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Asia Divers -

El Galleon Resorts

EXPLORE

With a wide variety of marine life and its warm climate, Asia Divers provides a year-round paradise.

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RELAX

The El Galleon Resort gives guests luxury, relaxation, and convenient access to recreational activities.

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LEARN

Our PADI diving school is one of two diving programs in the Philippines qualified to teach at all levels of scuba diving from novice to PADI Instructor.

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Asia Divers and El Galleon PADI Diving Resorts in Puerto Galera.

Asia Divers and El Galleon Resorts are located in Puerto Galera on the North East tip of Mindoro. Puerto Galera was originally a fishing community. Then in the 1980s, the Philippines Government discovered just how many species of fish and corals there are here and declared the entire area a Marine Reserve. Once a thriving fishing village, Puerto Galera soon became the premier scuba diving destination in the Philippines.

The Philippine Department of Tourism became involved and convinced the villagers to diversify and to become involved in tourism. Puerto Galera had two big things going in its favour is its beauty and the marine sanctuary.

It was around this time that the El Galleon resort came into existence along with Asia Divers who have been catering for top class vacations ever since. The El Galleon resort is a premier diving resort just a couple of hours South of Manila,where you can enjoy comfortable  accommodation starting as low as $59 a night

The diving here is some of the best in the Philippines and Asia.

PADI Diving in the Philippines

El Galleon Beach Resort is home to Asia Divers, which is a Career Development Center and can teach scuba diving all the way from Bubblemakers for the kids to instructor level courses. Whether you would like to learn to dive or to improve and fine-tune your existing skills, this is the resort for you.

A survey by the Philippine Government found that anyone diving in Puerto Galera is almost certain to come and dive here again.

Scuba diving in Puerto Galera is the best in the Philippines.

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What the scientists have to say about Puerto Galera’s biodiversity!

The Philippines is home to the most biologically diverse waters on Earth and the Verde Island Passage – the narrow body of water separating Luzon and Mindoro islands – is a biodiversity hotspot!

Just recently The California Academy of Sciences conducted an expedition in our area “The 2015 Verde Island Passage Marine Biodiversity Expedition: Puerto Galera. The expedition, the CAS said in a statement, affirms that the Philippines is the "center of the center" of marine biodiversity. "The Philippines is jam-packed with diverse and threatened species – it's one of the most astounding regions of biodiversity on Earth," says Terry Gosliner, PhD, senior curator of Invertebrate Zoology at the CAS and a Principal Investigator of the expedition.

 You can read more about this on the links below:

http://news.sciencemag.org/plants-animals/2015/06/marine-scientists-discover-100-new-species-filipino-easter-egg-hunt
http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2015-06/caos-cao060715.php#
http://www.rappler.com/science-nature/environment/95782-verde-island-passage-yields-new-marine-species

El Galleon Webcam
Read the latest happenings, events or promos at Asia Divers and El Galleon Dive Resort. Monday Newsletter at Puerto Galera
MondayNews at Puerto Galera

The usual suspects from down under!

A fond farewell to a bunch of lads from Newcastle NSW, Bernie, Barry, Bruce, Gary, Garry
Collectively known as the Usual Suspects, they’ve certainly lived up to their name, with plenty of banter and witty goings on. The boys had a great time diving our local reef and had a great day at Verde Island. They made much use of our massage service and of course The Point and Barrel bars. Great fun was had by all including us. They’re threatening to come back next year, and we would be very happy to oblige because they are the Usual Suspects!

We just had to pinch this from Sue Goodman so you can see what it looks like here in Small Lalaguna in July! Amazing weather, warm water and calm conditions…need a break from the city? Contact us at admin@asiadivers.com

Asia Divers celebrated PADI Women’s Dive Day with an "all frocked up" girly dive on Alma Jane with Alli, Sue, V and Emsie. Special thanks toDave Boardman who took the photo and joined us on the dive. (no frock though...)

Congratulations to Run Song Wang (Leon) who completed his OW and AOW with Troy this week. 


Look who’s sneaking out of work for a few days…

Monday News throwback time…

 
Did you know that the Monday News has been going strong at Asia Divers for over 15 years? This photo was from the Monday News  10 years ago… “Here’s Jerry Mobbs feeding his beautiful daughter Jennifer whilst having a tipple. We call this one FEEDING TIME. “  

Creature feature

DEVIL SCORPIONFISH (Scorpaenopsis diabolus) also known as the false stonefish 

Family Name:
Scorpaenidae
Size:
This species attains a maximum length of 30 cm (11.8 inches).
Distribution:
Red Sea, north to southern Japan and south to the Philippines, Indonesia and on to The Great Barrier Reef.
Habitat:
The devil scorpionfish occurs in shallow water on the reef flat and reef crest to depths of 70 m (231 feet) on fore reef slope. It is also found on sand or mud slopes. Devil scorpionfish is found in surge- prone and protected areas, among macro algae, on sand, rubble or on or among live corals.
Feeding:
Devil scorpionfish feed almost exclusively on fishes such as Parrotfishes, Wrasses and Butterfly fishes. They rely on concealment to ambush their food. Like other sit-n-wait predators, they have an incredibly fast feeding mechanism. When a fish or shrimp moves close enough to the business end of one these fish the jaws are projected forward and the mouth cavity expands. This creates a vacuum and the fish is ingested in milliseconds. Although they are not quite as fast as the frogfishes, scorpionfishes have been documented to extend the mouth to its full gape in as little as 15 milliseconds! 
Behaviour:
The devil scorpionfish usually occurs singly. Its colour can vary and helps to enhance its camouflage. A filamentous green alga often grows on its skin, which not only facilitates its resemblance of reef substrate but also acts to attract herbivores into striking range.
Distinguishing Characteristics:
The devil scorpionfish can be separated from these closely related forms by the coloration on the inside of the pectoral fin. In this species this area has orange and white bands, with several black spots. This is the most wide-ranging member of the group. The devil scorpionfish differs from the Flasher scorpionfish, which we also have in our area. These fish have a smaller eye and a longer snout and sometimes individuals are Strikingly coloured with red, blue or pink blotched skins, often found resting amid coralline encrusted coral rubble, this colouration could be due to different alga or sponges growing on the skin.
 

iDAP College News


As the IDC comes to an end the atmosphere becomes more relaxed now that the candidates are more confident with their role of becoming  a PADI Instructor. 

Other Up coming IDC's in 2015:
 
September/ October IDC: 18 of September to the 5 of October with the IE the following 2 days and the MSDT Prep. Course starts the 8 of October and ends the 12 October

November/December IDC: 20 of November and ends the 7 of December with the IE the following 2 days. The MSDT Prep. Course starts the 10 and ends the 14 of December
dive supply

Fun Divers

John Smith
Andrew De Water
Sue Goodman
Barry Lyon
Gary Norris
Garry Mckennon
Bruce Vauhgan
Bernie Gillies
Yi Zhao
Sophia Hou Jiachen
Michael Li
Jong Yan
Yue Liang
David Boardman
Teresa Boardman
Katrina Boardman
Richard Samuel
Veronique Ficheux
Emmie Morton
Xu Ting Ting
Li Cun Mao
Hong Guang
Stephen Clark
Heng Li
Jon Pearlman
Nicolas Ficheux
Zhao Yu
Li Bin
Li Jing chi
Gu Xue Mei
Yue Pu Hang
Xu Ji Ming
Zhang Jin Hua
Zheng Ze Hing
Peter Zheng

PADI Open Water (OW) Course
Zhao Yu
Li Bin
Li Jing chi
Gu Xue Mei
Yue Pu Hang
Xu Ji Ming
Zhang Jin Hua
Zheng Ze Hing
Run Song Wang (Leon Wang)

PADI Advance Open Water (AOW) Course
Zhao Yu
Li Bin
Li Jing chi
Gu Xue Mei
Xu Ji Ming
Zhang Jin Hua
Run Song Wang (Leon Wang)

PADI Discover Scuba Diving (DSD) Course
Li Bo
Li Chun Mei
 

History of how diving started in Puerto Galera

Diving in and around Puerto Galera started back in early 1981 when Brian Homan, an Australian from Maitland NSW, started Capt'n Gregg’s Dive Center on Big Lalaguna Beach in a small space underneath the Hobbit House Bar and Restaurant managed by Ray and Rosita Ramos.

Snake, a fellow Australian, teamed up with Brian around July 1981 and together they started exploring the area, looking for dive sites and wrecks.

The Hobbit House was destroyed by a typhoon on Boxing Day 1981 but luckily, the dive shop being underneath, survived. Most of the hobbits then returned to Manila and Ray and Rosita rebuilt the establishment and called it Rosita's Inn.

The Hobbit House is now a well known music club located in Ermita, Manila where the hobbits are the waiters and they also own and operate the business.

Life on the beach was very basic then with no electricity or phones to communicate with the outside world. The dive shop had only three sets of gear for customers with no BCD's or wet suits and of course there were no dive computers then so all dives were planned on the PADI (U.S. Navy) Tables. They also had a hookah compressor system which they used to take people diving in front of the beach where the coral was pristine.

In 1982 Jim Wilson from Sydney joined in and most of the dive sites in the area were found by the Capt'n Gregg's team including wreck sites such as the WWII Jap Wreck near Markoe Cove in 1981, the Spanish Galleon Nuestra Senora de la Vida on Verde Island in 1982 and a 15th Century Balanghai carrying Ming Dynasty Chinese pottery and porcelain in the Manila Channel in August 1983.

Earlier 1983 Capt'n Gregg's had transferred to Sabang Beach after Brian married a local girl from Sabang and a new dive shop and restaurant was built in Sabang. Notifying the National Museum of the finds and making contact with the director, Father Gabriel Casal, an excavation team was put together consisting of Brian, Snake, Jim and several divers from the Museum's Underwater Archaeology Team.

After many weeks of diving and around the clock security, the cargo was brought to the surface and taken to Manila for treatment and documentation. In the early stages some pieces were stolen by local divers at night before security could be placed on the site. Several pieces and photos are on display in both, the Excavation Museum in the Puerto Galera Church grounds and Capt'n Gregg's restaurant which is still alive today on Sabang Beach. Others are in Brian Homan's Museum at Vasco's Resort in Subic Bay and The National Museum in Manila.

In early 1984 Snake and Jim decided it was time to run a dive center on their own and to break away from Captain Gregg’s, so with mutual understanding, Brian kept the building and the name and Snake and Jim kept the equipment and the boats. Snake and Jim then decided to go back to Big Lalaguna Beach and with a Swiss National and Instructor, WilliTobler, opened Reef Raider's Dive Center next door to Rosita's Inn. One of the early customers of Capt'n Gregg's, a somewhat relaxed English individual by the name of Dave Penman, who was also an Instructor, joined in as a freelancer and became the instruction force behind Reef Raiders.

By 1985 Reef Raiders was well established and dominating the diving in Puerto Galera. It was indeed an outpost at best but it seemed to attract some very special characters, people from the oil industry in particular had heard of Reef Raiders and Puerto Galera and were using it for their time off. It was a special time for this sleepy town, but it was slowly transforming into what it is today.

It attracted people like Sky & Mark (South Sea Divers) , Frank Doyle (Lalaguna Beach Club), and Arnie Isberg. Arnie who came to Puerto Galera way before 1985, was out the back of Puerto Galera panning for gold, then eventually and to the disappointment of some and the pleasures of others, started the first girly bar in Sabang, Sunset Disco. Sky and Mark worked out of their spare bathroom and took people out diving much to the disappointment of the Reef Raiders team as neither one of them were qualified Divemasters.

It was back in late 1985 that Allan Nash arrived on the beach and decided that this was the place to be. After a short time Allan was doing his Divemasters course with Reef Raiders and Sky and Mark from South Sea’s decided to join in. Well with Mark and Sky’s laid back attitude, Allan finished his Divemaster and then Instructors course well before Sky and Mark finished their Divemasters. Nevertheless the lads finished their courses and carried on taking people diving professionally, having met most of them from the now growing nightlife of bars and discos in Sabang.

Yes life was good, easy, almost no responsibility and lots of fun until early March 1987 when a fire broke out in Reef Raiders Dive Center, spreading and taking out the entire center of the beach. It was impressive the way people all joined forces to put the fire out, Jim and the boys running into the burning shop taking out as much gear as they could, trying to save whatever they could, before the fire engulfed the building. All of the artifacts from the Jap Wreck, Verde Island and Manila Channel sites, plates, dragon jars and other treasures all went up in the fire, not to forget one of the best shell collections I have ever seen, Snake the curator was speechless to here about this. The next morning, Jim and Willi were gutted as was Snake, who was in Australia at the time, on receiving the news. Willi simply put his hands in the air and said that’s it I'm out of here but Jim and Snake, on his return, temporarily moved to Small Lalaguna Beach but they never really recovered from the disaster. Snake left in 1988, Jim rebuilt on the original site and became an Instructor in 1989 and sold out to Frank Doyle 1994.

Allan, who had become a part of the Reef Raiders Instructional Team as a freelancer along with Dave, neither one wanting to leave, suggested to Dave, lets start our own dive center and with that Allan took over Willi’s house on Small Lalaguna Beach and Dave moved into a nice nipa hut that looked more like a tree house than anything else.

Fortunately, during the night of the fire, Sky and Mark had rented ten tanks to do a night dive. The equipment saved was some masks, a few damaged regulators, some fins and wetsuits, all with small scorch marks and holes, but after some TLC could be restored and made workable, this was due to the work of Allan and Dave. Within less than a week they had six sets of workable dive equipment, but no compressor so Allan borrowed a thousand dollars off a friend and purchased an old but workable 2.5 cfm compressor, this was the start of Asia Divers! Working out of Allan’s spare room as an equipment room, his kitchen as a classroom and his living room as a bar, the operation was underway.

It was not long after that before Sky and Mark moved from their bathroom and took a spot on the beach at Sabang. Then dive shops started popping up everywhere and now today we have over fifty dive centers between Sabang and White Beach. And its no surprise as the diving here is world class and PADI has dominated the scene since the beginning. For a diver, it has a lot to offer from wrecks to some of the smallest of critters found only here in Puerto Galera.

Resorts and hotels from all levels are found here. El Galleon Resort nestled among the trees to Atlantis and its European white concrete design to Infinity and its exquisite architectural design. Puerto Galera resorts and hotels have everything for you to enjoy a truly wonderful beachfront and diving holiday.