Dive Site: Magic Island House Reef Moalboal Cebu

Bristle tailed filefish bristling at house reef diving moalboal cebu philippines banner

Site Overview

Site Type: Scenic reef and macro
Depth: Top: 5MMedian: 12MBottom: 16M
Location: The Magic Island House Reef is due south of the steps of Magic Island, about 60m offshore and extends east and west by about 80m.

Description

Magic Island House Reef is where you are most likely to encounter the exotically coloured Mandarin fish for which this area is famous.

The house reef dive starts from the steps in front of the dive centre. Within about 20m offshore it’s deep enough to don fins and fin to the edge of the reef about another 60 m out to sea. The reef edge is distinct, but the slope is shallow and falls away gradually with lots of gullies between large coral clusters.

lettuce like plate coral at House Reef diving Moalboal Cebu in the Philippines by Diveplanit

The first thing that will strike you is the quality of the coral: it is in great condition and clearly unaffected by local divers. There are lots of things to see of all different shapes and sizes and you could probably dive this site several times during a week’s stay.

Bristle tailed filefish not bristling at House Reef diving Moalboal Cebu in the Philippines by Diveplanit

The first encounter with the marine life was this little bristle tail filefish who was not at all bristling until I tried to take a photograph of him at which point he became fully bristling.

Bristle tailed filefish bristling at House Reef diving Moalboal Cebu in the Philippines by Diveplanit

There are lots of little fish like the Split Band Cardinalfish,

Split band cardinalfish at House Reef diving Moalboal Cebu in the Philippines by Diveplanit

and down towards the sand you will find shrimp gobies like this Randalls,

Randalls Shrimp Goby at House Reef diving Moalboal Cebu in the Philippines by Diveplanit

and Sharpnose Sandperch measuring your proximity and readying their escape.

Sharpnose sandperch at House Reef diving Moalboal Cebu in the Philippines by Diveplanit

Like some other sites nearby one of the sponges was covered this with small white sea cucumbers.

Small white seacucumbers on sponge at House Reef diving Moalboal Cebu in the Philippines by Diveplanit

There are also large seacucumbers, this one with an interesting pattern.

Seacucumbers bum at House Reef diving Moalboal Cebu in the Philippines by Diveplanit

The job of all the sea cucumbers is to filter water and substrate to keep it clean. Some divers are tempted to pick up these colourful creatures, though please don’t as it stresses them and inhibits their ability to perform their most useful marine function.

There are plenty of nudis dotted around,

Reticulated Chromodoris at House Reef diving Moalboal Cebu in the Philippines by Diveplanit

and in common with many of the other sites there are plenty of sea stars from the big fat granulated seastar down to the Chocolate Chip Seastar,

Chocolate Chip seastar at House Reef diving Moalboal Cebu in the Philippines by Diveplanit

also available in grey!

Chocolate Chip seastar also available in grey at House Reef diving Moalboal Cebu in the Philippines by Diveplanit