Cabilao Island Fallen Tree

What’s hiding in Cabilao’s Bubble Corals !!!!

It’s our incredible Bubble Coral Shrimp

(Vir philippinensis)

Bubble Coral Shrimp uniquely these fantastic little guys and girls can only be found on Bubble corals of genus Plerogyra or Physogyra.

Bubble coral shrimp are widespread are in the Indo-pacific.  And they were first recorded in 1984 just across the waters of Cabilao on the island of Cebu. Thus leading to its name Vir Philippinensis.

These little coral critters are sometimes also called Crustaceans, Carid Shrimps, Commensal Shrimps, Bubble Anemone Shrimp, Philippine Shrimp.

Bubble coral shrimp are transparent with the thin purple line on legs. So this makes them a very sexy looking crustacean. They can be hard to see as they only grow to a length of 1.5cm it’s often the dark red antennae sticking out of the coral that catches the eye, allowing the shrimp to be spotted.

Bubble Coral Shrimp often live in pairs in one protected corner of the coral and are great for all level of divers and snorkelers with a keen eye to find as they can be found here at a depth ranging from 30 meters to a surprisingly shallow 3 meters only.

Here at La Estrella Beach Resort and Cabilao Dive Center, we cater for quality to you, not the crowds. So we look forward to taking around the underwater world of Cabilao Island in 2018.

Peacock Mantis shrimp (Odontodactylus scyllarus)

Truly Amazing Aliens – Mantis Shrimp

Curious Critter Punching above their Weight !!

The mantis shrimp is one of the most exciting crustaceans found in our oceans.  Scientists study their strength, molecular structure, and eyesight because it’s all so amazing  — they are another curious critter we see here on our dive sites around Cabilao.

The mantis shrimp, don’t be fooled by its name  — as they are swift, robust and efficient death machines of the sea!

Mantis shrimp are only about four inches long, but pound for pound is one of the strongest animals in the world.  They use their arms and claws that are more like a human elbow than fists to punch their prey — with such force such as bullet shot from a caliber gun.  This incredible power is essential for hunting food — easily breaking such the shells of prey like crabs and clams.

But they aren’t just strong, and they’re fast too!  They have the most rapid predatory strike in the ocean — swinging in less than 800 microseconds.  In the time it takes you to blink an eye, the mantis shrimp could have punched you in theory  500 times.

If you could throw a ball as fast as the mantis shrimp throws its punches, you’d launch the ball into space!

Like lobsters the mantis shrimp’s eyes are on stalks that they can move around — they can even move their eyes in different directions.  They can swing them about up and down or left or right this is genuinely amazing to watch.


These adorable critters mate for life — they meet the shrimp of their dreams, and they move into and share the same burrow, protect their eggs and help each other through life underwater for the rest of their life, which is said to be around 20 years.

Mantis shrimp are threatening animals whom when they find a home to burrow and do not venture away from it very much, except infrequently when hunting food or outside circumstances force them to relocate.  Although they do go out hunting sometimes, they prefer to ambush prey that comes near their home.

These critters live around in the shallow waters in sub-tropical and tropical marine environments, and you can see them around our dive sites here on Cabilao, So come and Explore here at La Estrella Beach Resort and Cabilao Dive Center and Experience and Enjoy some more.


Cabilao’s Curious Critters

Well, the season is off to great start, our favorite Cabilao’s Curious Critter of the week has to be wonderfully named  Orangutan Crab (Achaeus japonicus), this crab entirely acts like it bigger counterpart and brought a smile to everyone’s face.  Can you spot the crab  !!!!

Also over the past few days, we have found some unusual little critters; we had dolphins on the surface and underwater and yesterday a very photogenic white tip reef shark.

We have had the pleasure of teaching new divers and welcoming back some of our old guests to the resort for some fantastic times and diving with La Estrella Beach Resort and Cabilao Dive Center.


Credit for Photo Joachim Troll

La Estrella

Welcome to our Blog

Welcome to La Estrella’s Blog – here you can keep up to date with all the latest happenings on the island.

Most of our posts will be written by our staff from the resort and Dive center who are regularly out on the reefs exploring the beautiful corals and creatures in our shores… as well as teaching our students of course. Although we’ll make sure to check in with the occasional island or resort update.

Goodbye for now!
La Estrella