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“Top notch diving, mixed feelings about the resort”
Review of Evolution Diving

Evolution Diving
Ranked #3 of 23 Tours in Malapascua Island
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: Evolution is a concept based around safe and exciting scuba diving, good times and cold drinks with old and new friends, and a perfect blend of Filipino, Irish and English hospitality.With the paradise island of Malapascua in the Philippines as the backdrop, Evolution Diving has access to some one-of-a-kind dive sites, including the daily cleaning stations for thresher sharks at Monad Shoal. If you prefer macrolife, you can see most creatures on an experienced divers list, or you can get down and dirty in WWII wrecks and immerse yourself in the history that surrounds them.
Useful Information: Activities for older children, Activities for young children
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
14 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
“Top notch diving, mixed feelings about the resort”
Reviewed June 9, 2014

Overall good experience, but very uneven.

Pluses:
- wonderful local staff: the dive instructors, boat crew, housekeeping staff and staff from the bar / restaurant, all the local staff was really helpful and friendly. Special thanks to the fantastic instructors Jo and Alex. Both of them were extremely professional and soooo good at spotting interesting marine life. They really made the dive experience unforgettable.
- fantastic diving: while we obviously wanted to see the thresher sharks (which we did on both days we went to Monad Shoal), the other dive sites were equally interesting. Mating mandarin fish, blue ringed octopus, pygme seahorse, frogfish, spanish dancers, we saw it all. The visibility was great and the corals were beautiful.
- rooms: the rooms were very new and clean. Probably the nicest ones out of all the dive resorts we've stayed at. The bathroom was clean, the shower pressure decent and there was always hot water.

Minuses:
- management hospitality: we booked through a third party and did not get to interact with the management prior to our arrival. And we did not get to interact with them at the resort either....despite them being at the bar while we were at the restaurant, not once did they come to introduce themselves or ask us how things were. The only reason we knew of them was the countless diving certificates decorating each side of the office walls. They might be wonderful divers and instructors, but I was not at all impressed by their hospitality skills.
- hidden fees: part of the blame should probably go to the third party which booked the stay for not letting us know about the extras. However, we thought it was reasonable to assume that full board meant all drinks (excl. alcohol) and food was included. Having to pay for water was quite a nasty surprise. Most dive resorts offer free tea, coffee and after diving snack. Make sure you bring your wallet if you're the type who is ever thirsty or hungry between meals. To top it up, though the food was reasonably nice, prices, for the Philippines, were quite steep: PHP200 (~US$4-5) for a bowl of cereal, PHP100-110 for a fruit juice, PHP70 for a glass of coke, when the convenience store charge PHP7 (not a typo) for a glass bottle. "Hidden fees" also include an extra PHP650 per person for a day trip.
- equipment: we rented BCD and regulators. My first BCD didn't have a depth gauge (and i don't have a dive comp) and the spare reg was leaking, while my second BCD didn't deflate properly. Credit to the crew though for changing my first BCD after 2 dives. Couldn't be bothered changing it again, if it was to get another BCD with another faulty part.

Would I go back to Malapascua? Probably. Would i go back to Evolution diving? Not so sure if it wasn't for the great local staff, in particular the DMs.

Visited June 2014
Helpful?
3 Thank Pauline T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Danish first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
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  • Spanish first
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English first
Colorado Mountains
Level Contributor
34 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
“Four and a bit”
Reviewed May 30, 2014

As a nearly forty year diver and instructor, this is not my age but the time I have spent doing this sport, I have seen a lot of dive operations. Evolution really did well after a slight initial hiccup. Mixing experienced divers with trainees and the much less experienced recent open water graduates is a recipe for confusion and a poor diving experience. But when I spoke to the management they reacted well immediately to remedy the situation...a sign of caring about the customer experience and acknowledging a mistake...they even thanked me for bringing it to their attention. The trips out to watch Thresher Sharks were well managed and successful on each occasion....worth every penny. The reason for not getting a full five star rating from me is down almost entirely to the on site restaurant: the food frankly was uninteresting,and unimaginative. Breakfast was included in the cost of rooms but when one is paying effectively top dollar (for the Philippines) one expects a better offering, including the availability of decaf coffee,and to not have to pay for a glass of water. To my mind water should be free (or included in the price)and available at all times.
I would go back but I would not eat or drink at the resort until these issues are resolved as there are numerous eateries all seemingly serving more than adequate to very good,reasonably priced,fresh food; seafood that I had at other places was excellent.

Visited May 2014
Helpful?
4 Thank Christopher M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tumon, Mariana Islands
Level Contributor
79 reviews
33 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
“Great dive company”
Reviewed May 27, 2014 via mobile

Went to see the Thresher sharks and was just as amazed by the variety on the macro dives. The guides have an amazing eye for finding things.

Helpful?
Thank MatthewSurawski
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“May 2014 trip to Malapasqua”
Reviewed May 27, 2014

One of the most professional dive centre's I have ever been diving with. Tresher shark dive is awesome!!! Gato Island an Kalamangan Island are really nice dive site's as well. The Island is beautifull with friendly people and there is no way you can imagen that there was a typhoon.

Visited May 2014
Helpful?
Thank Sicco S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Know-how driven and safe diving, individual service and relaxed environment”
Reviewed May 21, 2014

I was doing my Dive Master Training at Evolution starting in March 2014 for 8 weeks. Overall it was a great experience and I recommend everyone to go diving with Evolution. For me it was my first time diving with Evolution and the first time in the Philippines. The review in detail:

1) Diving:
Evolution has its roots in Tech Diving which effects the crew, their knowledge and skills: all the instructors and guides dive in perfect trim. The local diveguides (Alex, Gino and Jo) are very good in spotting the small stuff Malapascua is (besides the Thresher Sharks) famous for. They are very patient, conscoius about the environment and helpfull. If you want to see something special: Let them know and they will find it for you ;)
Evolution offers daily dives to see the world famous Thresher Sharks. Besides the local dives there are day trips and if you have any special request for a special dive site or day trip they will try and find a solution for you!

2) Organization:
With Evolution you will dive in small groups (max 4-5 divers per guide) which makes diving a lot more fun. The boatcrew is trained in Emergency First Response and all of them are good divers as well. So in the very unlikely event of an emergency: At Evolution you are in safe hands! Evolution is a "green fins" diving center and also encourages its costumers to behave environmental friendly (no tank bangers, gloves, pick up garbage etc, don't kick the corrals etc). The service for divers is very good, e.g. you don't have to carry your gear to the boat, the crew assembles it and takes good care of your equipment.

3) Equipment and crew:
Evolution's roots in Tech-diving has impact on the dive equipment: For recreational diving, the guests at Evolution will encounter equipment in a very good condition, well serviced and from reputable brands (Aqualung BCDs, Apex regulators). But also for tech-diving and tech-oriented all the diving equipment is available: Backplate, Sidemount, Doubles.

4) The Location:
Evolution is located on the east coast of the island (Bounty Beach) and has a direct and clean access to the beach. In connection with Evolution's "Craig House" it is a perfect place to relax before, in between and after your dives. The bean bags, hamacs and a very good music and drink-selection invite to chill at the beach. In combination with the Craig House it is a perfect place to forget about your daily life back home. The Craig House offers very good food (combination of western and Asian/ Philippino cuisine) and drinks (Happy Hour from 4pm-7pm), combined with a very good service directly at the beach...What else can you ask for? The WiFi is stable and compared to local standards fast.

5) Accomodation:
Evolution offers different types of rooms depending on what the costumers want or need (Fan or AC, Garden view, Sea View). The rooms are all clean and not more than 50m away from the beach.

6) Dive courses:
Evolution offers a wide selection of PADI and also TDI courses for all skill levels which are all trained and conducted by experienced instructors.
I did my EFR, Rescue Diver, Dive Master and the AN/DP (Advanced Nitrox/ Decompression Procedures) course with Evolution. From the first point of contact with Evolution I felt very welcome and I received a very individual training. I was the only DMT in the ressort and enjoyed the instructor's full attention ;) In contrast to other ressorts, Evolution does not impress with lots of DMT's at the same time, but the training schedule was far beyond PADI standards. Dannie is a very experienced instructor and diver in recreational and tech-diving with a good sense of humor and a very professional attitude.
Although I didn't plan to get into Tech-Diving before I came to Malapascua, after a couple of weeks I wanted to enhance my diving skills and diving knowledge and signed up for the AN/DP course. It was the hardest but also the best and most rewarding course I have ever had and it definetely changed my attitude towards safer but also more enjoyable diving. I enjoyed both the theoretical and the practical part of the course which was conducted by David who is a passionate Tech Diver and he sets high standards on the course and his students.
Angel, who forms along with Dannie the core instructor team at Evolution, is also a very experienced instructor. He is super patient with his students and very good in transfering his theoretical and practical know how to his students.

Conclusion:
No matter if you are planning to do some fun dives or courses: Evolution will be the right choice. Although prices might be a bit higher than in the cheaper ressorts on the island, you will definetely notice the difference in organization, safe diving and the very costumer oriented service. I will be back!

Visited May 2014
Helpful?
4 Thank Andreas B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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