Panglao celebrates wondrous waterworld

Balicasag Island's school of jacks by Bo Mancao

The Municipality of Panglao in Bohol, one of the country’s top scuba diving sites, recently hosted the second Panglao Dive Festival in cooperation with the Department of Tourism-Central Visayas to showcase the island town’s rich underwater tourism gem.

Held at the newly-opened posh Modala Beach Resort from June 16-21, the festival featured a dive trade and travel expo, underwater photography contest, the AIDA Panglao Depth Championship, coral reef restoration, community coastal cleanup, and discover scuba diving sessions.

Balicasag Island's school of jacks by Bo Mancao
Balicasag Island’s school of jacks by Bo Mancao

Revived after six years of inactivity, the fest is now part of the DOT’s 1st DIVE7 Summer Event, which showcases the world-class dive sites in the region such as Moalboal, Malapascua, and Lapu-Lapu City in Cebu, Siquijor province, and Dauin town in Negros Oriental.

Modala Beach Resort
Modala Beach Resort

According to Panglao mayor Leonila Paredes Montero, the five-day event highlighted the need to cautiously revive the local tourism industry by balancing reopening business and public health.

Freediving with the sardine run by Bo Mancao
Freediving with the sardine run by Bo Mancao

Connected to Bohol mainland through two causeways, the town is home to the world’s most sought-after dive sites, white sand beaches, rich marine biodiversity, cultural attractions, and the Panglao Bohol International Airport, a modern eco-friendly aviation hub.

The festival is supported by the Province of Bohol, Tourism Promotions Board, Second District Congressional Office of Rep. Edgar Chatto, Philippine Commission on Sports Scuba Diving, Balicasag Island Dive Resort, Moadto Strip, Bluewater Panglao, Alturas Mall, Amarela Resort, Bohol Beach Club, and Lite Ferries and Air Asia as official carriers.

DOT holds Panglao Dive Festival
DOT holds Panglao Dive Festival

In the photo at the opening ceremonies are Panglao councilor and festival organizing committee chair Aya Montero-Caindec, Mayor Montero, Bohol governor Arthur Yap, Panglao Association of Dive Operators president Ivy BulayBulay Kung, DOT-7 regional director Shalimar Hofer Tamano, Modala Beach Resort president Engr Manny Mendoza and general manager Rommel Gonzales.

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