Dauin was a bust compared to PG and Anilao. We stayed at El Dorado, which wasn't a great experience, and the dive operation there was a disaster.
You haven't said anything about Dauin, is that because you didn't like it there or have you simply forgotten you went there.
Apparently El Dorado was overbooked, so they put two of our people in tiny un-airconditioned staff rooms. The resort was the most fly-infested place I've ever seen in my life. The best thing I can say about El Dorado is that the food was good, but it's hard to get enthusiastic about the food when your plate is covered with flies all the time.
But the dive operation was worse than a catastrophe. Of the three places our group travelled in the Philippines (Puerto Galera and Anilao were the other two), Dive Society was the only dive operation that was not well run and enjoyable. In fact, we would never stay at El Dorado again because of issues with their dive operation, the Dive Society. Unlike the other Philippine dive operations that were operated and staffed by Filipinos, Dive Society is owned by Europeans, and the divemasters were Europeans. Dive Society had promised a big boat that our group of 16 could dive on together, but the big boat was broke and they didn't seem too interested in fixing it. They advertised free nitrox, but their nitrox compressor was broken, and after a couple of days even their air compressor broke and they had to bring in tanks from another resort.
The dive boats were monstrosities that, despite their size, were uncomfortably cramped and difficult to enter the water from. I have a bad back and mobility problems, and when I explained this to the divemaster and asked for some help, he said okay, but he didn't really help very much. It wasn't until I exited that I realized that I could have entered the water from a ladder, which the divemaster apparently never thought of.
Boat dives were strictly limited to 60 minutes because they had to have the boat back for the next dive. I'm not making this up - they insisted on limiting dives to 60 minutes. During much of the time we were in Dauin, the weather was bad, so boat dives were limited, and most of us did shore dives on most days. There is a great dive at a nearby pier, but they take you there on a little jitney-type vehicle, where you then have to gear up and make a long walk with all your gear and cameras over broken terrain to make a shore entry.
Note: Dauin is 100% muck diving. To see coral reefs, you have to make boat dives to Apo Island several miles away. There is a protected marine sanctuary directly in front of the dive operation that offers great muck diving, but it also causes a problem. The dive boats can't enter the sanctuary, so they have to pull up on the beach about 100 meters north or south of the dive shop. After our first boat dive, the boat crew said they would bring our dive gear back. They did - by floating our tanks/BCs and dragging them through the water by the 2nd stage regulator and hose. When we noticed this, we ran out in the water and grabbed our gear and brought it back ourselves. There's no telling how many regulator hoses these guys have ruined by doing this.
A major irritant: The local politicians charge hefty fees for every dive, plus fees for taking a camera underwater, and they get a whopping $100 a dive for a video camera. The dive operators collect these fees when you check out. They are NOT included in your prepaid dive package, so be prepared for sticker shock when you check out.
The bottom line 1: my wife and I have dived with many dive operators over the 21 years we've been certified, and Dive Society is as bad as we've seen. We would love to return to Dauin for the great muck diving, but we will certainly not waste our money with the Dive Society.
UW Photography Comments: The dive shop had rinse tanks, but no rinse tanks on boats. We were there with a group of 16 underwater photographers, and the boat crews seemed perplexed at how to handle cameras.
We were told later by Filipino friends that there are much better dive resorts in Dauin. I wish we had stayed at one of these.