On the eastern side of the Philippines chain, and towards the bottom of Luzon, lies the town of Donsol and just offshore, the small island of Ticao. Dive tourism is still a developing business in this little known area as there is just one attraction that drags people in – for a few short months every year, there is an explosion a whalesharks.
The mouth of the Donsol River attracts a large aggregation of these beautiful animals as they migrate here to feed. The season is quoted as being from November to May but in reality, sightings are only regular during February and March.
All is not lost though, as there is some good diving in this area too, although it is very much unexplored. Between Donsol and Ticao Island the channel is subject to currents that are said to attract manta rays. At the northern tip of Ticao, tiny San Miguel island is surrounded by healthy reefs with some interesting macro life.