Macro Critters of the Philippines

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Written by PADI AmbassaDiver Justin Carmack

I’ve made my career based around scuba diving and filming some of the best locations to show the world, and there is just certain locations I always migrate back to. The Philippines is one of those places, just from the sheer amazing-ness of the diving, and what you can expect to see in many different locations around the world. In fact, as I travel to different scuba locations, I am now using the Philippines as the home base to keep returning to. It’s that good.

Photo: Justin Carmack

 

Here is a little background about me. I am a scuba diving blogger, and am on a mission to document and dive the top 100 scuba diving locations in the world. I’ve currently only crossed off about 31 from the list, because I tend to go slow and do many dives at each one (oh, and they are scattered all over the world). Largely because of the unique videos and cool critters I find and show my readers, I have grown a decent size following across multiple platforms, like my website, Instagram, Twitter and so on.

The places I go that are on the list, are highly sought after by hard core scuba fans who want to experience a wide variety of underwater wonders, and I am trying to show them what each and every one looks like. My other hope, with so much climate change, is that I can show the world what our most pristine reefs and critters look like before they are gone.

Photo: Justin Carmack

 

The point I am trying to get across here, is that I have dove all over the world now, just searching for new and cool things to show my viewers, and the Philippines is in the top 3 countries that impressed me the most when it comes to their marine world. Its also beautiful above water, making for some amazing surface intervals ( I wrote a comprehensive guide to all of the best scuba diving in Philippines here).

Before I show you the rest of the photo essay, check out my latest vlog, from when I last visited Dauin. This video gives a great visual about what you can expect to see in Dauin, including tons of crazy looking frogfish.

 

This photo essay is dedicated to some of the exotic, beautiful, and rare macro critters that I have run into during my many dives around the country. From rarely seen nudibranch species to flamboyant cuttle fish to baby ornate ghost pipe fish, I am in awe every minute underwater here.

 

Photo: Justin Carmack

Photo: Justin Carmack

Photo: Justin Carmack

Photo: Justin Carmack

 

The Philippines is the country where I really started to learn about frogfish. I had seen them in a few other countries, but the huge variety of these cute/ugly little creatures in the Philippines really got my attention. Now on dives, I am always looking for them. Even after 700+ dives, last week was the first and only time I have ever seen a HAIRY frogfish, and a cute little baby at that. Such an awesome species.

 

Photo: Justin Carmack

Photo: Justin Carmack

Photo: Justin Carmack

Photo: Justin Carmack

Photo: Justin Carmack

 

I’ve been to a lot of amazing muck dive locations and macro photography dream spots, such as Anilao and Lembeh, but Dauin will always be one of my favorites. I’ve seen so many things here that I’ve never seen anywhere else, including many firsts for me such as Flamboyant cuttlefish, ornate ghost pipefish, Hairy frogs, wonderpus, bobtail squids, electric clams and much more. I’ll let the rest of the photos do the talking here, to convince you why you need to have Dauin on your list.

Photo: Justin Carmack

Photo: Justin Carmack

Photo: Justin Carmack

 

Check out Justin’s guide to 6 Types of Diving You Can Do in the Philippines.