Discovering The Wrecks Of The Philippines
ASIAN Geographic|AG 05/2020 144
The Philippines is one of the largest archipelagos in the world. With more than 7,600 islands, the country is a diver’s playground, catering to divers of all skill levels. It is also home to some of the most exciting wrecks, some of which can even be dived by beginners. Join us as we reveal the mysteries of three of the country’s best wreck dive sites.
Elizabeth Lim

“Like a shipwreck or a jetty, almost anything that forms a structure in the ocean, whether it is natural or artificial over time, collects life.” - Sylvia Earle

El Capitan (USS Majaba), Subic Bay

Perfect for divers of all levels, the El Capitan (also known as the USS Majaba) is an American freighter that was constructed in Portland, Oregon in 1919. Used to shuttle cargo between Tulagi and Guadalcanal, it was struck on its last journey by a Japanese submarine and was towed back to the Solomon Islands for repair. Towards the end of the war, the El Capitan was brought back to the Philippines but met her demise at the hands of a storm, resulting in her sinking in Subic Bay, where she now lies. Situated at a maximum depth of 22 metres, the El Capitan is around 80 metres long and structurally intact. Divers can enjoy swimming inside the massive forward and rear holds, and more-experienced divers can penetrate into the cavernous boiler room. Surrounding the wreck, you can see a wide variety of marine life such as anthias, damselfish, snapper and surgeonfish. The combination of good visibility, shallow depth and the structural integrity of the wreck makes this a great dive for novices.

PLAN YOUR VISIT

LOCATION Subic Bay, Luzon Island, Philippines

GETTING THERE Fly into Manila’s Ninoy Aquino International Airport (MNL) and travel by bus, taxi or private hire towards Subic Bay, which is a roughly two-hour drive. From there, the El Capitan is only a 10–20-minute boat ride away

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