El Galleon Dive Resort with Asia Divers
Puerto Galera, Oriental Mindoro, Philippines
Scuba Certification: You're in the best of hands at Asia DiversAfter searching high and low and receiving many recommendations from many people on where best to get scuba certified in the Philippines, we settled on Asia Divers.
We got PADI Open Water Certification at Asia Divers, and stayed at the adjoining resort, El Galleon.
There are many places to get certified in the Philippines, and many places to dive. Here's why I liked Puerto Galera and Asia Divers:
- Easy and cheap access from Manila: take a bus from Manila to Batangas (approx 2 hours) and then a boat to Puerto Galera (45 mins-1hour). From the port, it's a ten minute walk to Asia Divers.
- Stay at El Galleon and dive with Asia Divers: no waking up early to trek to your dive shop, as these two are essentially one and the same.
- Personal attention: the rates at A.D. are, admittedly, more expensive than at some other places. One reason for this is because you get focused attention; it was only my friend and I getting certified, as opposed to a class of 10 or even more. The result? Your instructor is able to work with you on anything that is iffy (so you are sure to pass, whereas in a large group if you fall behind, tough luck and goodbye $). You also can go at your own pace, faster or slower depending on how comfortable you feel.
- Alli. Alli. Alli. You couldn't imagine a more patient and skilled instructor, even if you tried.
- Nudibranchs: lots of the small stuff but with diversity of sites (coral to sunken ships, shallow to deep).