Every year I often set aside a goal of trying or learning something new. Some years I accomplish this and even go beyond, while others I don’t come close. I think this is a big part of the Guying Around spirit, saying YES and trying something new. Living abroad and traveling outside your comfort zone expose you to many many new things. Living in Asia you can experience a lot traveling to some of the southeast Asian countries and islands. Beautiful, pristine beaches that look nothing like the beaches I went to growing up in the Northeast part of the USA. Shout out to the Jersey beaches. There is surfing, swimming, snorkeling, and scuba diving.
I have always wanted to learn to scuba dive, explore the sea below. I can honestly say I have never seen the movie Finding Nemo but I always wanted to try to find him, whatever he looks like. When I started looking into possible destinations and places to learn, it was pretty overwhelming. There are tons of reviews, tons of suggestions, and tons of places to go to. There were places in Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam, and the Philippines. I decided to ask around at work if anyone had any scuba diving advice. One co-worker swore by and suggested a dive shop in the Philippines, Scandi Divers. It was located in Puerto Galera, which was south of Manila. There are thousands and I mean thousands of islands in the Philippines. I did myself a favor and looked where the dive shop was online.
I booked a 5 day trip to Scandi to get my Open Water Certification. I didn’t know what to expect, I was taking a co-workers recommendation. I knew there was going to be book work, pool work, and a few actual dives during the certification. I had to fly into Manila, take a bus south to another two boats to get to the dive shop. It is located on Sabang Beach, a beautiful secluded beach.
When I arrived the first thing I noticed was how welcoming and attentive the entire staff was. From the servers to the bar staff to the instructors, they really made you feel at home. I had the opportunity to get my certification one on one which was nice, I just got lucky with the timing. As I said before, there was classroom work, pool work to build skills, and a few actual dives for the certification. It took me 3 days to get when it is recommended to take 4-5 days. A big reason was the one on one instruction I had so I could work at my pace. I loved it so much I booked an extra day at Scandi and signed up for the Advanced certification. I had two other divers with me on that course and we finished that in two days with an additional five dives.
As far as things to do in the area, you have Sabang Beach. My main purpose of visiting was to learn to scuba dive. There is a restaurant and bar with the dive shop and hotel. You can hire a ride into town for very cheap to explore other restaurants and bars. I will warn you that a lot of the bars are girl bars in Sabang. Ladies of the night some say. If that is not your thing, there are other places to go and explore.
The fact that I enjoyed it so much and discovered a new hobby made me want to post it. If you are looking for a place to learn to scuba dive in a friendly environment, look no further then Scandi Divers in Puerto Galera, Philippines. Contact me for more information.