Author Archives: Asia Divers

Promo Packages

It’s time to escape to Puerto Galera!

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

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 PEOPLE

  • 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 PEOPLE

  • 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 PEOPLE

  • 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.

Hopping into 3000 dives!

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
  • Asia Divers
  • 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

Underwater Adventures

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 [email protected]

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.

Learn PADI Courses Online, Dive in the Philippines

PADI Courses Philippines

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.

What Can Dive Resorts in Puerto Galera Do to Become Sustainable?

dive resort puerto galera

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.

Scuba Diving Puerto Galera: the Coral Triangle

scuba diving puerto galera

Scuba diving in Puerto Galera is one of many scuba divers’ biggest dreams. To understand why Puerto Galera is such a wonderful place for many scuba divers, we need to look at the big picture of the scuba diving world – starting with the world-famous Coral Triangle.

What is the Coral Triangle?

The Coral Triangle is a 1.4 billion-acre coral-rich aquatic region that encompasses the Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia, Timor-Leste, Papua New Guinea, and the Solomon Islands. It’s considered to be a crucial region for conservation and research, as it contains the world’s most diverse ecosystems of tropical reef and pelagic species – often found nowhere else in the world.

Often referred to as the “Amazon of the seas”, The Coral Triangle is far more diverse than The Great Barrier Reef and the Fiji Islands combined. About 6000 species of reef fish thrive in these waters – 250 of them are endemic to this region. There are an estimated 798 species of corals, making up an incredible 76% of all known coral species on Earth.

The Center of the Coral Triangle – the Verde Island Passage

scuba diving puerto galera - coral triangle

foto by Beth Watson

 

The Verde Island Passage is a narrow strait between Mindoro Island and Luzon island of the Philippines. The humble strait may not look much from above sea level – a busy strait that connects several islands together, with a shield volcano that guards the passage.

But the underwater world is beyond belief. The Verde Island Passage is called the center of the Coral Triangle because among all the sections of the triangle, this region is the richest of all. A UNESCO World Heritage Site nominee, this stretch of water – no more than 1.14 million hectares – contains some of the rarest sea turtles and wrasses.

Why stay at Puerto Galera?

If Puerto Galera is a house, then Verde Island Passage is its backyard. Of course, dozens of must-see dive sites sprawl around the holiday city like patches of flower beds in the proverbial diving garden – see them for yourself by looking at this map of dive sites in Puerto Galera.

Apart from incredible dive sites, Puerto Galera is also home to some of the Philippines’ untouched reserve of natural beauty. Waterfalls, river rapids, and curious traditional villages welcome travelers from around the globe – you just have to pick the right accommodations with the right kind of services for you.

El Galleon Dive Resort

At El Galleon Diver Resort, dive sites are just minutes away from our private dock. You won’t need to wait in a long line to get to your next bangka boat to take you wherever you want to go – we have them stationed at the docks along with a couple of speedboats.

Our thorough PADI-certified courses at Asia Divers (a subdivision of our resort) has helped hundreds of divers over the years to learn to scuba dive. Many have even gone on to become instructors themselves.

Learn to dive, dive independently, and explore the Coral Triangle – it all starts at Asia Divers.

Tips to Improve Blackwater Diving Photography in Puerto Galera

blackwater diving puerto galera

At a particularly moonless and cloudy night, the pitch-black sky blends with the featureless blackwater diving site – just a short boat trip away from Puerto Galera. In the seemingly endless abyss, a magical scene emerges as your vision becomes accustomed to the dark. Small floaters and ghostly swimmers surround you, some translucent and bizarre-looking, but all worthy of a great series of photos.

Here are four tips to improve your blackwater photography so that you can make full use of the unique blackwater environment.

1. Master buoyancy

If you haven’t mastered neutral buoyancy, underwater photography at any time of day can be a great challenge. In blackwater, it gets harder because your camera works in a light-poor environment, even if you use flashlight and strobes. Any movement is sensitive and the camera demands that you stay still for a dozen seconds at a time.

Another advantage of peak-performance buoyancy is that easily-startled critters would feel less anxious in front of you as you don’t make so much movement. Smaller critters would not be pushed away by agitated water, which often happens when a diver moves too much.

2. Know your camera’s lighting needs

On land, try to experiment with macro shots at a shallower depth of field. A general rule of thumb for underwater photography is to get closer to the subject, instead of zooming.

If you take the shot at a distance while zooming, what happens is that there will be too little light for the camera to be able to focus perfectly, not to mention light scattering as your camera takes in more detail than it needs.

Some cameras require even more light at a minimum focal distance, so be sure to know how much light your camera requires.

3. Mind your light

Your lights have three functions: to help the camera focus, to help you find critters, and sometimes to attract critters to you.

The amount of light and exposure can also be affected by the type of light focus you choose – floodlight or spot. Spotlighting can be beneficial not only to find critters in the distance but also to provide a higher amount of light over a concentrated area. This is useful to photograph translucent critters as some absorb light.

It’s also important to not disturb light-sensitive nocturnal animals with spotlighting. Floodlights are a better choice to work with for easy-to-shoot critters.

4. Have patience and keep track of time

Many people get the hang of night photography in just a couple of hours on land. On your first few blackwater dives, you may only get a few good shots. While it is tempting to stay longer underwater to maximize your practice time, please remember the safety protocols of scuba diving and return to the surface at the right time.

Be patient, and keep practicing. Blackwater photography is a rare skill that takes years to fully master.

Dive with us!

At Asia Divers, our active community of blackwater divers is known to be very friendly and helpful. Don’t hesitate to contact us and become part of this great community.

How to Choose the Right Dive Center in Puerto Galera

dive center puerto galera

In Puerto Galera, there are many dive centers to choose from, ranging from small to large It can be overwhelming at first to choose the right fit, but if you ask yourself the right questions, and look for trustworthy reviews, the process of choosing the right dive center will be a lot easier. Take a look at our top considerations for choosing the right dive center for you:

Is price a reflection of quality?

Many people would say ‘yes’. After all, in our everyday life, we get what we pay for, and more expensive dive sites would offer the highest quality services, right?

Not quite. Sometimes a high-priced service masks a few weaknesses. Don’t let a luxurious dive center lead you to think that the dive center operates sustainably and safely. At Asia Divers, we are transparent about our activities and dive programs that benefit the environment and the local people.

On the other spectrum, it should be noted that paying a little more for safety can make a huge difference in the quality of your dive (and your peace of mind).

Do they care about the important things?

Many dive resorts lose themselves in providing high-quality customer experience on the accommodation side but pay little attention to the diving activities and the quality of their equipment.

Just like price, a luxurious display on their website doesn’t reflect the dive center at all. Be sure to ask for a tour around the dive center and operations area. Should they refuse to do so, then something is up! Don’t hesitate to find other dive centers in the area if that happens.

Safety and quality diving experience are the cornerstone of our operations at Asia Divers.

Find trustworthy reviews online

Review sites are some of the most democratic places on the Internet, and they are active communities of real people who have gone to the hotel/restaurant/dive center themselves. Who could be more trustworthy than them?

On our blog, we report many positive things that are happening in Asia Divers, but we encourage you to hear about what other people say about us. Dozens of people have made reviews on TripAdvisor and Agoda. These two are trustworthy review sites with a great record for accuracy.

Also, check out our blog

Our blog is a place for our active community to report about all our diving activities and programs. We are also up to date with the latest news and write a post on anything that may impact your holiday experience with us.

Apart from our informational pages, our blog is a repository of knowledge about everything related to diving, written by experts across various sub-fields in diving. Looking to improve your underwater photography skills? Wanting to know more about the dive sites around Puerto Galera?

Our dive bloggers will answer every question related to diving in Puerto Galera so that you can be more informed.

Why Beachfront Dive Centers in Puerto Galera Are the Best

Beach resort Philippines

There are thousands of dive centers around the world, but not all of them are located in the most strategic places, like a beachfront in Puerto Galera. You can find some in city centers, which will then take you on a long trip just to reach the dive site.

The waiting doesn’t stop there – quite a few dive centers are not even prepared to provide their own boats, so they have to rely on local services to take the group to the exact spot you’ll be diving.

In such a case, you spend more time on the road and waiting for boats, and spend less time in the water – two hours during two dives in a day, to be exact.

 

Find a Dive Center Near the Beachfront, and You Won’t Need to Wait Any Longer!

A beachfront dive center in Puerto Galera is the absolute best because it provides at least one of three things:

  1. The best services for diving, far more than what a regular diving agency can offer,
  2. Unimaginable conveniences, such as equipment storage and in-house technicians,
  3. A resort, which is comfortable to stay at!

 Luckily, Asia Divers has all three waiting for you in the Philipines.

 

Find the Best Service For Your Scuba Diving Needs Here

One major plus point for service in a beachfront dive center is quick access to the water. Whether you are a beginner or an expert at scuba diving, you are only a stone’s throw away from the water.

But wait, there’s more!

Did you know that Puerto Galera stands on one of the most diverse coral-rich regions on the planet? The area between Puerto Galera and the Verde Islands is home to vibrant and giant Gorgonian sea fans, sea snakes, crustaceans, manta rays, and tens of thousands of reef species waiting to be discovered by you.

All dive courses in Asia Divers are standardized to follow PADI guidelines. Scuba diving can be a challenge to learn, so we make sure that you receive the best instructions and plenty of time to practice – hence another advantage of staying in a dive resort close to the sea!

Earn your PADI Open Water certificate with us and learn more with our PADI Advanced Open Water and the PADI Specialty courses.

 

Conveniences of a Top Diving Center That You’ll Take for Granted

Scuba diving used to be reserved for the ocean lovers who wouldn’t mind going through a few inconveniences. However, scuba diving is becoming cheaper and more available to everyone. That means we’ll do our best to make sure that everyone is comfortable with scuba diving and other aquatic activities.

We consider the little things. For instance, we have a dedicated camera room for underwater photographers. We understand that underwater photography is a skill that takes tons of practice. It would help to get faster feedback on your photography quality by processing the films once you reach land.

We also have our own boats and even a private dock, ensuring that the only time you touch the water is when going underwater. The private dock also mitigates the unnecessary risk of injury during low tide when boats can’t get close enough to the shore, and guests have to tread carefully over rocky surfaces.

 

Comfortable Rooms to Replenish Your Energy For the Next Dives!

beach resort room puerto galera

El Galleon is a dive resort part of Asia Divers. We figured that since you’re already in Puerto Galera, The Philippines, it would be great service to offer you a comfortable resort-style accommodation so you won’t have to travel elsewhere to sleep and relax!

We have five types of rooms. The Seaview Room is one of our most popular rooms with a pleasant view of, you guessed it correctly, the idyllic seascape. For those who are not early morning risers, we still recommend that you try waking up early one day and admire the glorious sunrise from beyond the horizon right in front of your balcony.

The Family Rooms are built for families with various interests. Of course, for the land-lovers, there are plenty of activities and natural places to appreciate in Oriental Mindoro. Our family-friendly services, like organized tours and even a beach BBQ, ensure that everyone can share a wonderful time in The Philipines.

 

Visit Puerto Galera for a Holiday of a Lifetime

What makes a beachfront dive center such a great place are the extensive dive services, conveniences, and the comforts of a resort. Be sure to check out our room offers, activities, and scuba diving courses here!

What Diving Courses Can You Take in Puerto Galera?

Diving Course Puerto Galera

Whether you want to try diving for the first time or plan on diversifying your dive skills, taking a course in Puerto Galera, Philippines, will be one of your best choices.

Why Take a Diving Course in Puerto Galera?

Puerto Galera offers dive sites that sit directly on the Coral Triangle. Particularly in the Philippines, between several islands off the coast of Oriental Mindoro and the Verde Island Channel, the highlighted zone is home to some of the world’s most diverse species of corals, reefs, and pelagic species.

If you take a diving course in Puerto Galera, you will be blessed with amazing sights as you train and refine your dive skills.

Dive Courses You Can Take in Puerto Galera

Dive Course Puerto Galera

As long as you visit a certified dive center, you will receive proper training according to the Professional Association of Diving Instructors guidelines (PADI). This means you get to learn from a wide variety of diving courses.

In general, PADI courses are divided into three broad categories:

  1. Recreational courses – for beginners
  2. Specialty courses – for intermediate to advanced divers
  3. Technical courses – for advanced divers

Recreational Courses

A variety of courses for children and beginners can be found in our PADI Recreational Courses offers. Children as young as eight years old can already participate in PADI courses such as Skin Diver and Bubble Maker. Skin Diver teaches children to hold their breath longer underwater while Bubble Maker instructs them how to breathe through the mouthpiece.

For the adults who have never tried diving before, PADI Discover Scuba Diving offers a chance to scuba dive without a certificate. Starting from absolute zero, an instructor will teach you to scuba dive in one single day.

The PADI Open Water course is the elementary school of scuba diving, which opens up to a greater possibility of diving independently and diversifying skills.

Specialty Courses

Children from the age of twelve can already begin their diving career after graduating from the PADI Advanced Open Water, which comes after the PADI Open Water course. While you can scuba dive to a certain depth with an Open Water certification, many Adventure Divers and Specialty Courses challenge you to dive deeper and in more advanced situations.

This is where an Advanced Open Water certification is required to continue your diving education – it’s the high school of diving, so to speak. Afterward, you can begin to diversify your diving skills. Be sure to check out our Specialty course offers.

The list below shows you some of the possibilities when learning with Asia Divers.

  1. Intro to Nitrox and Enriched Air Nitrox – Dive longer with this special mix of air.
  2. Peak Performance Buoyancy Diver – A crucial skill for underwater photography.
  3. Drift Diver – Learn to control buoyancy and navigation under currents.
  4. Deep Diver – Dive up to 40 meters deep.
  5. Naturalist Diver – Learn the names and shapes of hundreds of underwater species.
  6. Dive Against Debris – Campaign against oceanic pollution by diving responsibly.
  7. Equipment Specialist – Be an expert of your equipment.
  8. Multilevel Diver – Learn to scale a sea wall.
  9. PADI Digital Underwater Photography – Take photos of the underwater world.
  10. PADI Night Diving – Witness what lurks underwater at night.
  11. PADI Navigation Diver – Learn to navigate underwater.

Dive With Us in Puerto Galera

Puerto Galera offers amazing seascapes and sightings that complement your dive training. Build a solid groundwork with our instructors at Asia Divers. Our policy is to encourage learners to take their time and never to take a single shortcut to complete the training.

If you have any inquiries, please send us a word!