Juvenile regal angelfish (Pygloplites diacanthus)

Philippines Islands Snorkeling Tour: Cabilao and Pamilacan Islands

Cabilao and Pamilacan Islands each reside just offshore from Bohol, one of the larger islands that make up the Central Visayas in the Philippines. Both islands are ancient limestone reefs, now uplifted due to plate tectonics in the region. The uplift was certainly enough to bring the reef completely out of water, but the vertical displacement of the island was only about 12 feet, the upper limits of the highest elevation on Cabilao, and non-existent on Pamilacan.

Both islands possess a wealth of underwater treasures including amazing coral gardens, schools of fishes, a diversity of rare and interesting creatures, and incredibly lush and productive shallow sea grass beds. Our snorkeling adventures on both islands produced some of the best the Philippines has to offer and we were humbled by the health and diversity of the reefs. The added bonus, that is usually a given in this beautiful country, is the warm reception extended to us by the Filipinos who call the islands home. Check out some of the amazing critters we were fortunate enough to see including the rare sighting of a juvenile regal angelfish (Pygoplites diacanthus).

Ringed sidegill slug (Pleurobranchus forskalii)

Sidegill slugs…

Crab Pamilacan Island, Philippines

A colorful crab…

Juvenile striped sweetlips (Plectrohinchus lessonii)

A juvenile…

Rainbow fire urchin (Astropyga radiata)

Rainbow fire urchins…

Acoel flatworm (Waminoa sp.)

Acoel flatworms…

Sergeant majors, Cabilao Island, Philippines

Sergeant-majors…