I know this is a really old post....but I wanted to chime in on Philippine diving and safety in the Philippines as I am a frequent traveler to this county (being married to a Pinoy).
First off: it is the best diving I've EVER done; and I'm closing in on 300 dives, so I've done a few! It has all the biodiversity of Indonesia; everyone speaks English; it is much safer to travel to and around the country.
Secondly: if you stay out of the far SOUTHERN parts of the country where the Muslim extremists are known to operate, you really ARE safe. I take my kids here every two years or so and have since they were babies. There are questions regarding the safety of flying; however, I think you are NAIVE if you think this is only a P.I. problem. Any of the world's third world countries, where most of the BEST diving is located, are in the same boat. My philosophy on life: take realistic precautions and then GET OUT THEIR AND LIVE. I think you are in more danger on the DC beltway than you are flying in the Philippines.
I have been to Puerto Galera; the diving was nice, but MAN is it crowded. It will help if you speak Japanese, since most of the tourist are from Japan. I much prefer to stay on the other side and dive out of Anilao. It is less crowded; there are decent resorts (but fewer) and are frequented mostly by Manila based divers.
I also loved the diving we did two summers ago around the island of Cebu. We went to Siquihor/Dumaguete, Moalboal, Bohol, and Malapascua. What a dive trip that was!! I checked off so many "gotta see" critters from my list: mandarin fish, ghost pipefish, pygmy seahorses, thresher sharks (just to name a few).
Feel free to contact me thru sparksmail if you have any specific questions about Philippine diving. And give the Philippines a chance; I guarentee you, you won't regret it!!
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