Jump to content


Photo
- - - - -

Anilao Phillipines. Club Ocellaris


  • Please log in to reply
7 replies to this topic

#1 tyanea

tyanea

    Triggerfish

  • Member
  • Pip
  • 41 posts
  • Location:SLC, UT - USA

Posted 04 November 2010 - 09:01 AM

I am seeking some help out there from people that have visited Anilao Phillipines. I have heard nothing but good things about the Photo Ops there. however it seems that there aren't really any sophisticated type of resorts, which isn't a big deal, it is more the booking of it that I am concerned about.

I have seen many post on the resort Club Ocellaris. And seems like it is a favorite among UW Photographers. My question is to those of you that have been there, how did you book it? I tried Caradonna and they wouldn't do it. I contacted the resort directly thru email and they don't take credit cards only Direct Bank transfer. This seems a little sketchy. Looking for a different way, or re assurance that I am not going to get to Manila and have nowhere to go.

Planning on going the end of February to the early part of March.
Any Help with this would be appreciated.

Also, as a side note....is wide angle even worth bringing to Anilao?
Love Photography! Love Diving! Love that I can put them both together!!

#2 Kilili

Kilili

    Wolf Eel

  • Member
  • PipPip
  • 110 posts
  • Location:Los Gatos, CA

Posted 04 November 2010 - 10:47 AM

Requirement for direct bank xfer in quite common in Philippines and Indonesia. They are a pain to do, but such is life. Club O is small place, and quite popular. Often not possible to even get a reservation. The owner, Boy Venus, is an honourable person. Most guests are repeat stays. You will have no problems. I'll go again in March for a month, and have no worries about this.

WA? None of the nudis were that big. Saw some around Apo Island you could use WA on.
Ken
Kilili Studios
ken@kilili.com

Nikon D2x with Subal ND2, and all that other stuff

#3 Deep6

Deep6

    Great Hammerhead

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 881 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Broomfield, CO

Posted 04 November 2010 - 01:12 PM

I am seeking some help out there from people that have visited Anilao Phillipines. I have heard nothing but good things about the Photo Ops there. however it seems that there aren't really any sophisticated type of resorts, which isn't a big deal, it is more the booking of it that I am concerned about.

I have seen many post on the resort Club Ocellaris. And seems like it is a favorite among UW Photographers. My question is to those of you that have been there, how did you book it? I tried Caradonna and they wouldn't do it. I contacted the resort directly thru email and they don't take credit cards only Direct Bank transfer. This seems a little sketchy. Looking for a different way, or re assurance that I am not going to get to Manila and have nowhere to go.

Planning on going the end of February to the early part of March.
Any Help with this would be appreciated.

Also, as a side note....is wide angle even worth bringing to Anilao?

I had no problem with the bank transfer. I have friends who have been going to Club O for years. Boy Venus is trustworthy and his staff reliable.

It's mostly macro, but I did use my 17-70 some. Barry Guiembellot got some great shots with the 10-17 + 1.4 TC (so called W/A macro). Just don't squish the nudis with the dome port. :)

Bob

Carpe carp - Seize the carp


#4 Drew

Drew

    The Controller

  • Video Expert
  • 10595 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:GPS is not reliable in South East Asian seas

Posted 04 November 2010 - 01:23 PM

Most resorts frown on CC because of the extra % charged to them and many don't have phone charge service. Some have foreign accounts so they don't pay PI taxes. I'd avoid those resorts out of principle as they are profiting from PI resources with paying their dues.
What I do with Planet Scuba is pay in USD traveller's cheques. They pay a 1% fee for cashing them and their rates are all in US$ anyhow. It is a pain to withdraw money from ATM due to limits for foreign ATM cards (PHP5-15k per transaction depending on bank). Carrying cash is always a bit worrisome, as well.
Boy and Club O have been around for awhile but in this climate, who knows what can happen?

Wide angle is definitely worth bringing. Sombrero, Beatrice etc are great WA sites.

Drew
Moderator
"Journalism is what someone else does not want printed, everything else is public relations."

"I was born not knowing, and have only had a little time to change that here and there.


#5 troporobo

troporobo

    Sting Ray

  • Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 237 posts

Posted 04 November 2010 - 04:13 PM

If you have no luck with CO, two other place I can recommend may take credit card bookings, though I agree with the others that bank transfer is quite common and safe in the Philippines

First is Acacia Dive Resort. It's owned by a very keen photographer and is very well set up for photographers, with excellent DMs who know what you are looking for and don't rush. The rooms are tiny but modern and high quality, they've got a pool, and the restaurant/bar on the deck is where you want to be anyway.

Second is Dive Solana, a much bigger resort. It is next door to a house I lease, and I know the DMs there, so I am confident in saying they run a good operation. No pool, but bigger rooms and restaurant. They've been around a long time

One recommendation I make for Anilao is to ask for your own boat and DM rather than going with whatever group the resort has organized - I don't like diving in groups bigger than 4 and often go out by myself with just a DM. The going rate per dive (not per person) is about $30 for the boat and $15 for the DM.

February/March is a great time to visit with the best water conditions, and a wide angle will be useful, though visibility in Anilao can be OK it is never spectacular

#6 shchae

shchae

    Tiger Shark

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 605 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Korea,USA,Philippines

Posted 04 November 2010 - 05:17 PM

Most resorts frown on CC because of the extra % charged to them and many don't have phone charge service. Some have foreign accounts so they don't pay PI taxes. I'd avoid those resorts out of principle as they are profiting from PI resources with paying their dues.
What I do with Planet Scuba is pay in USD traveller's cheques. They pay a 1% fee for cashing them and their rates are all in US$ anyhow. It is a pain to withdraw money from ATM due to limits for foreign ATM cards (PHP5-15k per transaction depending on bank). Carrying cash is always a bit worrisome, as well.
Boy and Club O have been around for awhile but in this climate, who knows what can happen?

Wide angle is definitely worth bringing. Sombrero, Beatrice etc are great WA sites.


I agree with Drew. Traveller's Check is safe. Re WA lens, I carry it all the time. Jack Fish School in twin rock is another place with WA.

Sam
D800/D4 in modified Nexus housing
and Nauticam D-7000 with Insect-eye lens.

#7 Stewart L. Sy

Stewart L. Sy

    Great Hammerhead

  • Industry
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 897 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Richmond, BC

Posted 05 November 2010 - 02:10 PM

Dive Solana accepts Credit cards and without the surcharge, great rooms, great resort, family owned and operated. Right beside Twin Rocks too. Very UW Photo friendly. I'll be there in Dec. =) Woohoo!

Wide Angle is very much recommended in Anilao. A dive at Bahura/Sombrero Island with the pink anthias will convert you to have a fisheye lens quick! Not to be confused with Basura (a famous muck dive site in Anilao)

Stu

Edited by scubastu, 05 November 2010 - 02:13 PM.

www.stewartsy.com
SLS Photography, when your images matter....
Aquatica, Amphibico, TLC, ULCS (Philippines), Stix, iTorch, FIT, Magic Filter Dealer
Philippine Dive Trip Specialist


#8 Stephen H.

Stephen H.

    Wolf Eel

  • Member
  • PipPip
  • 169 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Vancouver, Canada

Posted 06 November 2010 - 10:29 AM

Echoing the folks here I have stayed and dived with Club O - exceptional people. The owner is trustworthy.

I arrived without knowing about the wire transfer requirement. I arranged to have the transfer completed from my bank at home via email during my stay at Club O. No problems that it took a couple days, etc. The resort was very helpful and I was able to dive the whole time.

They also have some exceptional spotters!

Steve
Steve, www.holinskiphoto.smugmug.com
Canon G10, S&S YS110a, Inon UCL165