Philippines - Events

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Philippine Hobie Challenge
Still active, open to all Hobie 16 sailors and cruising yachts as support boats; information can be found at:


PGYC Easter Regatta

Mid October:

All Souls Regatta – Subic Sailing is quite active in promoting sailing events in and around Subic Bay and their most regular event scheduled for the week following the biennial Rolex China Sea Race (from Hong Kong to the Philippines) – takes place during Easter Week. The event has had two previous names – (originally) the President’s Cup Regatta then the Commodore’s Cup Regatta – but from 2019 has been re-named the CHAIRMAN’S CUP REGATTA. This event aims to attract a selection of the yachts that complete the Rolex China Sea Race (and its alternate-year race to either San Fernando, LaUnion, or Puerto Galera, Mindoro) plus yachts from clubs around the Philippines.

Subic Sailing also organize the Philippines’ longest race (200NM), usually near the end of February/early March. Previously named the Standard Insurance Subic To Boracay Race but for the past two years has been re-named (and re-routed) the Standard Insurance Subic Around Verde Island Race (still 200NM). This may revert to the Standard Insurance Subic to Boracay Race when Covid-19 has passed and Boracay has fully reopened to tourism.

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  1. May 27, 2023 at 6:35 AM
    Andrew Brown says:

    Batangas should not be considered a Clearing-In Port for Sailing Vessels.

    We sailed to Batangas in April 2023 and had a lot of trouble there. The Customs people were friendly. The problem was a demand from an agent for USD8,000 in cash in order to hire a Government barge to allow the Customs Officials to come out to the boat, anchored near the ferry jetty. Under the law no agent is needed and no USD fee beyond a USD2 admin fee in chargeable. The agent also insisted that the owner re-register the boat from a UK to a Philippine boat. We refused and sailed away, illegally, to Puerta Gallera. It took a lot of travel on land and ferry over the next ten days, complaints logged in Manila, and eventually a negotiated deal, with no special USD fee paid, a trip to the boat in a bunkka with a drunken fisherman, with the two Customs guys to solve it. They don’t have a dock for sail boats and don’t welcome them. Most people sail away and don’t pay the USD cash fee and search for another Port; the Customs guys told me that about one boat per year pays the USD big fee, so it is worth the agent’s while trying. In PG there were four other boats that had sailed away, one had been asked for USD18,000.

    Batangas has long had a reputation amongst Philippine seafarers as a place of trouble, where the “authorities find lots of ways to drive you crazy”. According to one local seafarer regarding where to clear-in: “We tell our bosses, “Anywhere but Batangas please”.

    Be sure to clear Customs before Trying to Immigration. If you persuade Immigration to stamp you in you create a new headache.

    Clearing out at Batangas may be easier.


  2. July 15, 2022 at 4:23 AM
    randycebu says:

    Pirates board sailing vessel 6 miles offshore near Kalibo:

  3. July 15, 2022 at 4:18 AM
    randycebu says:

    Pirates Board Sailing Vessel On Delivery from Olongapo to Cebu!
    Traveling at around 10 or 11pm around 6 miles off the coast of Kalibo when suddenly a speed boat came behind them (he said their engine was like those thai speed boats) and apparently rammed them slowly (since there is visible paint and scratches on the back of the outboard). Around 11 guys all armed with long arm rifles were there and when they pulled along side them 2 of them jumped on and entered the cabin and looked around to which as originally told, the big boss told them to leave them alone and they left. I think they stole something but it must’ve been from the crews own personal stuff since they didn’t mention anything about our stuff.

  4. October 21, 2021 at 3:03 AM
    mikeking says:

    Stolen yacht. Last seen Cebu early September. It was called Hawkeye, a Sirena 38 monohull, white hull with blue covers and blue stripes.
    Two French nationals aboard a father and son. Please contact if any sightings. Many thanks. Mike.

  5. March 20, 2020 at 4:51 AM
    amarantha says:

    Hi. My experience clearing the Philippines was at Surigao, which I found to be easy, polite and totally free.
    I anchored at Araya Bay, a couple of kilometers west of the city, caught a tricycle and found myself at Luneta Park after finding out that Customs had moved. Going past this delightful park are mini jeepneys (I forget what they call them). Look for those with the word “Pier” on their sides as part of their route description. They go past both Customs and Immigration. Customs is at “Geckos” on the second floor. Immigration is at Giasono Mall further up the road, second floor at the back right side. Ask the driver to let you know when you get there. Delightful officials, and Customs will even give you a cup of coffee while you fill out anonymous comments on your treatment. Cheers.

  6. November 23, 2019 at 9:54 PM
    jpbeer says:

    The information regarding Ocean View Marina in Davao is not up to date. Here is the situation now:

    1. There is now only one pontoon available for cruising boats. The western pontoon has been closed down to accommodate fish cages and the owner’s boats.

    2. The van service has become quite unreliable lately due to the fact that it is used more and more by the condotel next door built by the same owner.

    3. Their website has been taken down, so don’t bother looking for it.

    4. If you really really want to stop at the Ocean View Marina, don’t use the numbers listed above. Send an email to [email protected] Subject: attention Ma’am Ruth.

    5. We have been told very recently that the yard will not do haul-outs anymore. Boats still accepted, but only in the water.


  7. November 5, 2019 at 9:54 AM
    kawaboy says:

    Gday all

    My name is Joe Pestana on a Rob Perry Tatoosh 42 and will be travelling with my wife and her brother.

    I’m planning on spending Christmas 2019 with my wife’s family in Legaspi City (Sto Domingo, actually) in Albay Gulf.

    We’ll start from Subic Bay on the 15 Nov > Hamilo Cove Batangas > Puerto Galera, then maybe Romblon Yacht Club OR Busuanga – Coron.-

    Make our way to El Nido then east to Boracay then Masbate.

    I am concerned about making the San Bernardino Passage as I understand the currents are quite strong and I would appreciate comments from cruisers who have made this passage. I would have to time the tides properly and go with the flow, no pun intended. 🙂 but first hand info would be good.

    Comments and info will be greatly appreciated and thanks in advance.

    SY Victory

  8. June 18, 2019 at 2:19 PM
    takeshitanaka says:

    Dear Noonsite members. My name is Takeshi Tanaka new to noonsite. I actively enjoy sailing on my 27ft sail boat (Cookie) in Yokohama Japan.
    I am wondering if anyone on this sight can help me to assess the security (piracy in particular) risk in my planned cruising on my friend’s 50ft sail boat through Celebes Sea and Sulu Sea.
    Here is our plan,
    Leaving Yokohama Japan on Dec 29 this year. sail down to Palau, then to Sorong thru Heren isl. Turn to west to RajaAmpat, pass north of Obi isl and cross Moluccas Pass to Manado. Then sail thru Celebes Sea to Zamboanga, pass Sulu Sea to Cebu, Puerutogalera,a, su-bikku、Kaohsiunng,Taiwan、Ishigaki Shima Japan, Atami Shizuoka Japan. Approx 4500NM for three months.
    Sulu and Celebes seas are known as risky area for the cruising sail boats.
    Any information regarding the latest piracy risk will be appreciated.
    Also your open suggestion regarding our cruising course will be very helpful.
    Thank you for your help.
    Takeshi Tanaka S.V. Cookie

    1. June 21, 2019 at 12:17 AM
      takeshitanaka says:

      Subic instead of su-bikku sorry

  9. February 8, 2019 at 4:15 AM
    Data Entry5 says:

    We are a Seahorse52 motor yacht, Lady Jo. Lady Jo had been moored off our house nr San Pedro, Romblon Island. On the night of 7-8 January 2018 the shackle connecting our riser chain to the mooring buoy was sawed through resulting in Lady Jo drifting across the Romblon Passage and grounding on a rocky beach on Tablas.

    She was battered sufficiently to make a severe hole. Insurer’s marine surveyor has pronounced her a Constructive Total Loss. The local police bungled any rescue attempt by delaying informing the Coast Guard for 4 hours.

    This incident is reported so that cruisers visiting Romblon can take extra precautions against such malicious acts, and that local police assistance may be lacking. In case of trouble call the Coast Guard who were very helpful.

    1. May 27, 2019 at 3:41 AM
      alex5609 says:

      I’m surprised to hear that, and sure it’s the truth. Do you have any idea of the motives to do that? Is Romblon foreigner unfriendly? I’m asking because I have a cat in the carribeans thinking about moving it to Sibuyan or buy another one. I’m afraid now.

  10. September 27, 2017 at 6:39 AM
    Data Entry5 says:

    s/v Java checked into the country in Cebu, which is now NOT the place to do it (Sep 2017). Immigration cost 3000Php, whereas two years ago it cost nothing. when I asked about this, I was told that this was always the cost, so I paid, got two passports stamped (one was a Phil. Passport) and asked for a receipt for payment.

    Was told that I couldn’t get a receipt since the money WAS NOT going to the government. Ha, ha, at least the guy was honest in that this money was strictly off the books! My advice: forget Cebu for checking in. Evan on Cat JAVA

  11. May 27, 2017 at 9:49 AM
    Data Entry5 says:

    Just left HOV Marina on Samal Island, Davao, and glad to be out of there. Abu Sayyaf and martial law aside, the marina is run by an absentee Filipino manager who avoids customers and does not manage his staff.
    For some odd reason, marine time is 15 min ahead of world time, and the employees use this to their advantage at starting, lunch, break, and stop times so as to cut 1.5 work hours from each day. Management is aware but insists on charging for time not worked.

    Theft is an issue and marina provided workers are so unskilled as to be useless. Hire outside contractors if you must have work done, but I highly recommend going somewhere else.

    The marina is located on an island and if you need anything it is a day wasted going into Davao by ferry.

    They could not haul my boat due to the 2m draft!
    The marina owner has plans to turn the marina into a condo-hotel and ignores what little existing marina business remains. There are much better places in the Philippines

  12. February 23, 2017 at 2:59 PM
    Data Entry5 says:

    Posted on behalf of Steindor Sigurgeirsson:

    Just to update information on the safety of cruising the Palawan area, Philippines.

    Early February 2017 we took our motor yacht from Busuanga to Kudat. The route was down the west coast of Palawan after refueling in Coron. We stopped overnight at El Nido, and Uluguan Bay.

    Note that the Coast Guard wants yachts to register at their offices when they stop in Coron and El Nido. Nothing problematic, they only want to see the boat registry and get a crew list. We spoke to the officers in Coron, El Nido and the Coast Guard station of Ulugan Bay when we were there, and they claimed that there was no problem with safety on the south part of Palawan anymore.

    During our stop in Ulugan Bay, we rented tricycles to go to Puerto Princesa for immigration and port clearance, and it went very smoothly. We asked the Customs officer in Puerto Princesa if it would be safe to anchor in the bays southward, and he had a different opinion to that of the Coast Guard. He said that we should not take any unnecessary risks.

    So we decided for the remainder of the trip to stay offshore -approx 15-20nm – and go directly to Kudat. We had no problems during the passage, just the occasional fishing boat passed by and we had a very nice cruise.

    Off Pulau Balambangan there was a Malaysian patrol boat moored, obviously monitoring the channel.

    We arrived on Saturday, so immigration and customs were closed, so we went to Kota Kinabalu for immigration where the port immigration office is open 7 days a week. Customs we cleared on Monday, as well very efficient and only took a few minutes, same as for the immigration.

    So an excellent trip and hopefully we will get further assurance of Southern Palawan being a safe place to cruise in the very near future.

    M/Y Solon Islandus

  13. November 1, 2015 at 11:41 AM
    Data Entry5 says:

    Recently sailed from Surigao to Palau. Tidal currents are very strong but if you’re traveling with the flow it’s just a fast trip through the islands. After winding through the entrance reefs (the channel is quite narrow, suggest you do it with the sun high), we overnighted in Dapa, a very pleasant small town with a lovely anchorage just West of the ferry wharf.

    The main reason I’m writing is to warn of a danger we encountered several times between the Philippines and Palau. Five times we passed quite close to FAD’s, floating cylinders (they looked like steel), about 3m long, anchored to the sea bed. They are not flagged or lit, we passed a couple at night, fortunately, it was a full moon so we could see them.

    On a dark night, they would be impossible to see. If they are, in fact, steel, they present a very real threat to small vessels. We saw five close-by on the lay line between Dapa and Palau. We also had a close pass from a Chinese bulk carrier which did not respond to VHF or HF calls. Of course, Palau is beautiful.

    Norm van’t Hoff
    ‘Jumpa Lagi’
    Leaving Palau for Raja Empat and Indonesia in November 2015.

  14. January 7, 2015 at 2:40 AM
    Data Entry5 says:

    My name is Bruce Curran and in 2003 I published the book titled “Combing the Coral Carpet-Sailing Tales and the Cruising Guide to the Philippine Islands.” The 1st edition can be found at the major yacht clubs in the Philippines, all copies have sold out but the 2nd edition is due out in the first half of 2015.

  15. December 2, 2014 at 3:16 PM
    Data Entry5 says:

    Posted on behalf of Yacht Carina:
    Dangerous High Voltage Wire Near Surigao Strait
    A vessel here at Oceanview Marina reports a deadly dangerous drooping powerline near the Surigao Straits. The vessel is approximately 40′ and they struck the wire at about 2/3 mast height.

    The wire is strung from Bucas Grande to Middle Bucas at the entrance to Port Batuecos at approximate location:

    09 41.2 N / 125 58.8 E

    The Google Earth picture we have of this passage is poor, but there appears a dark shadow at the location the skipper identified. The cm93 database chart is slightly off register here so the location of this waypoint appears to be on the shore when it is in fact mid-channel.

    The vessel survived hitting the powerline but just barely. All electronics including transducers were blown up. Literally, blown up. The lone crew was remarkably not injured.

    Another vessel we met in Palau earlier this year also reported this wire – they came very close to disaster themselves – but we were not able to get a precise location from them.

    Philip DiNuovo
    Leslie Linkkila
    yacht Carina
    Samal Island, Davao Gulf, Philippines

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