I spent several months in Dauin on two occasions (I am here as of February 2017), on the southeast corner of the great volcanic island of Negros (rising 1800 m out of the Pacific ocean), and I love the diving, the landscapes and the people there. It’s a great place to visit and to dive. It’s muck diving heaven.
This blog post has a lengthy description of the marine life in the dark sands of Dauin, including tips on how to photograph these critters. Let me give you some general travel tips as well, though:
Whom to Dive with: The folks at Liquid are great, and my mate Jim there offers technical diving. The place also has a chill atmosphere with lots of young people who love diving and like to have a fun time, too.
Bongo Bongo Divers is a very affordable, backpacker-style, new place right on the beach near the marine sanctuary in Poblacion, the guys are great and really love diving.
If you have a few extra $s, Euros or Rubles to spare, and like to reside in luxury during your diving vacation, then I can recommend Atmosphere and Salaya Beach Houses. Atmosphere is a really stylish place, with, amongst other things, a yoga platform overlooking the ocean. Salaya’s owner Mike is an ace underwater videographer, and manager Marc a top underwater photographer, so underwater imaging aficionados will be happy there. Both places have excellent food.
How to get there: Dumaguete airport is serviced from several locations in the Philippines; From the airport it’s about 45 minutes to Dauin, where the diving resorts are. A trip from Cebu City (including a short ferry trip) takes about 6 hours. Daily ferries sail between Dumaguete and Siquijur and Bohol.
Also check out: The city of Dumaguete is a notch above most other Filipino provincial towns I have seen. It’s a university town, with Siliman university, a quality university with some great marine biologists, being a big part of city life. Dumaguete also has a boulevard along the ocean with some good night life, dining and people watching. The fruit market in the center of town is an experience, with the heavy odors of the ripe tropical fruit hitting you in the nose. You can get some fantastic fruits there, some of which like the guyabano and the ciguellas I had discovered there for the first time. Check out the Hayahay, Why Not and Casablance for food and the Why Not for a blazin’ dance floor on weekends.