Adventures and Sports

Juliens Wreck: Sipalay's Diving Wonderland

Negros Occidental,

Belle Piccio
Belle Piccio | May 28, 2013

Sipalay is dubbed as the “Jewel of the Sugar Island” or “Jewel of Negros” because of its beautiful beaches, natural attractions, caves, waterfalls, coves, bays, and underwater treasures. It's an ideal place to spend a vacation away from your hectic life because of its laid-back lifestyle.

Punta Ballo, Sipalay City

For scuba divers, both professionals and amateurs alike, Sipalay is the place to be for its beautiful dive spots. It offers 44 sites several of which are wreck sites. Most of these beautiful coral reefs and diving spots were named by the owner of Artistic Diving Resort, Arthur Mueller.

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One of the wreck sites is called Juliens, named after a sunken cargo ship. If one hasn't tried out scuba diving yet, you can explore the site by snorkeling.

WATCH: Underwater Video: Exploring Juliens Wreck

Juliens Wreck is near Turtle Island. Its depth is a bit shallow at only 6-7 meters (19-23 feet) while the surrounding area can go as deep as 10-15 meters (32-49 feet). The wreck site is covered with colorful, brilliant corals and abounds with fish.

Clownfishes; photo by Dustin Mijares

Juliens Wreck is only an hour away (one way) from Artistic Diving Resort. It's best to pack some sandwiches for snacks in case you get hungry.

The Story of Juliens

According to one of the dive masters of Artistic Diving Resort, Juliens Wreck was named after a cargo ship full of corn cobs. In the 1980s, Sipalay was one of the stop-overs of cargo vessels going on long trips.

The captain of the ship (Juliens) was so tired and decided to rest on one of Sipalay's islets. The captain wasn't able to estimate the distance properly, and the ship passed through shallow waters and crashed into a hard corral. The ship was shattered into three parts.

Wreck-diving at Juliens offers an experience that divers will remember throughout their entire lifetimes. I, too, was amazed by the beauty that was hidden underneath, by the colorful fishes, by the wreck itself, and by the amazing corals covering the ocean floor.

Sea Slug; photo by Dustin Mijares

You'll come back for more once you try it, whether by scuba or snorkel. You'll want to see again the beautiful marine life flourishing within the wreck.

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Sipalay has diving centers that provide excellent services to Juliens Wreck. These are PADI-certified, and one of them is the Artistic Diving Resort.

How to Get There

From Manila, you can fly to Bacolod (Php2500++, round trip, 45 minutes). From Bacolod-Silay Airport, you can take a shuttle (Php75-100 per head), or a cab and ask to be dropped off at the nearest bus station for Bacolod-Sipalay. You can ride a bus or a minivan (Php300++, one way, approximately 5 hours). If you opt for a bus, once in Sipalay, you still need to ride a motorcycle (around Php150) going to Punta Ballo where you'll find a series of beach resorts, one of which is the Artistic Diving Beach Resort.

You can also arrange with Artistic Diving to fetch you at the airport. They have an 8-seater minivan that costs Php4650 per trip.

(Note: Prices/rates may subject to change without prior notice.)

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