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Panglao Dive Shops

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Perth, Australia
posts: 21
Panglao Dive Shops

We will be staying at Amorita, Alona beach for a few nights.. Just wanting to know the more reputable Dive outfits along this stretch of beach. PADI certified of course.

Even any personal recommendations or experiences with any of them?

Thanks!

Luzon, Philippines
Destination Expert
for Philippines, Bandar Seri Begawan
posts: 13,393
reviews: 184
1. Re: Panglao Dive Shops

Bohol Oceanic Adventures is the in-house dive shop of Amorita which is also one of the most reputable in the island. You may just contact Amorita for your diving needs.

Baguio, Philippines
Destination Expert
for Philippines
posts: 3,450
reviews: 236
2. Re: Panglao Dive Shops

Alona beach has at least 30 dive shops - of these about 10 have been around fro more than 10-15 years and I'd say are the best. Genesis divers is good. But there are many otehrs too.

An easy way to check is - the previous day, just meet up the dive master and talk to hi. You will know within 5 minutes whether they are reliable.

the best part is usually it is one dive master to one diver - great ratio, huh?

Perth, Australia
posts: 21
3. Re: Panglao Dive Shops

Yeah fair enough..

I cant seem to find any websites which reviews the dive centres?

Actually, not even websites of the dive centres themselves!

I guess it cant be that bad with whoever you go with if its just yourself in the group! As long as equipment is all good, and theyr dont rip you off

Denver, Colorado
posts: 1,027
reviews: 71
4. Re: Panglao Dive Shops

Philippine fun divers by Lost Horizon resort have good reputation, as do Genesis divers associated with Peters house. As previously mentioned there are many good dive shops here

Baguio, Philippines
Destination Expert
for Philippines
posts: 3,450
reviews: 236
5. Re: Panglao Dive Shops

"I cant seem to find any websites which reviews the dive centres?"

There ARE websites where divers post their reviews - but you will notice very few reviews on these pls this tells only half the story (the popular ones are - www.scubaoard.com, http://www.facebook.com/ScubaBoard for their more popular facebook page and http://www.dive-reviews.com)

However, what each diver looks for is completely different. Some LIKE places with a good divemaster to diver ratio (1:2), while others prefer to just go unguided and with their buddies, without a dive master (more self exploration). Most prefer to use the FB pages of their dive school to post inquiries. Plus there is the fact that in a review, you invariably end up personally commenting about another diver (the owner!) which is not always comfortable.

Hence dive shop reviews only tell half the story.

having said that, I have been to Alona beach and can assure you - you will not find a dearth of good dive centers to choose from. There are loads of them all along the beach, most are run b Germans, Scandinavians, Australians and a few by Filipinos.

Almost ALL of them have good equipment - and as I said before, the only surefire way of assessing them is to walk along and talk to them. This takes lesser time than you feel - in 30 minutes, you would have had a pleasant walk along the beach, would have seen all the dive maps, and would have a good "feel" of the person you are diving with. The good part is they are very flexible - both in terms of what time they dive, and they always have slots available.

Since we are on this topic, I also recommend a day dive at Balicasag island - they have a dive shop and I found the resident dive master good. Walk into the reef directly from the island. Though you will need to take a boat from Alona to Balicasag. There are lesser people here, plus it is always better to be able to walk ashore after a dive rather than have to sit in a boat and putter around.

By the way - most places (hotels, resorts, etc - even shopping malls like SM!) in Philippines DO NOT have good websites and instead prefer to put up their information and photos on their facebook (which btw is far more current and comprehensive), and dive shops are no exception.

Perth, Australia
posts: 21
6. Re: Panglao Dive Shops

Yeah, ive been to alona beach a few times before and noticed the plethora of dive shops. I want to dive this time around, which is the reason i wanted to make sure i stay clear of the dodgey dive shops, if any.

This will be a warm up to diving at Coron. Pity we didnt book earlier for a live-aboard to tubbataha reef!! theres always next time..

But i get what youre saying..

Thanks for your input!

Baguio, Philippines
Destination Expert
for Philippines
posts: 3,450
reviews: 236
7. Re: Panglao Dive Shops

@ruckusone

I understood your dilemma.

Here are 2 recommendations that I have tried out a few times -

Genesis is a good outfit. Run by a German and has been around for the past about 15 years. I'd suggest you do a fun dive first time before going for any certification. A fun dive consists of a briefing of about 30 to 60 minutes in which you are taught the basic hand symbols, parts of the scuba, how to use it, etc. Then the dive master leads you in the water, showing you the sights. The dive lasts about 30 minutes (though it feels like 5 minutes!) and is a great way to be introduced to diving.

The second place I would suggest is Balicasag island. the advantage here is that you just walk into the water (as compared to the former where you need to go in a boat a short distance and then "fall" into the water backwards. Unnerving for a first timer.

All said and done, you'll enjoy your first dive - and Bohol is a great place for a first dive. The corals here are very colourful, and the marine life beautiful

Bohol
posts: 17
reviews: 23
8. Re: Panglao Dive Shops

Diving around Panglao is fantastic and as other posters have mentioned you can choose from a number of dive operators. I live on Panglao and I dive with Prana (http://prana-bohol.com/) but as he has now become a friend I am somewhat biased. My suggestion reflects the other posters. Chat with the dive master, have a look at the equipment and choose from there. Have a great visit!

Cebu City...
posts: 1
reviews: 47
9. Re: Panglao Dive Shops

http://www.alona-divers.com/ Just did four dives with them, one DM and one OW diver. Guide and DM Zaldy was very good and everything was on time and very professional. I recommend these guys and would dive with them again.

Oslo
posts: 11,842
reviews: 109
10. Re: Panglao Dive Shops

walk around and talk to the shops see which one is a better fit for you, do you feel comfy with them, look at equipment for safety, are they drinking when you walk in, what about prices. Its really hard to recommend a good dive shop as it usually comes down to the dive-master who can leave at anytime, Better exploer for yourself for the best fit.