The Cathedral Rock is another marine sanctuary in Anilao and is very popular for fish-feeding and for advanced navigational night dive. It is located right in front of Dive 7000 in Bagalangit, Mabini. It resembles a roofless cavern consisting of two large mounts with a cross planted in the middle and a miniature castle in front. The original cross was brought down by former President Fidel V. Ramos and blessed by Pope John Paul II.

Originally quite barren, it has been seeded with coral from elsewhere and is now, due to incessant fish feeding, teeming with fish. Fish looking for a quick feed include the smaller angelfish, butterflyfish, wrasse, triggerfish, moorish idols, damselfish, pufferfish and surgeonfish. You’ll also encounter parrotfish and hawkfish, blue sea stars, sea cucumbers, barrel sponges and anemones with clownfish, frogfish, octopus and the occasional green sea turtle.

According to the latest survey conducted by marine biologist Doug Fenner, who works with the Australian Institute for Marine Sciences, there are 67 species of coral in the Cathedral out of the 411 coral species recorded in the Philippines. More diverse than the entire Carribean sea with only 50 or so species for that entire area.

“In the world of corals, this may be the Mount Everest of coral diversity”.


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PHOTOGRAPHY: Paz Santos (Anilao, Batangas, Philippines)



  1. This is where the Mister got me to finally say yes. Right there on the cross too..heehee..but he’s a hao-shao diver as Albert would say. I turned into the missus a month later.

  2. I wonder how he was able to ask you. Can’t imagine the underwater hand signals. Medyo mahirap ata yun i-convey. What the heck, the most important thing there was that you understood what he was saying then. the rest is history.

  3. Must have been a slate … 🙂

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