Planet Dive Resort in Mabini, Batangas (Review + Travel Guide)

By Anne Elizabeth Apolona Gumiran - 7:29 AM


I filled my lungs with much air that it could possibly take in, held my breath and descended into the world beneath the blue swells, piercing through currents. For a moment, I was wrapped again in silence, calmness and saltwater; surrounded and fascinated by countless vibrant corals and fishes of different colors, species and size. I could only hear my resounding heartbeat and what seemed like crackling sounds underwater. I swam gracefully past the crevices and in between two large rocks that is richly wrapped with gaudy life that is beautifully undisturbed. My body was free falling - giving into the weights, defying buoyancy, sustaining it with my finning. My mind was in a pursuit of a fascinating unknown. The ocean has yet again cast its spell on me.

The moment I surfaced, I knew I was alive again. I was giddy and excited to see more of this side of Batangas.

Captured by Jaice Sabonsolin | Diving near the Twin Rocks
Using Decathlon's latest release: the Subea long fins 

I have marked Pagkilatan and San Luis as my personal favorite dive spots in the province of Batangas as they both have distinct underwater features. But then, keeping myself confined to these also keeps me from exploring the rest of the captivating wonders of the Center of the Coral Triangle. Thus for the August episode of my Dive Series in 2019, I decided to visit Mabini, Batangas.

About Mabini, Batangas

Mabini, Batangas is situated at the tip of the land by the Balayan Bay. It has been among the top diving destinations in the Philippines as its waters is part of the Verde Island passage at large - the Center of the Coral Triangle of the World and the Center of the Center of Marine Biodiversity. Divers from around the Philippines and the globe would often come and explore its beauty and protected marine life abundance. This has been known as well to be the birthplace of SCUBA diving in the country. 



A lot of diving resorts has been established in Anilao, a barangay in Mabini, to make diving and ocean's depth exploration accessible to many. These resorts, affiliated to different diving schools and groups, also offer intro classes with certified coaches and Dive Masters in Freediving and SCUBA diving. Among these is Planet Dive Resort.

About Planet Dive Resort


 Planet Dive has been running for almost a decade now hosting the visiting SCUBA divers in exploring its house reef and beyond. It has also been known to be the home of the Twin Rocks Marine Sanctuary. The resort is situated just right in front of the Maricaban Island that is adjacent to another one, Sombrero island; which are considered to be among the sought-after dive spots in the province. 

Be reminded that monsoon season in the Philippines is during mid-June to October. Diving at some parts of Batangas is almost impossible but there are days in between when currents and swells are calm and manageable.

Facilities and Amenities

1. Infinity Pool


One of the most interesting and loveliest spot in the resort is the infinity pool that both kids and adults alike may enjoy as the shallowest part is at 2 feet. It faces the Maricaban (Marikaban) Island giving the breathtaking view of the horizon, mountain ranges and hilltops of the other island. There are woven chairs, tables, beach and egg chairs around so it definitely is quite a place to chill after a tiring dive.

2. Dining Area


Planet Dive Resort's dining area is a located in an elevated spot with no obstruction at all in its view but a few coconut trees which add up to the tropical scene that makes the alfresco dining finer than ever. Be reminded that this is a dry area. Guests are summoned at the dining area for the meal of the day through the ring of the bell. Breakfast is usually served at 06:00 AM to 9:00 AM, lunch is at 12:00 NN to 2:00 PM and dinner is at 06:00 PM to 08:00 PM.

Meals

The dining area is less of a restaurant. They do not take orders from guests and they only have a menu for a particular meal. These are all served in buffet style shall the resort have more than ten visiting guests. The meal for the day usually includes rice, pasta or noodles, three different kinds of viands which are a combination of fish, vegetables, seafood, pork, chicken or beef, soup, dessert, unlimited coffee, purified water and juice. 


Meal Rates
1. Extra breakfast - Php 600.00 per pax/ meal
2. Extra lunch - Php 750.00 per pax/ meal
3. Extra dinner - Php 750.00 per pax/ meal

The kitchen can be informed beforehand for the guests' special food preference. Also, outside food except from light snacks are not allowed. Corkage fee, on the other hand, is collected from guests who will be bringing outside beverages such as beer and soft drinks. Wines and spirits, though, are allowed. 

3. SCUBA Center


Since the resort primarily caters to the SCUBA divers, they have a particular area for them in there. They have a resident NAUI (National Association of Underwater Instructors) and several NAUI certified Diving Masters and Instructors. The SCUBA center also houses the complete gear and equipment for diving and the shower area after dive, too.

Equipment Rental Rates

1. Buoyancy Compensator (BC) - Php 250.00/ day
2. Regulator - Php 250.00/ day
3. Wet suit - Php 250.00/day (Php 450.00 on weekends)
4. Weight belt (max of 10 lbs) Php 100.00/ day; extra lbs beyond 10 lbs is at Php 50.00/ lbs/ day
5. Mask and snorkel - Php 200.00/ day
6. Fins - Php 150.00/ day
7. Booties - Php 100.00/ day
8. Tank rental - Php 300.00/ day (Php 250.00/ airfill)
9. Unlimited shore dives (tanks only, no DM and boat) - Php 700.00/ pax
10. Dive Computer - Php 400.00/ day
11. Compass - Php 200.00/ day
12. Knife - Php 100.00/ day
13. Divelight with batteries - Php 400.00/ day
14. Nitrox Tank (up to 40%) - Php 450.00/ tank


3. Platform on the Beach


There's nothing more relaxing than comfortably lying on a reclining chair by the beach with the sound of the ocean waves softly crashing into the shore. This is what this platform at the beach of Planet Dive Resort offers. It is the most perfect spot to watch the sun rise and set or just lay around after a fun dive.



Room Accommodation

The resort has various rooms that may accommodate two people or a small group. Each of it has its own distinct charm and awe-striking view. The rooms' interior design is a combination of a rustic-modern theme. Each room has its own toilet and bathroom. These are equipped with air-conditioning, hot and cold shower, toilets, towels and mattresses and linens. The room rates for a two-day stay include one breakfast, two lunch and one dinner all in buffet style. Children up to five years old are free of charge but must share the room with their parents. Children from 6 to 10 years old, on the other hand, can enjoy up to 50% discount under the same condition. 11 year-old and the older ones shall be charged  full. 

Planet Dive Resort's Cottages

Planet Dive Resort Room Rates

1. Single occupancy with four meals - Php 6,200.00
2. Twin/ Double occupancy with four meals - Php 4,300.00/ person
3. Tripe sharing occupancy with four meals - Php 3,800.00/ person
4. Quad sharing occupancy with four meals - Php 3,500.00/ person
5. Dormitory type accommodation with four meals - Php 2,100.00/ person
*Dormitory type can accommodate up to six persons in a room with double deck beds. Take note that rates only include the use of facilities and full board and lodging for overnight stay.

Planet Dive Resort's Cottages

The room at Yellow Cottage
Photo from the Planet Dive Resort's Official Website

The room at Orange Cottage
Photo from the Planet Dive Resort's Official Website

The room at Olive Green Cottage
Photo from the Planet Dive Resort's Official Website

The room at Light Blue Cottage
Photo from the Planet Dive Resort's Official Website

The room at Brown Cottage
Photo from the Planet Dive Resort's Official Website
The dormitory type of accommodation


The Reef

The reef just a few meters below and away from the shore is healthy and thriving. A variety of soft and hard corals can be found at five to twelve meters. Species such as bi-color parrotfish, clownfish, black blotch foxface, surgeonfish, nudibranchs and more can be seen around that even those who will just snorkel can also enjoy. There are times too when migrating dolphins can be spotted in the area.

Diving between the Twin Rocks
Camera used: YI Technology 4K + action camera
Wearing Decathlon's low volume mask (Read review here)

The corals at the bottom of the Twin Rocks Sanctuary
Captured by Jaice Sabonsolin

The life thriving at the Twin Rocks Sanctuary
Camera used: YI 4K + action camera

The life thriving at the Twin Rocks Sanctuary
Camera used: YI 4K + action camera

Scattered thunderstorms and rain showers had me doubting prior to our trip. We were afraid that the waters will be murky we won't be able to see anything and the currents would keep us from diving. Thankfully, the sun showed up somehow though and the waters were calm upon our arrival.

During our dive, however, there were times that current would get strong which greatly affected the visibility of the waters. We could hardly see the bottom and even our dive buddies at a four-meter distance (Mental note: check the visibility and current when diving during monsoon season). So we would retreat and wait for the ocean to calm down again. We got lucky that there were moments when we were granted with good visibility somehow. And when it did, we were fascinated by the sight. Colorful soft and hard corals surprised as and a lot of fishes of various kinds welcomed us to their humble abode.

The Verdict

A relaxing spot by the infinity pool

The resort itself is quite a place to relax over the weekend both for divers and non-divers as it is just some two to three-hour drive from the metro. The ambiance is just perfect as a break and a breather from the usual daily grind and routine. The whole place is quiet and peaceful; with the cottages surrounded by greens and towering trees and some having the best view of the Marikaban Island and the ocean. It will just require the guests to walk up and down several flights of stairs if their cottages are near the lobby.

Shall the currents and waves get rough, a day of chilling by the pool instead would still be a good idea. On days with good weather, freediving, snorkeling and swimming at the beach can be best enjoyed.

Room rates are pretty reasonable as it also comes with buffet meals. The food in their buffet, on the other hand, is more than satisfying. It is enough to replenish the famished divers. Another good point is that the kitchen staff are considerate of the food preferences of the guests and they can be told ahead of time.

Overall, we had a good weekend with our stay at Planet Dive Resort.

 How To Get There

1. From Cubao (around Kamias), Pasay (near MRT Taft Station) or Buendia (near LRT Gil Puyat Station), take a bus bound for Batangas City Grand Terminal. Fare ranges from Php 120.00 to Php 200.00 depending on the point of departure. These buses depart every thirty minutes or hour on a daily basis.
2. You may either alight at the terminal or at the Diversion Road. From the drop off point, take the jeepney to Mabini or Anilao Port.
3. Take a tricycle to Planet Dive Resort. Fare is at Php 500.00/ per ride per way. A tricycle can carry up to five passengers.

Expect a rocky beach. The great thing lies at the bottom of the waters

Sample Budget

Php 197.00 - Bus fare
Php 40.00 - jeepney fare
Php 100.00 - Tricycle fare (Php 500.00/5 persons)
Php 2,100.00 - Board and lodging rate for an overnight stay
Php 100.00 - Tricycle fare (Php 500.00/5 persons)
Php 40.00 - jeepney fare (return)
Php 197.00 - Bus fare (return)

Total: Php 2,774.00

Sample 2 Days-1 Night Itinerary

DAY 1

04:00 AM - Departure from Cubao
06:00 AM - Arrival at Batangas City Grand Terminal/ Breakfast
06:30 AM - Depart from terminal to Mabini
07:30 AM - Arrival at Mabini
07:50 AM - Arrival at Planet Dive Resort
08:00 AM - Check in 
09:00 AM - Shore Dive
12:00 NN - lunch
1:00 PM - Free time (Chill time, Pool time!)
2:00 PM - Dive
4:00 PM - Wash Up
6:00 PM - Dinner
7:00 PM onwards - chill
10:00 PM - lights off

DAY 2

7:00 AM - breakfast
8:00 AM - Chill by the pool
9:00 AM - Dive
11:00 AM - wash up/ pack up
12:00 NN - check out
12:30 PM - Departure to Mabini
12:50 PM - Arrival at Mabini
1:00 PM - Departure to Batangas City Grand Terminal
2:00 PM - Arrival at the Grand Terminal/ Depart for Manila
5:00 PM - Arrival at Cubao

Contact Information

For more inquiries, you may reach them at:
Planet Dive Resort
San Teodoro, Mabini, Batangas, Philippines
Mobile: +63 916 704 3718

Click here for bookings and reservations. They may also be reached through their Facebook page at Planet Dive Resort. They are very responsive to queries.

The place is indeed lovely! Let us know what you think about it! Also, would you take my challenge to do a clean up for at least five minutes to keep it as it is? Just pick up any trash you'd see as you swim and walk around. Can you do it? 

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