Sipalay

Sipalay, without a doubt, is a diver’s heaven.

Home to 42 dive sites, this Negros Occidental city has been dubbed the “Jewel of Sugar Island”. Indeed, the numerous treasures that Sipalay has to offer are not only found on land but also several meters below sea level.

Disneyland, one of these 42 dive sites, is a perfect starting point for beginner divers, boasting of white sand and abundant fish. For the brave of heart, dive alongside barracudas and sharks found in another favorite dive site, Marco Polo.

Perhaps the most popular among these dive sites are the ones that have wrecks nestled in its depths. The most well-known is the SS Panay Wreck. The SS Panay was a warship that was sunk by a Japanese torpedo in World War II. The so-called Coca-Cola Wreck is another popular site where the remains of the sunken freighter that carried bottles of the famous soda brand are found.

Other dive sites with wrecks are the MS Jojo, where divers can dive into the cargo compartment of the ship, and the Julien’s Wreck, where the three small freight ships are visible even to those who are just snorkeling.

Those who want to stay at the beach should check out the Sugar Beach, also known as the Nauhang Beach, a popular destination among beachgoers in the area. Tinagong Dagat, Punta Ballo Beach and Anhawan Island, more commonly known as Turtle Island, are other options for those who want to enjoy the sun, sand and water. The Campomanes Bay is also found in Sipalay and is under the Marine Protected Area of the city.

Spelunking is another activity that can be enjoyed in Sipalay. Caves such as the Mamara Cave and Matlag Cave are open to those who wish to explore its depths.

Sipalay has two major festivals that locals and visitors alike can take part in. Expect cultural shows, boxing matches, mardi gras-themed presentations, and hakwaton contests, where a contestant has to run to the finish line carrying a sack of rice, in the annual Handurawan Festival, which takes place on the days leading to Christmas. Pasaway sa Sipalay (simply known as Pasaway Festival) takes place annually on the last week of March in celebration of the anniversary of the city. This festival is also known as a copper festival where the performers are all decked in costumes resembling the mineral.

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  1. Perth Paradise Resort
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  8. Mamara Cave
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