Just got back from a 10-day trip to Mike's Dauin Beach Resort in Dumaguete, Philippines. My brother and I went for the muck diving, as well as a day excursion to the marine sanctuary around Apo Island, about an hour's boat ride from the resort.
In short, the muck diving is fantastic, and the reefs around Apo Island are spectacular - easily rivaling Sipadan's wall. Even though it wasn't octopus season, which is in February, we nevertheless met numerous species on every dive. All the coastal Dauin dives are no more than 3 to 5 minutes away, so you suit up the minute you get on board because by the time you're done, you're at your dive site. Apo Island is worth the extra cost: that reef is on steroids. So much life, and everything is huge! My gallery is at https://www.scubagir...ete-philippines
The diving is mostly boat-based. The dive team handles all your gear for you. All you need to do is make the 30-second walk from your room or dining area to the boat, which is tied up right off the beach. As with elsewhere in the Philippines, the dive boats are all bancas, which are custom-built boats with outriggers. These boats are super stable. Mike's fleet of two are large enough to spaciously accommodate 10 or more divers.
From North America, get yourself to Manila, connect with a domestic flight to Dumaguete, less than 90 min from Manila. Beware that flights to and from Dumaguete tend to be delayed. On our trip, we experienced a 3 hour delay, causing us to miss our connecting flight from Manila to Singapore. If you go, plan for the delay!
The resort is owned by Mike Feeney, who is based in Florida, I believe. The resort itself is well managed by Corrie, a British transplant, and supported by her partner and fellow Brit Jonathan, who manages the PADI training for guests who need it. The dive guides are TOP NOTCH!
The kitchen is not particularly well set up, so service is slow, but the food is good - good enough that villagers and guests from other resorts will often go there to eat. The kitchen staff know they're slow, so they compensate for that by asking you for your order before you go diving.
10/10 would go again!
Edited by Scubagirl15_27159, 04 November 2018 - 03:29 PM.