The Philippines are composed of more than 7,000 distinct islands, and these are located in some of the richest places in terms of coral reefs in the planet. In fact, the Philippines are ranked 3rd in terms of coral reef area with over 9,000 square kilometers of reef systems, equaling almost 9 percent of the total reef area in the world.
While the Philippines are surrounded by coral reefs, few are as beautiful as the remote Tubbataha coral reef. This isolated site is considered to have one of the most beautiful corals on the planet. CNN also ranks this place as one of the eight top spots for diving.
Because of its isolated location, Tubbahata can only be accessed by boat. Here the reef’s dramatic shapes and forms harbor an amazing biodiversity of marine life forms, from small fish to sharks, huge clams or small invertebrates.
The locals call the giant clams living here “taklobo”. These giant clams, or the Tridacna gigas, are actually the largest as well as the heaviest bivalve mollusks on the entire planet. These can grow up to 1,2 meters long and weigh up to 200 kilograms or more.
The notorious Tiger Shark can also be seen in these waters, speeding through the water after another bank of fish. These fish have earned their name due to their voracious nature, as well as skill in negotiating the waters of the sea.
Other reef systems in the Philippines include Agan-an Municipal Marine Reserve, Batanes Protected Landscape, Cabugan Municipal Marine Reserve and Northern Sierra Madre Natural Park, all absolutely beautiful and teeming with life.