The “Asia Divers Dive Angels” is up and running and getting a great turn out. It’s a group of ladies plus sometimes few ” Devils” that are living or working here plus some of our guest mermaids who are also staying with us. We get together every Wednesday for the 13:30 dive and then on to snacks and bubbles following at El Galleon Resort. If you’re in the area full time or just temporarily, and want to join, just let us know! It wonderful to see this community building up and we look forward to adding more team members.
Our Asia Divers Dive Angels have their own logo and t-shirt. Want one? …Join the Asia Divers Dive Angels today and you can have one!
So nice to have many Asia Divers Dive Angels enjoying our weekly event now.
The whole team got together for Rhuby’s birthday dive.
BCD party time! This is the way the gang finished off the dive on Rhuby’s B day. It’s such a cool feeling to be floating out in the Verde Island Passage while enjoying good company and a few cold beers.
Thanks to Yvette Lee of Discovery Fleet, for the below photos and also this gorgeous photo of Dee in the Canyons. We we’re all very excited to have this group of eight here for 5 diving days over the holidays. Dive conditions in Puerto Galera have been superb and they also got in a day of diving at Verde Island.
According to them and everyone else who has been here during the past few weeks, the trip to Puerto Galera is seamless, only 2 hours to Berberabe Port, 25 min Speedboat ride to Puerto Galera and then the boat drops off all our guests off at our private pier at Asia Divers in Small lalaguna. They were diving by 13:30 pm!Contact us to make your escape from the city…we can organize everything for you to get here easily!
Karen Chan, Davidson Huang, Brittany Kaw, Regine Tan, Maria Teresa Robles, Yvette Lee, Edna Decastro, and Drew Weiner enjoying their stay at El Galleon Resort and Asia Divers in Puerto Galera.
Most of Puerto Galera’s dive sites are only 5-10 minutes away from the resort
Check out more of Yvette’s photos below:
The Boulders is one of my favorite dives sites. The whole area is covered with huge boulders of different shapes and sizes to give you some very interesting topography. At depth is the place to look for seahorses, ghost pipefishes, and sea moths. Afterwards, you wind your way up to shallow depths amongst the rocks. A resident school of snapper will escort you through the site with lots of whip corals, many fishes, bubble corals, sea fans, sponges, and perhaps even a ribbon eel. Beautiful soft corals up in the shallows make this a very picturesque dive.
Just look at the healthy sea fans at Verde Island Drop Off. Only twenty-five minutes away by Asia Divers speedboat, it makes a fantastic day trip! Pinnacles break the surface on the East side of Verde Island and drop away to great depths. The Drop Off is a gorgeous vertical reef with some beautiful gorgonian fans, sea snakes, frogfish and some large pelagic schools.
There are lots of Batfish in the stern area of Alma Jane Wreck. This popular PG wreck is right off the end of our pier! It’s a 30m steel hull and wooden cargo vessel which was sunk in March 2003 and has turned into a fantastic dive site with great fish life. It sits in 30m of water and is a perfect training site for different courses such as nitrox, wreck, and deep specialties. Sweet lips, snapper, batfish, jacks, lionfish, boxfish, and rabbit fish have taken to the wreck.
Fantasy Reef is a very pretty reef dive just off of our pier! Lovely hard corals escort you all the way up to the shallows from an 18-20 meter depth. Turtles, snapper and lots of fish make it extra special.
Yellow snappers at Alma Jane.
Elly at the Anchor after the 3rd canyon. This is one of Puerto Galera’s signature dives. It is an exciting drift dive for experienced divers. There are three drop-offs below the Hole in the Wall covered in soft corals and sponges. You can duck into the canyons for a break from the current. There is much to find on the bottom but primarily it is the large school of drummers, snapper, emperors, sweetlips, barracudas, jacks, and trevally that make this an exciting drift dive. The dive ends at a 1½m anchor embedded in the coral, where the group can gather before being swept off for a blue water assent to the safety stop in the current.
Allan and Tommy together with Tommy’s son Leary decide to check out how the rest of the province looks like after all the bad weather in the past month. Of course most have been cleaned up but it sounds like good excuse to get out a day on the bikes.
Allan started in Puerto Galera and after an hour ride to Calapan he picked up Tommy and Leary to head down south to the first highlight on the trip, the curvy road between Victoria and Socorro passing the Naujjan Lake, a real treat for bikers. Next highlight on the trip was the Francis Coronel road that by-pass Roxas up in a hilly area with wonderful view in towards the center of Mindoro island. Equally good and winding road with good surface so the boys had a lot of fun.
As none of them really had explored Roxas town center before they decide to check it out and found a nice little restaurant, Red Tomato that served nice meals, not the last time they will visit there.
As they had so much fun on the by-pass road they decide to go back the same way as they came even though it is an extra 20km. They split in Calapan as Allan was heading back to Puerto Galera with Tommy and Leary to follow following day. The return trip is around 400km from Puerto Galera to Roxas that gives it a good day out on the bikes.
Riding around Mindoro is a fun way to spend the day so if you’re looking for something “off the beach” to do you can consider this.
El Galleon Resort has a swimming pool, spa, beachfront restaurant, in house PADI Dive Center and two bars.
As well as Scuba Diving, El Galleon offers sunset cruises, beach hopping, golfing, snorkeling, Zip line, Extreme Sports and day trip activities. Whether it’s a lazy day in the sun, some adventure or a game of golf, we have what you’re looking for.
We’re now open for domestic tourism so if your in the Philippines we can make it easy for you to come here to spend some quality time with family and friends.
Your well-being and comfort is our priority and we have lots of space for everyone to enjoy their stay and dive in a relaxing and safe way. All considerations for your health, safety are already in place throughout the resort. It’s time to rejuvenate with fresh air, fantastic food and great diving at our beachfront location.
Our special 7 night packages includes accommodation with continental breakfast, and return transfers from Manila.*
One person Budget room: Price per person USD $782
One person Poolside room: Price per person USD $1017
One person Seaview room: Price per person USD $1146
Two persons Budget room twin share (Must be from the same household): Price per person USD $411
Two persons Poolside room twin share (Must be from the same household): Price per person USD $529
Two persons Seaview room twin share (Must be from the same household): Price per person USD $593
Two persons Budget rooms (2): Price per person USD $537
Two persons Poolside rooms (2): Price per person USD $772
Two persons Seaview rooms (2): Price per person USD $900
Three person Budget Rooms (3): Price per person USD $455
Three person Poolside Rooms (3): Price per person USD $690
Three person Seaview Rooms (3): Price per person USD $819
Four person Budget Rooms (4): Price per person USD $414
Four person Poolside Rooms (4): Price per person USD $649
Four person Seaview Rooms (4): Price per person USD $778
Four person Budget Rooms (2) twin share (Must be from the same household): Price per person USD $288
Four person Poolside Rooms (2) twin share (Must be from the same household): Price per person USD $406
Four person Seaview Rooms (2) twin share (Must be from the same household): Price per person USD $470
*For direct bookings only and limited offer only
Transfers made easy!
We can assist you in having your COVID test. We’ll pick you up in the morning and take you to the Valenzuela lab. The test will be P4,500 and the extra charge for the car/van is P1000. The test will take approximately one hour. We will need you to send us a copy of your test results, the receipt for your test and a valid ID (Messenger, Viber, WhatsApp). We will then pass that onto our LGU and notify them of your arrival.
Congratulations to Chuck Dreyfus for doing his 3000th dive. When he moved to Puerto Galera three years ago he had 1749 dives…that’s a lot of dives in just three years to hit this big number. So why the bunny ears? Well, Chuck likes his numbers and bunnies are great at multiplying! Check out the “3000” hair band too. Rob Jacobs made a video that you can check out on our Facebook page. Nothing like seeing a bunny go scuba diving!
2020 Traveler’s choice
We are very thankful to receive the Tripadvisor Travellers Choice Award for 2020. Thank you to all of our wonderful guests and especially those that took the time and effort to write reviews. Also, a big thank you to the staff at El Galleon and Asia Divers who made this possible.
We love getting reviews…especially nice ones of course! If you’ve visited us before and enjoyed your stay perhaps you can write a review for us on one of our TripAdvisor sites. During these crazy times every little bit can help:
El Galleon Beach Resort & Hotel
El Galleon Restaurant
We look forward to seeing you all back soon!
Bring down the nuts!
Thank God the coconuts came down last week! Over the past few months of lockdown they seem to have grown out of control and they were dropping like bombs! Have look at our Facebook page to see the video on how to “Safely drop your nuts” if you want to see how it’s done.
Wild Philippines, a new book by Nigel Hicks
Back in 2018 Nigel Hicks came to stay with us to do some underwater photography for the book he was then working on, about the wildlife of the Philippines, and to be called Wild Philippines. Unfortunately, on that occasion things conspired against him in the form of an ear problem that prevented him from diving, though he was able to do some onshore photography instead.
Wild Philippines was published a few months ago, and you can see some sample photos and pages on his website at https://www.nigelhicks.com/editorial-photography-writing/books/wild-philippines/. It is also available from National Book Stores and from any Amazon site.
With over 300 photos and 50,000 words, Wild Philippines is major work, offering both the public and conservationists working in this field a valuable snapshot of the state of conservation in the Philippines at this time. Published to mark the 20th anniversary of The National Parks and Other Wild Places of the Philippines, Nigel’s first book about the country, and the first ever to look at its natural environment, Wild Philippines now brings an overview of our knowledge about Philippine wildlife right up to date.
X-Ray Magazine contribution by Beth Watson
Check out the latest edition of X-Ray Magazine. Lots of great dive and travel information. Including Beth’s contribution to this issue, located under the “My Favorite Wide Angle Dive” section. You download your free copy today: https://xray-mag.com/magazines/99
This month’s Monday News cover photo is of Maria zipping around the yacht on a DPV. You can have a go on the DPV while you’re here. Just ask us about doing the PADI DPV Specialty course or if you’re already DPV certified you can join a dedicated DPV dive. Its super fun and completely different type of diving. If you would like to keep up to date on what’s happening here please sign up for our weekly newsletter. Just send a message to firstname.lastname@example.org
A time for learning something new
Andy Xie has been back in China since March keeping busy working and he just did a course for “Public Safety Diving” at Fuxian Lake. The Public Safety Diving course is for police, fire, and civilian volunteers.
They learned about the use of dry suits, full facemask , underwater communication equipment, and signal ropes, crime scene investigation, risk assessment, land and underwater evidence search and collection. Also study the search and salvage of human remains, vehicles, and physical evidence in zero visibility and highly contaminated waters, as well as post-effluent investigation, protection, transportation, and disinfection procedures.
Andy is looking forward to coming back here and perhaps teaching this to others who might be interested.
No matter what level of diver you are and no matter how many exotic locations you have dived, the diving in Puerto Galera will not disappoint even the most seasoned of divers.
Puerto Galera offers beautiful protected coves with stunning coral gardens and scores of exotic underwater species. Schooling reef fish, including jacks, snappers, fairy basslets, triggerfish, groupers, trevally, drummers and barracuda, set the scene against vibrant coral reefs and passing reef sharks. Turtles, moray eels, cephalopods and macro crustaceans are all found in abundance. And then there’s the thresher sharks – one of the most impressive sharks to see in the ocean.
Puerto Galera offers everything underwater that you would expect from the world-class scuba diving in the Philippines. From macro critters to cruising pelagics, Puerto Galera truly has it all – and in abundance! Here are 5 of our favourite dive sites that should not be missed when you are diving Puerto Galera…
Three canyons make up this action-packed dive site which is a hot spot for schooling trevally, groupers, drummers, snappers and barracuda. Huge gorgonian sea fans and an abundance of soft corals make this a colourful site. Look out for resting turtles, hiding octopus and passing reef sharks.
This long stretch of sloping reef is home to vibrant corals, a plethora of reef fish and huge schools of red tooth triggerfish which occupy the blue. On the reef you’ll find moray eels at all depths and if you venture deeper than 20 metres / 65 feet, look out for blue-spotted stingrays on the sandy bottom.
San Agapito Point:
Located off Verde Island, this is a stunning pinnacle site that will entice pelagic lovers and macro fans alike. Schooling jacks and fairy basslets are a highlight along with frequent sea snake sightings, vibrant corals, huge gorgonian sea fans and a myriad of macro crustaceans.
As the name suggests, this dive site offers a range of ‘steps’ starting from 5 metres/ 16 feet down to 22 metres/ 73 feet. Start at the deepest point and work your way up for a range of marine life including soap fish, nudibranch, barracuda, moray eels, lionfish and stunning corals. If you like intriguing topography this site is an absolute must.
If you are a macro photographer or nudibranch aficionado this dive site should be on your list. This beautiful coral wall extends down to 30 meters / 100 feet from where it becomes a sloping reef. Look out for macro critters among the colourful soft corals and resting turtles.
Diving with Thresher Sharks:
If you are hoping to dive with thresher sharks then diving in Puerto Galera must be added to your bucket list. Thresher sharks are generally a deeper dwelling species of shark that spend most of their time below 40 meters. So why then, do they come to the shallower water and dive sites around Puerto Galera? Because of the fish!! Thresher sharks need regular ‘cleaning’ to remove parasites from their body. The small cleaner fish found at our shallower depths are perfect for the job. It’s a beautiful symbiotic relationship – the thresher receives some TLC and the cleaner fish receive a free meal!
Blackwater diving is a relatively new type of diving in Puerto Galera and it’s when we see some of the strangest and most unusual marine life – which is rarely seen by other divers. Blackwater diving takes place at night and we use powerful lights to attract plankton and larvae stage marine species. The plankton, in turn, attracts some of the weirdest critters from the deep. This is an exciting dive and a must for underwater photographers.
Diverse Marine Life in the Coral Triangle
Puerto Galera is located in the heart of the coral triangle, did you know…
76% (605) of the world’s coral species (798) are found in the Coral Triangle, the highest coral diversity in the world.
The Coral Triangle has more coral reef fish diversity than anywhere else in the world: 37% (2,228) of the world’s coral reef fish species (6,000), and 56% of the coral reef fishes in the Indo-Pacific region (4,050).
8% (235 species) of the coral reef fishes in the Coral Triangle are endemic or locally restricted species. Within the Coral Triangle, four areas have particularly high levels of endemism (Lesser Sunda Islands, Papua New Guinea – Solomon Islands, Bird’s Head Peninsula, and the Central Philippines).
The Coral Triangle has 15 regionally endemic coral species (species found nowhere else in the world), and shares 41 regional endemic species with Asia.
PADI Open Water Course in Puerto Galera
If you are new to diving you can also explore and enjoy the amazing underwater world of diving in Puerto Galera! The conditions at our dive sites are ideal for beginners and our team of professional PADI Instructors are experts at guiding student divers through the PADI Open Water course in Puerto Galera. If you want to learn to dive in Puerto Galera then our team would love to teach you!
Take the PADI Open Water Course! Imagine swimming over coral reefs and discovering some of the incredible marine life of the Philippines. This is what dreams are made of and it’s all possible when you learn to dive in Puerto Galera.
What is the PADI Open Water Diver Course?
The PADI Open Water Course is the first level of diving certificate. You’ll learn how to become a safe, competent and confident diver and you’ll be certified to dive to a maximum depth of 18 meters. When you finish your PADI Open Water Course at Asia Divers you’ll feel proud of your accomplishments, you’ll have made new friends and you’ll have your ticket to dive anywhere in the world.
During your Open Water Course in Puerto Galera, you’ll complete 5 knowledge development (theory) modules, 5 confined water (swimming pool) sessions and then you’ll be able to join us for 4 incredible dives in the ocean!
Knowledge Development utilizing independent study and PADI’s latest teaching aids will keep classroom time to a minimum to understand basic principles of scuba diving. If you would prefer to complete the theory prior to arriving in Puerto Galera, you may study in advance, online with PADI eLearning. Ask us for more information when booking.
Confined Water Dives to learn basic scuba skills. You couldn’t ask for anywhere better to learn to dive. You’ll be in the hands of capable, experienced dive instructors and an amazing dive facility.
Open Water Dives to use your skills and explore some of the most diverse and unusual marine life seen anywhere in the world! Apart from mastering diving skills your instructor will make sure you learn something about the environment you’re in. During your four training dives you will get a chance to do beach and boat diving on different fantastic dive sites. The water’s warm and clear and there’s always time to exchange stories in the Point Bar at the end of the day. The certification you receive lasts a lifetime!
Please note: To take the PADI Open Water Course you must be at least 10 years old. You need to have adequate swimming skills to swim 200meters and you need to be in good physical health. No prior experience of scuba diving is required.
Why Take the PADI Open Water Course in Puerto Galera?
Did you know that we have over 30 different dive sites to explore? Learning to scuba dive in Puerto Galera means that you’ll be introduced to some of the marine life which people travel from all corners of the globe to see. You’ll see a vibrant mix of healthy hard and soft corals and on almost all of our dives we see schools of colourful reef fish in all shapes and sizes! You’ll be amazed by the diversity of marine life and there’s even ship wreck dives here too!
Why Learn to Dive with Asia Divers
The short answer is that we are fun, friendly, professional, love teaching and have high regard for safety. We are a PADI 5 Star Career Development Centre which means we don’t just teach divers – we also teach Instructors!
We have over 30 years of experience so you can rest assured that you are diving with experts who understand the area and who have an ongoing passion for teaching diving! All of our PADI Instructors are professional, fun and have a love of teaching and sharing the amazing underwater world around Puerto Galera with new divers!
We understand that everyone’s needs are different so we offer a range of flexible learning options. Choose between taking the course in 4 consecutive days, or break it down into stages – your course can be scheduled to your convenience. We are a full service dive center and you’ll find we have everything you need, so you don’t have to worry about purchasing any items of equipment before taking your course – unless you want to!
What if you want to learn to scuba dive, but for some reason (such as the COVID-19 pandemic), it’s not possible for you to travel to The Philippines to appreciate its underwater beauty and to apply your skills. Don’t worry, because PADI offers the online PADI eLearning course to learn diving theory in the comfort of your home.
Learning theory is an important part of PADI courses
Even if you haven’t taken the eLearning course, your dive instructors will need to test your theoretical and technical knowledge before embarking on the practical skills. This is standard practice wherever you go.
The benefit of studying with PADI eLearning at home is that you don’t have to spend your holiday time in a classroom to learn about the prerequisite materials – you would’ve already done that at home!
What is included in the PADI eLearning courses?
All PADI eLearning courses contain a number of learning systems such as online videos, interactive learning, review tests, and the classic dive manual which you can download. Depending on your online course selection, an active internet connection may or may not be required (get in touch for questions on this).
With one years’ access to PADI eLearning courses, you can learn from an unlimited source of knowledge about scuba diving, from basic safety guidelines to technical calculations such as dive durations for specific cases and dive depths. You will receive the same knowledge that you’d have received in our live PADI dive classroom.
With the PADI online course, you can spend a longer amount of time than a rigid classroom schedule would allow. You may even surprise your instructor as you recall the dive table from memory.
How to learn online courses effectively?
PADI eLearning courses grant you the ability to study independently, which means at your own pace, you can learn at a style that you choose. Some people supplement their reading by further researching on the Internet about the material, and even calling up a diver friend to discuss the theories.
In any way you learn, don’t forget to be active – be an active reader or listener by reading up on supplementary materials outside the eLearning course. This isn’t to say that information in the online courses is incomplete. Supplementary reading allows you to add on to your current knowledge, about how the theory works in real life.
Why dive in the Philippines?
We hope you don’t change your mind about where you want to dive. The Philippines is an amazing place to start your diving career. In fact, the Verde Island Passage, between Luzon and Mindoro islands, is the most popular region for both amateur and professional divers.
There is an outstandingly high marine biodiversity in this region, and it has become known as the world’s most important reserve for coral and tropical fish species.
Whenever you have the time to go to the Philippines, visit Puerto Galera’s many dive resorts, like El Galleon, working together with Asia Divers to create a holistic diving holiday experience. Book your room and a PADI course here.
Dive Resorts in Puerto Galera are blessed with direct access to the world’s most diverse marine ecosystem, the Verde Island Passage, which is home to hundreds of species not found anywhere else on Earth.
It is our greatest responsibility to operate sustainably, not only because of our special location but because we want to move towards this kind of business model – to go at the same pace with the rest of the world.
What is sustainability?
Many people have different definitions of what being sustainable means, and even mention a list of specific features a dive center should have. PADI has an excellent article outlining what an “eco-dive resort” should look like.
By definition provided by PADI, we are not an eco-dive resort. We still provide, for example, television, air conditioning, and hair dryers, to make our guests as comfortable as possible with the facilities that they expect to have.
However, this does not mean that we do not try to reduce our environmental impact. For years, we have followed a more general definition of sustainability and continually strive to improve upon our existing system.
For us, to be sustainable is simply to meet the needs of our guests today, without compromising the needs of our guests tomorrow.
Our sustainability protocols
1. Solar energy
Lucky for us, it’s almost always sunny in the Philippines, and the best way to make use of the tropical climate is to use solar panels. Sure, installing a solar panel is not cheap, but the long-term reward is that we reduce our national grid power consumption, and we can calmly sleep knowing that a portion of our energy is clean energy!
2. Zero liquid discharge
Using gas and oil to fuel and maintain our boats is inevitable, and we look forward to investing in boats that demand less of them. However, we spend a considerable amount of time in the boat repair shed to look out for any cracks and leaks that would be dangerous to the delicate coral ecosystem.
3. No plastic straws and small plastic parts
A few years ago we committed to stop using plastic straws and small plastic parts completely. These are hazardous to marine life, and are challenging to remove from the environment when they are misplaced. Nowadays we prefer to use convenient reusable containers and cool-looking metal straws.
4. Pro-environmental diving education
One of the most important principles that we drill into our students is neutral buoyancy
This allows them to transverse across coral reefs without accidentally bumping into them. Another special dive course that we offer is Dive Against Debris, where students collect and report man-made sea debris to Project AWARE.
We welcome guests of tomorrow
The amazing dive sites that dotted the seascape in the coral-rich Verde Island Passage is something that we want everybody to see. We are proud to follow the above protocols, and we work to do more and more for the environment. Learn more about the simple things we do everyday to be sustainable.