Category Archives: News and Events

Eggciting times in Puerto Galera~!

This month’s Monday News cover photo is a real special treat, taken by Jordi Lopez! Look very carefully and you’ll see the baby flamboyant cuttlefish inside. Our divers we’re very lucky to witness them hatching!! If you would like to get our weekly newsletter to keep up to date on everything here just send us an email to: instructors@asiadivers.com


What’s been happening

June has started out as an amazing weather month. Perfect diving conditions, warm clear water and so much cool stuff to see! There are no more Covid test requirements to come to the Philippines if your fully vaccinated and have a booster and  the insurance requirement has also been lifted. The other very recent news is that for those travelling to the U.S.A. there is no more test requirement so very easy to go home if you’re from there. Start planning your visit to El Galleon and Asia Divers now! https://asiadivers.com/reservations/

June 1 2022. We couldn’t find thresher sharks this morning ….No problem. We saw Manta Ray instead!!! What an amazing surprise for our group of divers.

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.

P.G.  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!

The Best of Solomon Islands

Join us November 18 to November 28!  Asia Divers will be hosting a dive liveaboard, aboard the M/V Solomon Master and  Maria will be the one to lead this trip. Check out the schedule, details of the M/V Solomon Master and some of the amazing dive sites you’ll visit aboard this impressive vessel. Dive sites, reef, walls, WWII wrecks, amazing swim throughs such as the Leru Cut.  Departs from Coral Sea Resort, Honiara Solomon Islands, 16:00hrs November 18. Contact us at admin@asiadivers for more information if you’re interested to join.

E-IDC update

Congratulations to David, our newest PADI Instructor for passing the IE and to Pete who did his Staff Instructor course. Pedro and the whole team here at Asia Divers are very proud of you both!  If you are a PADI Divemaster with at least 100 logged dives, you can sign up for the next IDC and become a PADI instructor. Next IDC Sep. 4 – 16. IE Sep 17-18. RSVP: instructors@asiadivers.com.

 

 

Celebrate of 30 years of Asian Diver with us!

Asian Diver is celebrating 30 years of publishing with a special feature of divers digging deep into their greatest diving experiences. Allan Nash was asked to be featured in their upcoming issue of Asian Diver. Under the 2010s category, he was asked to answer the following questions:

  1. Share one unforgettable diving experience in the 2010s.
  2. What were your favourite dive sites in the 2010s?
  3. What diving gears did you use in the 2010s?
  4. How did you connect with Asian Diver Magazine? As a reader, contributor or part of the team.


Learning to dive at the age of 12

Below are his answers:

I’m the founding partner of Asia Divers and we own operate Asia Divers, El Galleon Resort, Tech Asia and Ocean Dive Supplies, Philippines. Asia Divers was started May 1987, the other businesses followed shortly after.

I traveled the world diving and some of my favorite places to dive is the Cenote in the Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico, Mt Gambier South Australia, the wrecks of Tuke and the Sardine Run in South Africa. But one dive I know well is Black Fish off Verdi island, out of Puerto Galera Philippines, it simply never fails to please.

My first dive at Black Fish was a tech dive to 50m. It starts with a descent to 30m, down a pinnacle (starts at 20m) that is covered with colours and fish life. It rolls off into the abyss. Visibility is almost always twenty to thirty plus meters and there is as the name suggests the resident school of black fish to welcome you on the descent. You drop off the side of a wall that will decent to well over a hundred meters with large over hangs and just a few meters off the wall is another pinnacle that rises up from the depths to around 40m giving you the opportunity to swim over and around the top of this pinnacle. From there you swim (scooter) along and slightly up to where it slops up to an amazing forest of giant Gorgonians, spectacular view looking up through this forest and to the main pinnacle of Black Fish which will lead you up through fantastic formations covered with hard and soft corals to where you will eventually ascend up a finger like pinnacle to a depth of 21m, switch over to 50% and swim south west to the slopping island of Verdi where you slowly make your way up and around a corner into a quiet 6m, switch to a 100% and finish your dive in a sandy colourful reef with all kinds of small critters to amaze you while you finish your deco. Defiantly one of my favourite dives.

On the way to Black Fish early to mid 2010’s

My favourite dives in 2010’s would be the Sardine Run off of the wild coast of Africa. Manta aggregation Dives in northern Maldives, big action dives Darwin Galapagos, Cocos pinnacle, Mantas Raja Ampat Indonesia Cenote Pet Cemetery includes King Pong restriction onto the Blue Abyss, Mexico.

My dive gear, Tech is Halcyon regulators, lights and wing with Shearwater computers. I used an Inspiration rebreather, and Suex scooter. Recreational dives, Cressi dive gear with Waterproof wetsuits.

I first met the Asian Diver magazine owner back in the very start when it was launched at the Asian Dive Expo in Singapore. I was  regular advertiser in Asian Diver mag and if I remember right I may have done an article in one or two additions. I have written for many magazines, but it has been a while since I have done any stories.

Allan Nash
Managing Director
El Galleon Resort
PADI Course Director

 

Asia Divers Dive Angels

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.

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.

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 instructors@asiadivers.com

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 in Puerto Galera and Advanced Diving Skills

advanced diving puerto galera

Do You Want Advanced Dive Skills?

Are you a certified diver and want to develop your skills, learn new ones, and become a more confident diver? Are you trying to decide between taking a core PADI course or a specialty when you are diving in the Philippines?

The good news is that as a certified diver you have plenty of options and we have a diverse range of dive sites in Puerto Galera for you to explore while developing your skills and learning new techniques.

Deciding on what course to take next depends on your current certification level, your interests, and what you want to get out of the program.

 

Advanced Open Water
Complete your Advanced Open Water course theory at home with eLearning or here in Puerto Galera

 

If you are an Open Water Diver then the next core course for you is the PADI Advanced Open Water Course – and this is our recommendation for all Open Water Divers in Puerto Galera! You do not need to have advanced dive skills to start the advanced course – you learn advanced techniques during your program and the course may even be taken directly after the Open Water course! You’ll make 5 incredible dives with your instructor, including a deep dive and underwater navigation. The other three dives are yours to choose from a wide range of options. Until the end of May, PADI is also offering a 25% discount on Advanced Open Water eLearning so you can start learning from home straight away!

 

PADI Advanced eLearning
Take the PADI Advanced Open Water course in Puerto Galera and explore to 30 meters

 

For those who are already Advanced Open Water Certified, the next step is the PADI Rescue Diver Course. Do you want to become a PADI Divemaster or Instructor? Then you’ll need to become a PADI Rescue Diver first – it’s a requirement for all professional level courses.

Here are some other programs that might be of interest to you when it comes to diving in Puerto Galera and developing specific skills…

Emergency First Response: Known as “EFR”, the Emergency First Response is a complete CPR and first aid course which is a requirement for certification as a PADI Rescue Diver and PADI Divemaster. The course deals with all aspects of emergency assistance, not just those related to diving. You’ll learn about handling accidents at home and in other daily situations too. Topics covered included, CPR, spinal injuries, serious bleeding, choking, shock, splinting, first aid assessments, and many more techniques that can extend a patient’s lifeline and provide care. This is a great certification for anyone’s CV and teaches essential lifesaving skills.

 

Emergency First Response
Emergency First Response is a complete CPR and First Aid course

 

Rescue Diver: This is one of the most challenging and rewarding PADI programs you’ll ever take. You’ll learn how to stay calm and handle emergency situations in a focused and efficient manner, You’ll learn self-rescue techniques as well as how to rescue others. Most importantly you’ll learn how to prevent accidents from occurring in the first place and how to recognize potential accidents before they happen.

Start your Rescue Diver Course online with PADI eLearning today!

 

Advanced Rescue Diver
The Rescue Diver Course is the most challenging and rewarding PADI program

 

Reactivate: Has it been a while since your last dive and you want to recap some of the essential basic underwater skills before diving in Puerto Galera? No problem, the PADI reactivate program is specifically designed for this purpose – to get you back in the water and feeling confident about your abilities.

 

Divemaster Puerto Galera
Become a PADI Divemaster in Puerto Galera – your first step to becoming a pro!

 

PADI Divemaster: If you are already a PADI Rescue Diver and are thinking of the diving industry as a future career path, then the PADI Divemaster Course is your first step into professional diving.

Unlike other PADI Courses you’ll be mentored and work alongside your instructor. You’ll gain an insight into working in the industry and behind the scenes at a dive center. You’ll also develop the skills required to assist PADI Instructors with PADI Courses as well as how to guide certified divers independently. If you want to take your scuba diving to the next level then taking the PADI Divemaster Course in Puerto Galera is a great way to do it.

 

Enriched Air eLearning
Dive deeper for longer with the PADI Enriched Air Nitrox Course

 

If you are already an advanced level diver, or want to specialize your skills in a particular field then PADI Specialty courses allow you to do just that…

Enriched Air Nitrox Specialty: It seems so unfair when you have plenty of air left and your computer tells you that you need to shallow up. Have you ever wished you could stay deeper for longer? Diving with Enriched Air (Nitrox) increases your allowable bottom time meaning you can admire the depths of your favourite sites when diving in the Philippines, for longer. Did you know that you can take the Enriched Air Specialty theory online with PADI eLearning?

 

Underwater photography
Learn more advanced photography skills in the Digital Photography Specialty

 

Digital Underwater Photography Specialty: It’s hard to explain to non-diving family and friends some of the creatures that we see underwater, but with amazing images, you don’t need to! Master the techniques required to produce sharper and more colourful images that will impress your buddies and land-loving friends.

 

Digital Underwater Photography
Do you want more advanced photography skills? Take the Digital Underwater Photography Specialty

 

Other PADI Specialties: Is there a particular type of diving that you want to learn more about? We also offer a full range of PADI Specialty Courses which allow you to learn more and develop knowledge in specific aspects of diving. We currently offer the following additional PADI specialty courses: Boat Diver, Deep Diver, Drift Driver, Night Diver, Peak Performance Buoyancy, Search & Recovery Diver, Underwater Naturalist, Underwater Navigation, DPV (Diver Propulsion Vehicle) and Wreck Diver.

 

DPV Puerto Galera
Imagine exploring underwater with a DPV scooter!

 

Are you feeling inspired to step up your diving skills? For more information about diving in Puerto Galera and our PADI Courses, send us a message through our online contact form or email us at instructors@asiadivers.com and we will get right back to you.

We look forward to introducing you to scuba diving in the Philippines soon!

 

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.