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PG-Sabang Trip report-as promised!

Discussion in 'Philippine Paradise Divers' started by rexman24, May 23, 2007.

  1. rexman24

    rexman24 Barracuda

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Florida
    259
    6
    18
    I Arrived in Sabang on the ferry about 10am, and headed for Angelyns resort. Being a budget traveler I had arranged a fan room. I found the room unacceptable- no toilet seat, one working outlet in the room that was hanging out of the wall, etc. I spoke to the desk girl and they seemed indifferent about the problems.
    I headed for Frontier Scuba, my preset dive shop of choice and met with the owner Rick, he is nice English guy and gave a warm welcome.
    We talked about the room and he explained that Angelyns mostly does only AC rooms, so I will let them off the hook about the fan room, as it is not what they do as a rule. I would not hesitate to recommend them if you can spend 1250p for an AC room and want to be in West Sabang.
    Rick at Frontier Scuba has the dive shop, a souvnier shop, and the restaurant Hemmingways all next door to each other on the beach. Rick has massive dive experience(over 10,000 dives) and offers Rec and Tec training and dives, and Nitrox. There is some new construction at the shop and plans in place for more, so things seem to be going well business wise for Rick, and after diving with him for a week it is not hard to see why. I can easily say after exchanging many emails with Rick, that he lived up to everything he said he would do. The reason I choose Frontier, after comparing them with all the dive shops in Sabang(rumored to be 30+) that have a website was the great price Rick offered and his prompt and good responses to me questions. Dive shop owners take note. Rick offers fun dives very close to 20$ per tank in quantity, which I think is a very good price.
    In the afternoon we headed out for the first dive, just out in front of town at Sabang wrecks, it was a problematic dive for me as I had a leaky mask and was underweighted, still there were some fun creatures to see, and it was my first dive on a wreck. After getting my weights right all the dives after this were smooth as silk!
    The rest of the crew at Frontier are XC the divemaster, he is German and has 8,000 dives and is a very attentive and helpful DM. Harry is the Filippino dive guide, and knows the dive sites and local conditions very well, and is a fun guy to dive with. Greg is captain and does a great job of driving the boat and keeping everyone safe and was always quick to get my camera in my hands before the boat drifted away.
    Over the week I did 13 dives with the Frontier gang and never repeated a dive site(this speaks to the level of service they provide), and hit most of the local sites like Sabang point, Lalaguna, Elma Jane wreck, St.Christoper wreck, Ernies, West Escaro, Canyons, Sinandingan wall, Monkey beach, Dungeon wall and for a fitting finally before heading back to Manila on Sunday we did Verde Island-and it definitely lived up to the hype!
    There were a lot of firsts for me and definitely enjoyed the best diving I have ever done, the list and variety of creatures is truly spectacular. Also my first wreck dives, wreck penetration, and drift dives. I also have a new UW camera rig and took about 300 pictures that came out very well by all account. It is a Canon S1-IS and Canon housing.
    I will be posting some of the pics soon.
    Some of the more interesting things I saw were Cuttlefish( a favorite of mine, we got to observe one for about 10 minutes-fasinating), Octopus, Sea snake, nudis, Triggerfish, Trevally, Sweetlips, Big Batfish, Stonefish, Eels, Shrimps, Lionfish, etc. I made a list of about 60 different basic species. At the end Verde was truly spectacular, with thousands of fish in the water in sight, I think this is what I have been looking for since I started diving. It is obviously a triggerfish nursery with hundreds of the little blue-black ones swimming around. Also saw a pair of small Morey Eels in the same little cave so that was neat. Overall I could not have been happier with the diving-it was just awesome!
    The first evening I stopped in for an SMP at Big Apple Dive Resort and could tell right away that I liked the place a lot. I enquired about rooms and they had #4 available a fan room for p650. So on Tuesday I moved into Big Apple, this turned out to be a great decision for me. Big Apple also has AC rooms for 1100p off-season.
    Big Apple Dive Resort is just to the right of center on Sabang beach and the biggest bar on the beach. The big advantages at BA are it is self contained(24 hr bar and restaurant, pool, dive services, travel center, etc), and the staff is cute friendly and helpful. It can be a quiet place if you get a room in the back and stay in the back pool and room area or if you like to dive by day and party by night the bar is rockin most every night. There is usually something going on, be it a live band, BBQ, or Footie to Formula One on the flatscreens.
    For me, I just loved the place, early on I met Chris, one of the co managers and he was very friendly and helpful to me all week. Thanks so much again Chris! Chis is English and used to do crazy things like jump out of airplanes and into the water in scuba gear and such. He was a big help(all the way from getting me an extra fan for my room, to introducing me to Filippinas, to taking me to a big piss up as the English say-the local Classic Club meeting-local businessmen and expats get together for drinking and BBQ every Thursday this one was at Campbells resort in beautiful Big La Laguna{if your looking for somewhere quiet and out of the way check it out} it was fun to be the brunt of a few jokes as is the custom for the new guys to the club!) and fun drinking buddy all week
    Chris and Steve(the other manager) will do what it takes to make your stay a great one.
    The drink and food prices are very good at BA, the waitresses look sharp and cute in their BA outfits, always good music or sports on the tube. For the guys it is not hard to find a Filippina girlfriend if your looking.
    I did one night dive with BA, right out front at the Sabang wrecks, Hulio lead the dive and it was fun. The dive shop is with new leadership and has a lot of new equiptment, I used a brand new Mares BCD.
    A great place to eat is Capt Greggs, upstairs with a BBQ from 6-9pm every night.
    Sunday afternoon I headed back to Batangas on the boat, then bussed and taxied to Villa Carolina Townhomes to overnite for my flight home in the morning. VCT is nice if you need a cheap place just 1 mile from the airport.
    What more can I say? For me it was likely my best trip ever and I will be back very soon, maybe in November. I am missing all of my new friends very much and will hope to see you all real soon.
     
  2. rexman24

    rexman24 Barracuda

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Florida
    259
    6
    18
    Note-If you go to Angelyns Resort, Frontier Scuba, Campbells resort, or Big Apple Dive Resort tell them Rexman24-Mike-the big American sent you. I like to take care of those who took such good care of me!
     
  3. clgsamson

    clgsamson Koya Kap

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Manila, Philippines
    13,069
    63
    48
    glad you had a wonderful time....and thanks for the nice trip report. Maggie would be proud:D
     
  4. Babydamulag

    Babydamulag Dive Charter

    # of Dives:
    Location:
    2,195
    6
    0
    Uh,......wow.....what a report.....lemme re-read that sucker......
     
  5. tboxcar

    tboxcar Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Raja Ampat
    563
    6
    18
    Excellent report, when you were at Campbells Resort did you have the pleasure of meeting "Fat *******"?, great guy and a nice quiet place to stay.
     
  6. rexman24

    rexman24 Barracuda

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Florida
    259
    6
    18
    Yes I met the fat ******* and had a few beers with him. Nice guy and he was also the bbqer and host for the party-your right nice place and beautiful setting.
     
  7. rhadamantus

    rhadamantus Barangay Pasaway

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: back in the awesome Philippine Paradise!
    3,937
    6
    0
    oh yeah, i guess no matter what i do, i can never disassociate my name from Big Apple anymore.

    lol.

    but seriously, for Php650 (Php500 for me :) ) you get a fan, own bathroom, double bed, and free wifi at BA!

    mike, great report. its a pity i caught a bug and missed the verde trip. i would have love that. post some pictures for us to scrutinize, hehehe.

    i second mike on frontier's diveshop owner rick. i talked to him a couple of times, he is very accommodating and helpful. he also provides local rates, btw. and has some really hot deals on courses and group dives.


     

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