Top things to do in the Philippines
Discover all the adventures you can experience in the Philippines
Anilao is a barangay (small administrative district) in the municipality of Mabini, Batangas that is dubbed as the birthplace of scuba diving in the Philippines. Its close proximity to Metro Manila, around 3 hours drive away, has also made it one of the most popular quick weekend getaways for visitors and frequented by local and international divers for its vibrant underwater scene.
Scuba Diving is the main draw of Anilao. Many experienced divers call it a paradise for underwater macro photography as well as a treasure-trove for colorful and unique nudibranch species. There are more than 20 known dive sites in Anilao including The Cathedral, Arthur’s Rock, Twin Rocks, Ligpo Island, Koala, Bethlehem, Beatrice Rock, Devil’s Point, Layag-Layag, and Kirby’s Rock among others. It is also very close to the Verde Island Passage which is regarded as the “Center of the Center of Marine Biodiversity in the World.” Dive rates range from P1,500 to P3,000 depending on whether gears are brought by the guest or will be rented from the shops and if meals are included in the package.
Mt. Gulugod Baboy is a mountain range that has become a popular hiking destination especially for beginner hikers at 525 MASL with clear views of Janao Bay, Maricaban strait, Mindoro, Verde Island, and Batangas Bay. It is composed of three hills namely Pinagbanderahan, Gitna, and Gulugod Baboy (which means pig’s spine). The jump-off point for the hike is at Philpan Dive Resort.
Sombrero Island, named after its shape of a hat, is not part of the same municipality as Anilao but it is accessible from there. It is a mostly rocky island, golden in color with spots of greenery, surrounded by powdery white sand and is part of a regular island-hopping tour together with Sepoc Beach, the white-sand tip of Maricaban Island. Island tours are offered by boatmen just around the port of Anilao.