Puerto Galera, Mindoro, Philippines

We arrived by boat at Small La Laguna - a charming diving village surrounded by crystal-clear water. (EF-S 17-85 @ 17mm RAW)

Pretty much all of the beachfront businesses are catering to scuba divers from all over the world. (EF-S 17-85 @ 17mm JPEG)

There are quite a few decent restaurants to choose from; however, going out to dinner during high tide, be prepared to wade through ankle-deep surge in a few places along the beach. Shorts and sandals are all you will need here. (EF-S 17-85 @ 20mm JPEG)

This is what we traveled halfway around the globe to see... (SD800 JPEG)

... a beautiful tropical water world! (SD800 JPEG)

At this dive site, the entire seafloor was covered with colorful corals, plants, and exotic creatures. We saw a wide variety of feather stars, extending their sticky arms to catch plankton from the current. (SD800 JPEG)

Nothing beats being there since the human eye can see far more colors underwater than any camera can capture. To our eyes, water was so clear it just disappeared as if we were all floating in midair, surrounded by colors. (SD800 JPEG)

But none of the photos and videos were able to capture that wondrous feeling at all. Even with the camera white balance set to underwater, all images came out green, requiring substantial amount of post processing to recover only the nearby colors. (SD800 JPEG)

Mark, the owner of Sea Rider Dive Center is an excellent PADI instructor and specializes in macro guide. (SD800 JPEG)

Being swamped by hungry fish was a lot of fun. (SD800 JPEG)

One of the three eels we saw, all living under the same coral formation. (SD800 JPEG)

A little holiday decoration, diving on Christmas Day. Sometimes, it took seeing bubbles to remind us of the existence of water. (SD800 JPEG)

Feather Starfish. (SD800 JPEG)

Besides dive sites, the only other place in Puerto Galera we visited was Tamaraw Falls. (EF-S 17-85 @ 17mm JPEG)

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