When the situation is better and with the easing of travel restrictions around the world, we hope to again showcase to divers not only our underwater jewels and biodiversity, but also our brand of culture and hospitality."