Volunteer in Marine Conservation Philippines

Climate

Negros Oriental, being in the south of the Visayas, generally has year round good weather with not much change during the whole year. Interestingly though, Zamboaguita is located exactly on the border of two climate types and therefore has a little of both.

The climate is governed by two main seasons or winds, called the Amihan and Habagat. The Amihan wind (from the North) lasts from October to the end of March, while the Habagat (from the South) rules the other half of the year. Although not as clearly pronounced as in other tropical countries, the main rainy season starts in mid-June with the most intense part lasting only a few weeks. The hottest month is just before that in May. In the rainy season it doesn’t rain constantly though, so although it influences things a little, we can continue our diving and normal conservation work. In December there is a small rainy season, but this just brings a few scattered showers really, and makes the climate quite pleasant, with cooler temperatures. The driest time is in April, when the hillsides and the botanical garden we live in clearly dries up. Air temperatures year round vary between 25°C and 35°C. Sea temperature goes from 26 in February when it’s coldest to around 30 in June, July and August. Most volunteers find scuba diving in a short wetsuit fine year round.

Since the Philippines consists of islands only, the wind plays an important part in our climate. In foreign media, the country is well known for its typhoons (or hurricanes in american English). This is partly undeserved though, since typhoons are highly localized and many areas of the Philippines, such as the lower Visayas are hardly ever affected. Negros Oriental is well outside the typical Typhoon belt and rarely gets hit by typhoons. Even the ones that do hit (the last one that did any damage was in 2011) only cause damage to the reefs and beach front properties. The season when we might potentially have typhoons is in December/January. But the only influence we usually have is a wet stormy day not much worse than the ones that frequently occur in Europe and the U.K. and an occasional cancelled flight due to problems elsewhere.