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ScubaBoard is Invading the Philippines

Discussion in 'Philippine Paradise Divers' started by cardzard, Jun 14, 2014.

  1. cardzard

    cardzard Contributor

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: New Port Richey, FL
    6,418
    5,766
  2. Damselfish

    Damselfish ScubaBoard Sponsor ScubaBoard Sponsor

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Boston
    9,235
    1,808
    unfortunately-
    Travel Period: September 1, 2016 – December 10, 2016, January 16 - February 10, 2017
     
  3. cardzard

    cardzard Contributor

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: New Port Richey, FL
    6,418
    5,766
  4. cardzard

    cardzard Contributor

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: New Port Richey, FL
    6,418
    5,766
    86 Days To Go
    ENJOY


     
  5. cardzard

    cardzard Contributor

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: New Port Richey, FL
    6,418
    5,766
    83 Days To Go
    ENJOY


     
  6. Moonie

    Moonie Contributor

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Somewhere in ????
    546
    692
    ROXANNE likes this.
  7. ROXANNE

    ROXANNE Artist

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Tampa Bay area, Florida, USA
    3,974
    2,480
  8. bill22

    bill22 Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Guam, USA
    856
    112
    Just curious and perhaps it's been addressed somewhere on the previous 10 pages, but does one have to stay at Atlantis to get in on any of this? What if you only want to dive? Anything for Filipinos and those of us who are expats living in the Philippines?
     
  9. ROXANNE

    ROXANNE Artist

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Tampa Bay area, Florida, USA
    3,974
    2,480
    ScubaBoard Invasion 2016 Trip Report

    It was so much more complicated in planning than our usual ScubaBoard Invasions when we decided to take the annual event to the Philippines for 2016. Atlantis Dive Resorts & Liveaboards was our chosen resort hosting us at both their Puerto Galera and Dumaguete locations. The owners and staff of Atlantis were with us along the way during the 2 years in planning to make the experience the very best it could be. We couldn’t have planned everything without their very attentive assistance and attention to detail. So we felt as prepared as we could be for the adventure.

    I must say the travel time was almost 20 hrs. in the air for us and numerous hours waiting for the next connections. Once arriving in the Philippines, we overnighted at the Midas Hotel in Manila to rest up. The next morning we were promptly greeted by Atlantis’ staff to start our travels to our 1st location Puerto Galera. We were efficiently loaded into several air conditioned vans for the group along with our luggage and started the 2-3 hr. depending on “traffic” drive to the water with bathroom stops along the way. Once at the docks, we were assisted onto 2 boats for an hour ride. Upon arriving in Puerto Galera, we walked about 3 mins along rundown buildings and shore to our resort. It was an interesting trip to say the least, but we were finally here!

    We were greeted by the wonderful staff with smiles, drinks and lunch! One of the incredible things was how quickly the staff worked to know our names and rooms. Most of the Invasion Crew even got in a check out dive before dinner. That night was the Invasion welcome party with a few Sponsor prizes and the event T Shirts handed out. Atlantis printed the Invasion design on the T shirts for us and even went the extra mile and printed many for the staff at both resorts! It was wonderful how they embraced the fun of the event!

    The next morning started our self-inflicted regimen of glorious 3-5 dives per day for most of us. I must say the diving was incredible. The region hosts 3000 species of fish and 448 species of coral with muck-diving to stunning pristine coral reefs and shoals of schooling fish. We had a wonderful DM named Fred who worked hard to share his love of the area and it’s critters with us. Our dive team even got in a fluro night dive. We didn’t see many creatures that lit up on that dive, but the way the coral glowed was spectacular. Fred and the dive shop staff did a great job giving briefings before each dive, keeping tanks flowing and putting our gear away each evening. There were always refreshments and snacks available in between. And the camera room was a great convenience to all of us photographers in between dives. The highlight of the diving for the week was our trip to Verde Island. It was incredibly beautiful were you had to move the fish out of the way to take pictures.

    The resort at Puerto Galero itself is built up on the hill side with beautiful landscaping scattered throughout. The rooms were varied and seemed to be well equipped for our stay. The resort grounds as well as the rooms were well maintained throughout our visit. There are quite a few stairs though with very few rooms at ground level so be prepared to climb.

    All the dining and kitchen staff did an exceptional job in my opinion feeding us 3 meals daily. You had a variety to choose from each time. The food was presented exquisitely and was so delicious! And the staff always had smiles on their faces!

    On our last day at this location we took an excursion to Tukuran (hidden paradise) with quite a few of the Crew. It was a 45 minute jeepney ride from the town of Puerto Galera to take you to the four rivers, where you continue by ox-cart to get to the falls. Once there, we were treated to a refreshing swim, exploration and lunch. We also stopped by another waterfall and a suspension bridge for photo opts along the way. It was a fun day!

    It was a wonderful experience in Puerto Galera for the week with just 2 draw backs in my opinion. One of the towns walk ways does go through the resort between the main part of the grounds and the dive shop with a few rooms above. There, several vendors would linger trying to continually sell you their wares. It was like running the gauntlet each time you went to dive. And 2nd, it was good to see very little trash on the dives, but it was sad to see quite a bit along the shoreline as we got in and out of our boats.

    continued...
     
  10. ROXANNE

    ROXANNE Artist

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Tampa Bay area, Florida, USA
    3,974
    2,480
    Next it was off for our final week’s destination Atlantis Dive Resort Dumaguete. We reversed to trip, walk through town to boat, boat ride and then van rides to the airport. I must say Atlantis is such a well-oiled machine. They are so very wonderful and efficient at transporting their guests along with their luggage with as little worries and stress as possible. We were well taken care of as we were escorted from one location to the other and through the airport to catch the inter-island 1 hr or so flight. They were right there with us taking care of everything that they possibly could for all of us. Once we landed in Dumaguete, Atlantis staff gathered our luggage for us to claim and boarded us into vans and jeepneys to travel the 45 mins or so to the resort. They turned off the road and you’re not sure where their taking you as you wind through properties along a dirt road. You finally park and walk into the resort.

    Upon arrival we were treated to smiling faces and a wonderful view of the water with refreshments. We all got settled into our new location and then had dinner and drinks listening to the water lap the shore.

    The next morning again started our self-inflicted regimen of those glorious 3-5 dives per day for most of us. A good portion of the dives here were muck dives along with areas of corals. Again the diving was incredible. For this week our DM named Wing was our guide. He had incredible eagle eyes to spot critters for us. There were always refreshments and snacks available in between dives. Wing and the rest of the dive shop staff did a great job of taking good care of us, briefings before each dive, keeping tanks flowing and putting our gear away each evening. They even recorded and gave us print outs of all our dive sites. And the camera room again was a great convenience to all of us photographers in between dives. For some reason they didn’t want us in the camera room wet which wasn’t a problem at the other location, but we managed. The highlight of the diving for the week was our trip to Apo Island. It was incredibly beautiful with turtles everywhere and some of the biggest and most stunning coral I had ever seen! The boat did break down on the way back, but it didn’t take long for them to get a tow out to us so we could return to the resort.

    The Dumaguete resort is more spread out and meandering. Lush vegetation complimented the grounds and you felt more secluded here. There were locals who would pass by along the beach and you could watch the children and families enjoy swimming and playing in the water. Again the grounds and rooms were well maintained during our stay. The food and staff were just as amazing as they were in Puerto Galera, but I think they could have used one or 2 more hands to serve such a big crowd.

    I did not want to forget to highlight the spa services at both resorts. The Invasion crew took full advantage of the incredible prices for massages and kept their schedules very busy. Thank you for taking such great care of us!

    On the last full day of the 2016 Invasion some of the Crew traveled to Oslob on the island of Cebu for a Whale Shark encounter. While my husband and I have swum with Whale Sharks multiple times is the past this was truly an incredible day with these magical creatures! We were given lunch and returned to the resort to get ready for the farewell party.

    Atlantis laid out an amazingly scrumptious Pilipino buffet for our farewell party. They also made an incredible 3 tiered sea themed inspired cake to celebrate Scubaboard’s 16th birthday! All the DM’s, staff and the incredibly entertaining Nitrox band joined in the celebration. You have not lived until you heard Pink Floyd Pilipino style. After we raffled off the rest of wonderful Sponsor’s prizes Atlantis still had some surprises in store. They had embroidered hats for those celebrating special milestone dives. Just one more exceptional touch from Atlantis during our stay!

    I just can’t say enough about the wonderful service we received from Atlantis during the Scubaboard Invasion 2016. Thank you so much to the Owners (Andy and Gordon), both resort managers (Steve and Dek) and all their wonderful staff at Atlantis Dive Resorts & Liveaboards Puerto Galera and Dumaguete for making our stay so incredible! They went all out and we really appreciated the enormous amount of hard work and wonderful hospitality during our 2 week stay! Atlantis Dive Resorts is a 1st class operation! It was truly an amazing adventure! Thank you!!!!!!!

    Special congratulations to Jack and Andora who got engaged in Dumaguete!!!!!
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2016
    snowdog61 and gfaith like this.

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