HUMA ISLAND: DISCOVERING A DIVER’S DELIGHT
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Many refer to it as the Philippines’ last frontier – some 1,768 islands strung out in a chain between the China and Sulu Seas – largely unsettled, covered in old-growth forests, and home to an astounding array of terrestrial, avian, and aquatic species. This is the paradise called Palawan.

Declared a fish and wildlife sanctuary in 1967, the Palawan territories feature more than 11,000 square kilometers of pristine coral reef and countless colorful marine species. It has been hailed as one of the best island destinations in Southeast Asia and one of the top 10 island destinations in the world. Palawan lies at the heart of the Coral Triangle, the 5.7 million square kilometers of ocean known as “Amazon of the seas” and the global centre of marine biodiversity. The area is a veritable mecca for thrill seekers worldwide, offering visitors a variety of adventures including some of the planet’s best dive spots.

THE HUB OF ADVENTURE IS HUMA

At the northern end of this tropical paradise is a tiny island that is poised to become a premier destination for divers worldwide. Huma Island Resort & Spa is a spectacular hideaway found west of Busuanga, one of Palawan’s larger land masses and the location of one of its regional airports. Nestled in a remote area renowned for its wildlife and natural splendor, the island of Huma is surrounded by sparkling waters that teem with colorful marine life and cloak the mysterious sunken wrecks of Japanese warships and planes.

Built as a prime destination for the adventurous and discerning traveler, the Huma Island Resort & Spa complex features 81 thatched roof guest villas, 64 of which rise on stilts over the azure Pacific. Thoroughly contemporary in furnishing and amenities, each villa features an open-air Jacuzzi, luxury bathroom facilities, complimentary WiFi and other modern urban conveniences. The resort has an outstanding range of restaurants, bars and leisure spots, and offers guests many opportunities for off-island adventures.

A CENTER FOR DIVERS

Huma is the perfect staging point for a myriad of personal escapades like diving, snorkeling, hobby cat sailing, and excursions to nearby islets. The resort’s top-notch facilities for sport and leisure include a PADI accredited Dive Center, where guests can avail of diving packages which include equipment rental (air tanks and weights), bangka boat transfers, and a personal guide to the area. Supplementary equipment such as diving computers, buoyancy apparatus, and diving suits are also available. Huma’s Dive Center offers a range of courses and sessions designed for beginners, intermediates, or master divers. Booking requires a day’s notice; this can be done conveniently through a personal Villa Host assigned to cater to your needs.

Once arrangements are made, you can now venture out to the picturesque sites of Busuanga. Beginners need not go far, as Huma Island is encircled by its own shallow reef that harbor nudibranchs, lionfish, crocodile fish, even turtle and rays. More experienced divers may opt to strike out farther for the coral gardens of Calumbuyan Island some 20 minutes away.

A special challenge and a “must-do” dive is Gunther’s Cathedral, a cave carved into the sheer rock wall of Coron Island, accessible only through a man-sized tunnel 6 meters below the water surface. As you pass through the tunnel and descend to 12 meters, you will spot lobsters and cowrie shells. A short swim later and you enter the main chamber of the cave. It is illuminated by a shaft of daylight penetrating from a fissure high up the outside rock face. A short distance ahead and slightly to the left is another passage that leads to a chamber with an air pocket just above sea level. Do note that this dive should only be attempted in calm seas. It is extremely dangerous to attempt to enter the tunnel in the surge generated by large waves.

For those seeking even greater thrills, there’s the incomparable experience of wreck diving. Huma’s ideal location affords access to at least half a dozen Japanese wrecks from WWII:

Okikawa Maru

There has been much confusion about this wreck’s true name. Many called it The Talel Maru (now confirmed to be another ship sunk by a submarine in August 1944), and sometimes, the Concepcion Wreck.

This was a civilian tanker/oiler that sank in Coron Bay after being hit by bombs on the 24th of September, 1944. She is the largest of the Coron wrecks, lying upright in 26mm of water. The deck is between 10 – 16m and is an ideal dive for beginners. Advanced wreck divers will find that penetration is possible; access is best gained through the propeller shaft and on up to the engine room. One can also gain access through the front portion of the ship, staring at cargo hold on top and coming out of the front wreckage. The wreck is covered with soft and hard corals and sponges, and you may expect to encounter sweetlips, grouper, lionfish, surgeons, wrasse, tang and soldierfish. Care must be taken, as tidal currents can be strong, especially towards the stern.

Depth: max 26m. Deck 10 – 16m
Viz: 5 – 15m
Best months: Nov – May

Irako Wreck
Located at the mouth of Coron Bay, this refrigeration ship measures approximately 147m long with a 9,570 ton displacement. It is a popular site, as the structure is fairly intact and affords probably the best visibility of any wreck in the area. This is a deep wreck dive and should only be undertaken by experienced, trained, and properly equipped divers. One can enter the ship through the wheelhouse in the rear and swim right through to the cargo holds. The underneath of the superstructure is also a good site to explore, as it is possible to go down into a cargo hold at 36m and swim through to the gallery and out through a stairway amidship. Expect to see big groupers, lionfish, scorpionfish, and schools of tuna and yellow fin, and occasionally, even turtles.

Depth: 43m. Decks: 28 – 35m
Viz: 10 – 35m
Best month: Nov – May

Kogyu Maru
A freighter carrying runway construction materials for the Japanese war effort in the Pacific, she is 158m long, displaces 6,353 tons and located north of Irako Wreck, just off Tangat Island.
Now lying on her starboard side in 38m of water, she remains largely intact, with large swim throughs and access to all six holds, the engine room, and the bridge. The Kogyu Maru is a good first wreck dive for beginners, with plenty to see. In one of the holds, you’ll come across a bulldozer, tractor, and air compressor, all intact and encrusted. Soft and hard corals are everywhere, as are sponges, giant pufferfish, waspfish, and barracuda.

Depth: 20 – 38m
Viz: 5 – 15m
Best months: Nov – May

Akitsushima
A 118-meter long sea plane tender, this was the only Japanese warship sunk in Coron Bay. Almost torn in two by a direct hit near the stern, she went down just northwest of Manglet Island and sits on the bottom still fairly intact. The keel is a good place to enter the wreck and view the gun placements. In your explorations, you are likely to come across shoals of barracuda, tuna, yellowfish, grouper, snapper, batfish, and a huge assortment of smaller reef fish. Bear in mind though, that no swim throughs are allowed unless proper certification (wreck diver credentials) is shown.

Depth: 17 – 38m
Viz: 5 – 15m
Best month: Nov – May

Japanese WW2 seaplane
Situated near Birthday Island, this wreck lies in 16 meters of water with a maximum depth of 18 meters. It has been partly dismembered but one still can feel the thrill of discovering a major historic vestige more than 60 years old. Recommended certification level for this site is Skin Diver or Open Water Diver.

East Tangat Gunboat
Located off the eastern side of Tangat Island, this 40 meter long submarine hunter rests on an incline in 22m of water. The shallowest part is only 3m deep, so even snorkelers can see the shape and explore the bow of the ship. It is an ideal site for beginners.

Depth: max 25m. Decks: 18 – 24m
Viz: 5 – 15m
Best months: Nov – May

Discover this new island destination in the Philippines and be among the first to experience the mystique, magic and thrill of Huma. Just an hour away from Manila by air, Busuanga is accessible daily via Philippine Airlines, Cebu Pacific, and Skyjet flights from Manila and Cebu. For more select, exclusive transfer, guests may opt to take the Huma’s private seaplane service that lands directly in front of the resort.

For more information, please contact:
Phone: +632 553 0119 | Email: reservation@humaisland.com / inquiry@humaisland.com
Website: www.humaisland.com