News from El Galleon Dive Resort & Asia Divers, Puerto Galera

Aussie Fundraiser has started

August 25 – Aussie Fundraiser Rider Allan and Tommy arrived in Sydney Australia.

We remind you the first Beach Cleanup at St. George Underwater Dive Centre will be on August 28, 2011. Please come and invite your friends to join the event and get a chance to win exciting prizes during the raffle. [read more]

PADI’s new e-learning proves it’s value.

July, 2011

Asia Divers latest success with PADI eLearning

Asia Divers, a PADI 5 Star Instructor Development Centre and Career Development Centre in Puerto Galera, Philippines have been taking advantage of PADI’s eLearning for the past couple of years.

Asia Divers Diving Manager and PADI IDC Staff Instructor, Allison Manis explains..Asia Divers eLearning - Dubai

This was the first year that we had a school group complete their courses with eLearning.  A group of 30 students from Dubai did a combination of Open Water and Advanced.  Because they had all enrolled in PADI eLearning, we were able to get them through their courses more quickly and get them on fun dives earlier in their stay.

The group had much more fun diving instead of spending time in the classroom. It also meant that the group did over 285 extra scuba dives between them after they had completed their courses and they got to take full advantage of all the wonderful diving spots in Puerto Galera.

eLearning for a school group was very successful for us, and we are now working with another school group to do the same.

To find out more, contact Asia Divers Dive Resort at Small Lalaguna Beach, Puerto Galera, Oriental Mindoro, Philippines.  Email:  admin@asiadivers.com
Tel 63(917)8145107, Tel/Fax 63-(43)2873205 or visit their website at www.asiadivers.com/

Visit padi.com/eLearning

PHOTO:  30 students from Dubai chose to enrol in PADI eLearning before diving with Asia Divers in Puerto Galera, Philippines.

In preparation for the Aussie Fundraiser by Allan Nash

On Saturday August 13, I visited the ASCF (Asian Student Christian Foundation) projects at Payatas, the Cashew Tree pre school, Mango House and Papaya Academy and the Payatas rubbish dump site, that according to the national government does not exist! I seen hundreds of people of all ages working, sorting and living in what can only be descried as extremely pour conditions.

The ASCF, Craig Barrows and his team of dedicated volunteers and workers are doing an amazing job, helping kids that have been terribly abused (physically and physiologically), abandoned, forgotten about. The need to do more is everywhere, read more…

Aussie Fundraiser News

The Aussie Fundraiser is shaping up to be a big event and we are all very excited. Flying to Sydney on the 24th of August, our schedule is set, our dates for our cleanups (see below) are done and our partners in these cleanups are working hard to make this something for us all to remember.

From Sydney we have St George Underwater Center, Melbourne we have Vision Divers, Adelaide we have Adelaide Scuba, Perth we have Perth Scuba followed by our presence at the ODEX show in Brisbane on October 8 (raffle on the 9th being conducted by Dive Adventure) and last but certainly not least, the gold coast we have Devoceans. See details of these cleanups and be sure to be there, its going to fun with a BBQ to follow the cleanup. Then a raffle or auction to follow where you could end up with a very cheap holiday to the Philippines or some great dive gear supplied by our excellent dive manufactures.

We will be giving away at each cleanup (and ODEX) the following:

  • One week at El Galleon Resort with unlimited Nitrox diving with Asia Divers
  • Cressi Leonard Dive Computer
  • Waterproof’s new W2, 5mm wetsuit
  • Tusa mask and fins set
  • A collection of DAN books
  • A surface marker from Surfacemarker

There will be T-Shirts and all sorts being offered so don’t miss out on this great opportunity to be a part of something that will make a difference to many lives, maybe even yours!

Ride schedule in pdf

How was your sleep?

I bet you did sleep well on your soft and very comfy bed. Look at these pictures; they are typical children of the streets. The reality of the street child is the naked and vicious face of poverty, sickness and exploitation. The tragedy is, that those who bear it are themselves innocent, lonely and frightened young children.

Force to work at an early age, struggle to survive. They would do anything to have an ample amount of food to share with their family.

We are so lucky to have a better life, being able to provide for our kids, having a roof above our head, better clothing. And most of all, we can provide for ourselves in time of sickness, not these so young and innocent.

So, it’s time to share our blessings. Come and join us on our advocacy to help these kids out. Click this link to see what you can do to join our efforts and make a difference.

by: Angie

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HHH

The Hash House Harriers (abbreviated to HHH, H3, or referred to simply as Hashing) is an international group of non-competitive running, social and drinking clubs. An event organized by a club is known as a Hash Run, with participants calling themselves Hashers, or, Hares and Hounds.

Each week people all over the world run for the HHH, playing different games during the run and at the end having the ON ON which is where they all get to know each other and again have games and fun with a lot of drinking!

Check out this link for more information on the Hash House Harriers, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hash_House_Harriers Check and see if your nearest HHH club will be running to support the Aussie Fundraiser, every cents you can give will go to saving the oceans and helping street children.

by: Rhuby

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Where debris meets the sea

It’s still fresh in my memory, the good old days together with my family every weekend morning, as my parents together with my younger brother and I went to LUNETA (national park) twenty-minute ride from our house. We would stroll around park, go jogging, have picnics and go swimming near the shoreline at the end of the park. The shore is not the same as sand beaches like Puerto Galera or other famous beaches in Philippines, but with waters as clean and clear, with beautiful giant rock formations around, it had become the favorite place of regulars and families who visit LUNETA. You could swim and relax in the beautiful crystal clear salt waters while enjoying the outstanding view of the city and watch a magnificent sunset on Manila Bay. As a child, If I had a small cut or wound I would put it in these waters to heal it quickly, while playing with the small fishes and crabs hiding at rock holes.

Years have passed and this same area is now very polluted. The water that we used to swim in and heal my wounds with now looks like a garbage landfill site and it is most certainly dangerous to our health. Unpleasant smells of the surrounding area, dirty waters with floating garbage, plastics and human waste materials are everywhere along this same shoreline. It seems that society today can have an attitude that many people are comforted by the fact that they can afford to waste. The more ‘developed’ we get, the more we throw away. Do you know that average garbage of a man is about 1.3 pounds a day or 468 pounds a year! If there are millions of people in a country and average collected is only up to 40%. Imagine how long our planet can sustain itself? Sooner the 70% water fill of our planet will decrease to become a large garbage island.

Today we are starting to see the effect of this in our marine resources. We commonly hear news about skin diseases, red tides, fish Kill, etc. Fish are dying because they eat the wrong food and are poisoned by our garbage. The oxygen content of the ocean is declining, which results in marine animals not being able to breathe underwater, then they die. We want the next generation to see the marine animals in real life, and not just in books. We want them to be able to swim and feel safe on beaches and rivers. It’s not too late… we can still save and help protect our marine resources, against debris. Let’s act together and help Aussie Fundraiser on their campaign to raise money for saving our oceans.

by: Joonee(Webmaster)

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Sponsor Update

Cressi sub started in Genova, Italy 1946 by the two brothers Nanni and Egidio Cressi and now 65 years later the company is still owned and run by the Cressi family. Asia Divers has been their distributor in the Philippines since 1997 and Cressi has a strong presents in the Philippines, being one of the major brand in the country. Cressi has kindly donated 8 pcs of their new dive computer Leonardo. We are very happy to have Cressi as sponsor for the Aussie Fundraiser.

TUSA Australia are a part of the Aussie Fundraiser by participating as a donator of some dive/snorkeling gear. TUSA (Tabata) is one of the original dive gear companies founded in 1952 by Kazuo Tabata. TUSA Australia have donated 8 sets of Geminus Mask, Imprex Hyperdry Snorkel and Zoom Z-3 split fins, all in a nice Mesh bag.We are very glad to have TUSA Australia as part of the Aussie Fundraiser.

We have got a new sponsor signed up for the Aussie Fundraiser. SURFACE MARKER is a company who has concentrate on safety products for divers such a line of different Surface Baloons, Lift Bags and Signal devices. Please see www.surfacemarker.com or www.divesupply.com.ph for more details about their products. We at Asia Divers have been selling this products since 2007 and have had a great result with this quality products. SURFACE MARKER have donated 8 pcs of Surface Marker WDS Deluxe to our list of raffle prizes for our event around Australia. We are very glad to have SURFACE MARKER onboard as one of our sponsors.

by: Tommy

Hanoi-Ho to Chi Minh City on 2 wheels

Allan, Kjell and I took of to Hanoi last week of June for a 14 days tour on 2 wheels through Vietnam.  As we all 3 are riding their own bikes in the Philippines we got a bit of a surprise when their rental bikes got presented in Hanoi

Photos and Full Story here

Getting ready for the Aussie Fundraiser

Allan Nash and Tommy Soderstrom have set off to Vietnam in preparation for the Aussie Fundraiser in August…

Photos and Full Story here

Flores to Komodo liveaboard trip.

Komodo dragons trip
The route

BREAKING NEWS !

October 14-26, 2011

We have manage to get some spot on this unique trip from Flores to Bima via Komodo and Rinca Islands. Go onboard on Indo Siren in Maumere and sail to Komodo National Park. Dive sites like Castle Rock, The Shot Gun and spend a day in Current City. We did most of this on our trip in April/May this year with some very nice diving.

Price is €uro 3,000.00 for the 12-day trip. The group are made up of experience divers mostly from Sweden.

Contact Tommy at tommy@asiadivers.com if you are interested to join the trip.

Komodo dragons

Asia Divers chartered the Indo Siren April 29-09 May for a trip to Komodo Island.
We all met up at Bali’s airport to take the flight to Bima, Sumbawa island where the
trip started.

Kimodo
When they run, so should you.

We had some great diving, some with nice strong current that brought out the pelagic fish and
a lot of action. Other dives where gentle cruises over the reefs to spot all the small critters, reef
life and pelagic in the blue. A trip that easy could get done more then once, Castle Rock is the
site of the trip with lots of sharks and big schooling fish.

Our happy divers
Our happy divers.

If you are interested in this trip please contact tommy@asiadivers.com

Charity may begin at home, but it certainly doesn’t stay there.

At least, not in the case of Tommy Soderstrom and Allan Nash, but let me explain.

My Name is Terry Llewellyn and for some while I have been sitting on my bum in the UK working on the Asia Divers web site and wishing I was once again in the Philippines.

Tommy and Allan are about to embark on a monstrous undertaking in the name of two charities and with all the organizing and preparations going on here we could not expect them to drop everything and write blogs for us, so I have taken it on myself to try and explain what is happening and why and the progress being made.

Being an outsider here, I can tell you things which Allan and Tommy would not.  These two have taken $30,000 of their own companies money and are spending it doing a trip right round the coast of Australia to raise money for  PADI Projectaware and the Springboard Foundation.  The PADI project is to make people realize that we are killing our oceans.

BMW Bikes being used for the trip.
BMW bikes.

For instance, there is a section of the Northern Pacific where the submerged rubbish is lumped together in a gigantic clump  Size  estimates vary with some saying twice the size of Texas .  Others say that is an over estimation but nobody disputes that it is at least the size of Texas.  The clump starts off Hawaii and finishes up off the Northern coast of Japan.

This clump whilst enormous in size is invisible to satellites because the clump is largely composed of degrading plastics just beneath the surface of the water. It is however very visible in places as you will see in this picture.

Pacific garbage dump.
The tip of the iceberg but if you look, deep enough to walk on

Look carefully and you will see a man actually walking on the rubbish and a second man sitting on it.

Unfortunately this is a problem not just in the Pacific, but there is a similar though smaller rubbish clump in the North Atlantic.

There is a very good  but short blog at this URL which if I had my way, every person on the planet would read.  Pacific Rubbish Vortex

You can imagine the hazard to shipping, but the danger to ocean life is devastating and is killing large amounts of fish, turtles and other marine life.

The other charity which Tommy and Allan are working for  is concerned with saving street children in the Philippines and for many years this charity has been quietly housing, feeding and educating hundreds of children in probably the only safe environment these children have ever known.

If you ever saw ‘Slumdog Millionaire’ you could be for thinking this was pure fiction.  The author may have been intended it as such but lots of homeless children in the Philippines are living lives very similar to Slumdog.

You can see the kind of valuable do by clicking on the picture here, but be sure to have a hankie at the ready.  There is a movie on the page that most will shed a tear for.

Life really is like this for Philippino street children.
Actual street children where the older brother cares for his sibling.

It is not until we see things like this we realize just how lucky we are.

Tomorrow, I will write more and tell you the companies that are sponsoring the trip for the charities named as well as just what Allan and Tommy are going to do during this monster bike ride.


Verde Island…a must do!

With over 250 dives on the Verde Island pinnacle or San Agapito, as it is called locally, I can still feel like a Verde virgin every time I drop into the pristine turquoise water. My body is encompassed and wrapped in a luscious blanket of warmth, which is teeming with abundant fish life and creatures beyond imagination.  Some days I still have to pinch myself to make sure that I am really experiencing all of this. And this is all in a day’s work…

Experts have called The Verde Island Passage the “centre of the centre” of the world’s marine biodiversity. Life enhancing nutrients from the Pacific mix with waters of the South China Sea. You would never guess that beneath the surface are spectacular reef formations with more than 300 species of corals and underwater rock canyons that host nearly 60 percent of the world’s known shorefish species. The World Conservation Union describes it as the marine counterpart of the Amazon River basin,” which put the passage at the peak of the “Coral Triangle” that spans the Sulawesi and the Sulu Seas in the southern Philippines and nearby Indonesia.

The Verde Island passage is situated between the islands of Luzon and Mindoro, which happens to be my backyard. A trip to Puerto Galera is not complete with at least one visit to Verde Island. Since it only takes 20 minutes by our speedboat, I encourage our divers to get over there early in their stay because no doubt that they will want to go back again.

The most well known dive site is the “Verde Island Drop off” or “San Agapito” about 300 meters off shore. Approaching the dive site you are greeted by the rough tips of pinnacles breaking the surface. I imagine that there must have been a few shipwrecks on these over the years! From the surface it doesn’t look like much, but as soon as you drop in, you’ll see that these pinnacles are like the icing on top of large colourful birthday cake.

The Drop Off can be described best as steep slopes with stunning vertical walls that drop down to 70 meters or more. Beautiful gorgonian fans, basket sponges and anemones nestle in and make their home here. Numerous nooks and crannies are home to all sorts of reef life including shrimps, sea snakes, scorpion fish and moray eels. Volcanic bubbles rise up through the corals and create a magical effect. Anthias and red-tooth triggerfish are so abundant that I tell people that there are so many fish on the pinnacle that they’ll have to push them aside to see the reef.

This is one of those dives sites that you can happily use a wide-angle lens or a macro lens and come away with great shots. Since Puerto Galera is known so widely for its macro I sometimes encourage the photographers to pull out their wide-angle lens for a day on Verde to take advantage of the spectacular pinnacles and beautiful gorgonian sea fans. These teamed up with the colourful anemones and reef fishes make an excellent backdrop and are a great area to shoot wide angle. Nudibranches are plentiful and you’re bound to see a gnarly scorpion fish or two, so a macro lens will come in good use as well.

The currents on Verde can be tricky, but going with an experienced guide you can safely manage them. With an experienced group I like to get on to the corner and “watch the show”. This where you have the best chance to see many of the larger fishes including schooling jacks, sweetlips, tuna and snapper all dancing in the current.

A Spanish galleon, the Nuestra Senora dela Vida, which sank in 1620, was discovered in the late seventies just off Verde Island. Unfortunately it was heavily salvaged in the 70’s and 80’s and nothing remains of the wreck except for a few pieces of porcelain. The larger plates and terracotta jars are now long gone. I like to take my divers “treasure hunting” for these little pieces of porcelain during their surface interval. If you walk along the beachfront and look in the sand you can be sure to find a few pieces wash ashore. It’s a nice little souvenir to go home with.

A day trip to Verde Island is a great experience for our guests. They get to dive on a spectacular dive site with prolific fish life, learn a bit of local history and perhaps even go home with a small piece of porcelain treasure.