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Canuck kiwi

Philippines diving?

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Hey guys just starting here 🌴😎

Any suggestions on philipines for diving?

Specifically looking for advice on where I can do dmt somewhere I can get underwater photography experience at the same time

Thx

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If you're keen towards macro and have sufficient dive experience to be looking towards photography in the first place, can't go wrong with Anilao. Fly to Manila, 3 hr van ride from there.

 

Can do 4 dives per day from land, but at half the cost of a (cheaper) liveaboard, though the usual price not being able to drop tank and go straight to shower/bed, have to motor for 15-30 mins.

The subject density is ridiculous - the guides will nag you for the next target before you're done with the current. And since most of it is in the sand, can usually just plant your body down and just focus on your strobe aim.

 

Due to the tidal currents, it's likely one of the 4 dives could be a humdinger for some or all of the time underwater. Some current experience is nice to have - the camera is a sail.

Small boats more common - 3-4 divers + a guide.

 

To the middle part of the country are destinations with bigger stuff - whale sharks, threshers, so forth, but I don't have any personal experience.

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See that handy search bar at the top? Use it and be rewarded. There are 7 pages of results here for the Philippines, and similar volumes for Anilao, Dumaguete, Bohol, Malapascua, and Tubataha. Go for it.

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given how low the posting volume here is, should anyone really be throwing out the 'use the search function' reply?

 

The moderators apparently raised the min post level to 3 because they felt WP is just a classifieds forum, and want higher participation rates.

 

Do those threads address his questions as a new photog? Or would he need to read between the lines of 150 posts to figure it out?

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Asia Divers at El Galleon, Puerta Galera does. Its a PADI CDC. Ive duved there and theyre good.

 

If its the PADI DM course you want, the PADI website will list more.

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Does any know if there are many dive schools in Philippines that do dmt?

on that front, I would say that for the same reasons we don't want OW students carrying cameras, new DMs probably shouldn't be mixing the two either.

 

Now if you're just formalizing with the card and already have history serving as dm/ai/guide, less a concern. How long would you be able to go out there for each?

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Anilao is great but largely Macro. Dumaguete is wonderful and the city is nice if youre going to live there for awhile. IMO both are far superior to Puerto Gallera

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thinking further, if DM training is your primary concern, Dumaguete would be better call. Anilao doesn't really have divemasters, it has critter spotters. And nearly all the customers (experienced, camera toting solo divers) are going to ignore your advice anyway.

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I think you are over simplifying a bit. While the reputation of "spotters" is common, there are many good DMs. And I've had many friends who qualified as DMs in Anilao and in PG. It's the trainer that matters, not the location, and all of them have PADI accredited courses (maybe others too, but I am not aware). If one really wanted to train in Anilao as a DM, Diver's Point in San Juan Manila can make it happen any time. Asian Divers can do the same in PG. There are many others.

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if the objective is just to get a patch, sure, go to any "PADI 5 Star" location and put your dollar in. If the goal is the become a competent DM, that requires some field experience, and Anilao isn't the place, unless you're going to DM there.

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You seem to have a low opinion of DMs in Anilao. Did you have a bad time there? What about the conditions make it unsuitable for gaining "field experience" in your opinion?

 

The trainers that I know are not based there and do not dive there exclusively. They are people with global experience who may be based in Manila or PG or Cebu and who run courses at resorts around the country. Let's differentiate between the professional trainers, and the "spotters" who take tourists out on the weekend.

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no, I had a great time there. But the least experienced person in the group of 20 at the resort would be the most experienced in the average 6 or 12 pack in Cozumel. We were all effectively solo diving with a spotter shared among 3-4 people. There was no value add from a divemaster standpoint. The only part where there could be is around prediction and mitigation of currents, and that was a complete miss.

 

If the point is to get training in how to corral and assist divers that need help, go where the divers need help. If the point is to practice macro photography and get a shiny card in the process, I already endorsed it for that reason.

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I believe we are talking about two different things. The people who provide DM training are not the people who lead the average tourist dive group. The ones you get at resorts are not certified as instructors for the most part, nor do they work out of a certified shop. Most DMs leading groups in Anilao (and elsewhere) are in fact freelancers who contract to the resorts. They are indeed mostly "spotters" and I would not expect them to provide training of any kind.

 

Back to the OP's question, contact the following, and they can put you in touch with certified instructors that operate in Manila, Anilao, PG, Dumaguete, Cebu:

 

Scuba World
1181 Pablo Ocampo St, Makati City
Tel. : (632) 895-3551, (632) 890-7805, (632) 890-7807
Fax: (632) 890-8982
website: scubaworld.com.ph

email: sales@scubaworld.com.ph

 

Diver’s Point
2/F Unit 8 Wilson Square, 199 Wilson St. cor P. Guevarra St., San Juan City
Tel.: (632) 725-3631, (63918)-920-3323

https://www.diverspoint.net/

 

Nautilus Dive and Sports Center

Unit 101 Cattleya Condominium 235 Salcedo St. Legaspi Village, Makati City
Tel.: (632) 817-7293, (632) 403-9786, (632) 664-2953, (63920)-954-1477
email: nautilusphilippines@gmail.com; nautilusdive@surfshop.net.ph

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I would stay away from Coron for diving. They advertise clear conditions but on the two trips we have gone their, the visibility is subpar. Both times I took the camera but took very few pics.

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I loved the diving at Buceo Anilao, small family run, and excellent guides https://www.buceoanilao.com/index.php

ANd a good mix of macro and WA available, proper camera room too.

These guys know how to look after photographers.

I'll go back again, and I'm a pro.

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Just back from Anilao last Friday...

 

3rd trip specifically to Crystal Blue Resort (highly recommended), which is managed by Wetpixel contributor, Mike Bartick (read up on some of the pioneering work he's done on blackwater diving). They have one of the best laid out, dedicated camera rooms I've seen in any dive resort, and other than the (many) stairs up to the rooms, the overall experience is great (and it's a good value for the $).

Many of the comments here are correct.. many of the guides (and even boats) are private contractors - working for the resorts that have the need. Given this, one way to evaluate the resorts in Anilao is to look at the overall dive operation. In 3 trips I've been very impressed with how the operation is run at CBR (impressed enough to bring along my daughter on this last trip - she had a great time, and shot well over 1000 images in 5 days of diving).

 

As an added bonus - the black water diving that Mike leads is an awesome experience (my daughter wasn't up for it this time - tired every night,) however I tried it last Dec. and planning on going back this Dec.

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