Darwin Bawasanta

Dive Funatics is now a PADI 5 Star Instructor Development Dive Resort


Dive Funatics’ recent 5 Star Instructor Development Dive Resort (5 Star IDDR) is a milestone for Dive Funatics as they can now offer PADI Instructor Courses in Cebu in English, Filipino, Cebuano, and Ilonggo languages. Just days after earning the much anticipated IDDR rating, Dive Funatics has successfully run its first Instructor Development Course with a resounding success, with all of its candidates passing the PADI Instructor Examination (IE). It was a victorious and glorious day for everyone at Dive Funatics!

As a business classification, PADI Five Star Instructor Development Dive Resorts are dive resorts that meet all PADI Five Star Dive Resort standards, plus offer PADI instructor-level training. With a PADI Course Director on staff, these dive businesses offer PADI Instructor Development Courses and continuing education opportunities to dive professionals. Located in resort areas, these businesses often cater to travelers and can introduce people to scuba diving, then provide all the training up through the dive professional level. If your goal is to become a PADI Scuba Instructor, look no further!

As a center, we spend over 95% of our time training and running continuing education programs and professional programs here in Cebu. Dive Funatics has been recognized as a premier destination for people wanting to learn how to scuba dive, or divers who needed to take more courses, and especially those who wanted to train and become a dive professional. We are known to stick and adhere to the PADI Standards of Teaching courses, keep a roster of highly experienced and respected dive instructors and trainers.

This recent recognition and 5 Star IDDR designation validates even more strongly the kind of positive reviews that we are getting from our guests and students. If you are looking to learn how to scuba dive in Cebu, insist on getting it from Dive Funatics!

How Much Do You Trust TripAdvisor?

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The brand and reputation

Both online and offline are without any doubt the best asset a company, especially in the service industry, can have. This is why, we at Dive Funatics continue to strive to build strongly and protect our brand and reputation by delivering the service, as we advertise and offer, as outlined in our terms and conditions.

Online reviews influence purchase

Guest reviews can make or unmake a company. Surprisingly, about 85% of consumers say that they read up to 10 reviews before they can trust a business, 72% of consumers say that positive reviews make them trust a business more, 92% of users will use a local business that has at least a 4-star rating, and finally, 86% of people will hesitate to go with businesses that has negative online reviews.

Reviews from different platforms collectively is far trustworthy and reliable than just from TripAdvisor alone…

Our customer reviews are proudly spread across different places and not just from TripAdvisor. Weirdly, this fact may be hurting us more than it is helping us as more travelers continue to rely only on TripAdvisor reviews as means to sway their decision in favor of those on top of the list!

Reviews from different platforms collectively is far more trustworthy and reliable than just from TripAdvisor alone, at least in an ideal world. Search engine results employ complicated algorithms to distinguish authoritative and relevant sites based on a lot of factors, reviews from different sources are taken into consideration so we take pride in knowing that we got ourselves mostly in the first page of Google Search for locally targeted keywords for scuba diving training, certification and lessons.

Thus, we maintain reviews from different industry-related review platforms to reflect the honest, unbiased, independent tenor of these comments and reviews given in our favor, which has consistently garnered us a 5-Star or excellent rating.

TripAdvisor Relevance

There have been a good number of articles written to suggest that TripAdvisor is no longer as reputable as most of its readers think is. An article from Medium and NYPost.com are good places to start.

I have personally observed new listings soaring to the top of the attraction classification in as quickly as one can blink. What’s even questionable are the kind of reviews written, some very self-serving, probably even monetized in exchange of discounts & freebies.

TripAdvisor ranking is heavily based on quantity, based on comments that are not relevant to the service being offered, and with little validation as to the authenticity of these sources, thus we cannot deny the fact that we ourselves are no longer trusting and believing comments and reviews made in favor of those who are on top of the TripAdvisor list.

As one operator told me, TripAdvisor is his main source of revenue stream and he was all too concerned about losing ranking to another operator offering much cheaper courses than him to get the bigger share of the market, which gives rise to his eventual dominance in the TripAdvisor ranking.

Clearly, TripAdvisor influences price war and cut-throat competition more so than it drives service quality. It drives companies to drop prices at least to capture enough responses and more people to write positive reviews about them, again to out rank the other.

We refuse to be part of the price war and cut-throat competition. We refuse to cut corners and lower the quality of our service, even break standards just so there is still money to be had. We refuse to get into the wholesale approach as that is detrimental to the service, tourism and dive industry that we are in.

The bottom line

We have enough social proof to sway your decision to go with us. We have priced our services and courses reasonably to be sustainable. We continue to be consistent & relevant as we engage in activities to promote awareness and wage a serious war against underwater debris and against irresponsible tourism. Most importantly, we continue to produce competent, responsible and disciplined divers who continue to make us proud.

Scuba Deals at Dive Funatics

Scuba Diving Courses for Groups


PADI Scuba Diving Courses Group Deals

Taking your scuba diving courses in Cebu has never been so reasonable, accessible, safe and fun!

This year, we came up with jaw-dropping deals for our core courses to provide traveling guests and locals access to quality training without paying a higher price for their certification courses. We further sweetened the deal by enhancing our Gold Packages which gives the opportunity for the students to either do the post certification dives around Mactan or Moalboal. For Open Water Course, Gold offers the options to select the Advanced Open Water Course instead of the post certification dives.

We have also created deals for groups of 3 participants and up to take home their PADI Certifications at a much lower rate while preserving the original inclusions in each of our packages.

We have continuously been associated with marine conservation, quality training, best customer service, reasonable priced center. With the addition of our group deals, we will be associated as the group go to dive center in Cebu!

Check out our group deals and find out how you can maximize our offers. Train with the best diver center in Cebu, train with Dive Funatics!

  • Awesome Group Deals

  • Minimum Group Size
  • Inclusion
  • Days
  • Extras
  • Pre-requisite Certification
  • Accommodation
  • Open Water

  • P15,000

    per person

  • 3 Pax
  • Course Manuals, Materials, Use of Gear, Resort Fees, Certification
  • 2
  • None
  • None
  • OW Gold

  • P28,000

    per person

  • 3 Pax
  • Course Manuals, Materials, Use of Gear, Resort Fees, Certification
  • 3
  • Choice of AOW, Boat Dive, or Moalboal Dive
  • None
  • Advanced OW

  • P14,200

    per person

  • 3 Pax
  • Course Manuals, Materials, Use of Gear, Resort Fees, Certification
  • 2
  • None
  • Open Water
  • Rescue

  • P17,000

    per person

  • 3 Pax
  • Course Manuals, Materials, Use of Gear, Resort Fees, Certification
  • 2 (3 days when bundled with EFR)
  • None
  • Advanced Open Water
  • Nitrox

  • P6,000

    per person

  • 3 Pax
  • Course Manuals, Materials, Use of Gear, Resort Fees, Certification
  • 1
  • 2 Nitrox Dives
  • Open Water

Very important note when planning for your return flights after your training. There is a mandatory no-fly rest period of 18 hours from the time you surfaced from your last dive until you can safely fly. For those that are already certified, this serves as a reminder. For those who are not certified yet, this topic is extensively discussed in your open water diver course manual and course videos.

Engaging in scuba diving training and activity requires reasonable swimming skills and good physical condition. Be sure to check the medical questionnaire form and answer each of the questions clearly by either a YES or a NO (N,Y, n/a, X or check marks and other symbols are not acceptable answers).

Any YES answer automatically requires the need for a signed medical clearance from your doctor before we allow you to enter the water. This are conditions that cannot be waived or overlooked so please go over them carefully.

Underwater Photography Course Cebu by Dive Funatics

How Much Destruction Did Your Underwater Photos Cause?


Learning underwater photography is a rewarding skill, that can turn easily into a hobby, and may even give considerable returns on investment for the few gifted ones in the process.

Dive Funatics

Clown fish Looking the otherway – by Kae of Dive Funatics

But unlike top-side photography, underwater world is more challenging to conquer and master simply because most subjects are not stationary, water columns are moving, and the photographers are using bulky and specialized equipment like scuba gear, camera housing, strobes with extended arms, and other considerations.

Due to the emergence of sophisticated digital point and shoot cameras, availability of cheaper underwater housing, and the growing popularity of social networking sites, so does the rise in newly certified divers itching to take their compact cameras with them underwater. Now Houston, we have a problem!

In the real world, divers newly certified, just freshly out of their Open Water Courses do not have good enough buoyancy, stable enough to take underwater shoots without damaging any sensitive marine life or sensitive bottom! Most of them hang-on and grab whatever they can just so they are stable enough to capture those to-die-for shots! At this point, all repetitive briefings about not touching corals, being responsible divers, about respecting the life and its habitat gets thrown out the window. Nothing exists but that moment, and that desire to take something “instragramable”!



Dive Funatics

Playful anemone fish by Kae of Dive Funatics

As a diver, as a photography hobbyist, I understand that getting the right foundation in everything that I do in pursuit of my craft is everything to be better and successful than the rest. As a dive professional who spends the last decade enticing people to take up scuba diving, educating divers to be responsible underwater, and taking steps to actually practice what I teach, I can’t help but frown upon those who disrespect scuba diving as a sport, photography as a hobby, and leave trails of destruction along the way.

You don’t have to be like me. All I am suggesting is try and make less negative impact when you dive. This is the least that you can do as a diver.



So what do bad divers do when taking photos? Watch this short clip captured by the good guys at Wet Monkeys.

How would you feel if someone walks into your property, takes a picture of what they want to shoot at, with no regard for how they wish to accomplish what they set out to do? How do you think this turtle feel at this moment? What about those tiny, sensitive life at the bottom?

Do not be part of the problem, be a better diver first before you think of getting into something beyond your head. You may be an accomplished photographer but unless you can hover properly, and more importantly, having the mindset to be responsible, develop heightened situational awareness, and becoming respectful, sensitive and responsible diver – do not take up underwater photography yet!

Develop good skills and habits. If you need help, invest in lessons, find a mentor, dive more. We at Dive Funatics can ease the transition, choose our flexible and reasonably priced Underwater Photography Packages.

Please watch the video carefully crafted by PADI to emphasize how great diving in the Philippines really is.


Photos of anemone fish are choosen in this article as they are commonly used as starter subjects for underwater photographers.

Summer with Dive Funatics


Summer of 2017 is about to reach its end, but for Dive Funatics, what better way to end the summer than with a Dive Against Debris, Green Star Award, becoming a 100% AWARE partner and with 54 certifications issued.

We are never been more grateful for having been given the opportunity to train so many fine divers in a relatively short window. To be part of a diver’s journey, experience and learning is a privilege worthy of an article to pay tribute to the trust, the confidence and the kind words our alumni has uttered in our favor. These people have trusted us, used our online booking system, accepted how our courses are structured, and gave our choice of learning materials a chance to prove their suitability. They simply are the right people that we hope to reach.

Summer is not just training and certifications for us. Summer is also the time where we see familiar faces, the ones whom we consider friends and even family coming over to dive with us for the Nth time. Summer is also a time when we celebrate our PADI Membership anniversary, our birthdays, a time when we get attacked by angry and protective huge titan trigger fishes despite our heightened situational awareness. We even had the very rare opportunity to dive with the PADI Regional Manager for Philippines in one of our fun dives!

Scuba diving in Cebu is convenient, practical and course-centric. It is a place where one can get the most value for money in terms of PADI scuba diving courses and dive adventures. This is the area where Dive Funatics excel at, are known for, and the place where your safety and service quality are highly regarded.

Ultimately, we want to end our summer with a sincere appreciation to the people behind our operations, to those who have helped us become what we are today, and to those who trusted us with their courses. Congratulations for a summer well spent!

Thank You


Thank You for Choosing Dive Funatics


Open Water Course with Benjamin


Open Water Course with Ben taken during the tour portion of his 3rd open water dive training. School of active Rabbit Fish was unusually thick on this dive. Current was a little strong, visibility was about 25m. Other divers were diving and training in the area as well.

High tide, water entry depth was about 2m, dive time is 43 minutes, maximum depth is 15m, water temperature is 26 degrees Celsius.

Get certified, learn to scuba dive now. Choose from our open water course packages.

How Green is your Sunscreen | Dive Funatics

Guide to Guilt-Free and Non-Selfish Protection Alternatives for Your Skin as well as the Corals


Is Your Sunscreen Saving Your Skin  but Harming the Environment?

It’s summer time again on this part of the world. The sun has been meaner more than ever and thus requiring more potent sun-protection additives to sunscreens. When going out to buy one for your upcoming summer adventures in the beach, please also consider the effects this may have on our underwater friends especially the corals. It’s not enough that the label reads “organic”.

Be mindful of the ingredient called oxybenzone. This is component found in many sunscreen products as well as shampoo and mascara. It is a very dangerous component which can cause severe deformity in corals and even death to these underwater creatures. Per MarineSafe.Org, one drop of this substance is equivalent to six and a half Olympic-size swimming pools’ worth of water sufficient to damage coral. It’s that harmful to our underwater friends. It could also even be harmful enough to humans as this substance is being tagged as an endocrine disrupter, meaning it affects the hormones and reproductive functions of the user. Oxybenzone is currently being tagged as a product which meets the criteria for substances under high concern and is included in the list of substances which needs to be replaced. MarinSafe.org has published a list of chemicals commonly found in sunscreen lotions which may be beneficial to humans but are extremely deadly to corals. You may access the list on this link.

Military Cap / Hat from Dive Funatics

Next time you use a sunblock when you hit the waters, consider buying green brands. Or you may go to your garden and check your pantry. You can whip up some concoction free of petrochemicals and other artificial ingredients. For a natural water-resistant sun lotion, you may use the gel of an aloe vera and mix it with some beeswax, shea butter, olive oil, and rosemary extract– these are the common ingredients used in marine-approved sunscreens. And just wear a hat!

How's your buoyancy | Dive Funatics

12 Essential Scuba Drills To Master


There is more to scuba diving than breathing underwater, and admiring & experiencing the beauty of what lies beneath our seas.

Your certification means that you have been trained by a qualified instructor, and has successfully demonstrated mastery of the skills, and completed all theoretical knowledge validation required to be a safe, capable and independent diver to dive in depth and environment in which you are trained for. Your certification carries with you your center and instructor’s name to vouch this fact.

As you dive more, application of these scuba skills will become more natural. Overtime, you will be performing these skills without any conscious effort. But before you can safely dive, you must acquire these skills and perfect these 12 drills by way of proper training.

1. SwimmingThis is a very basic but important skill to master. You need to swim to get from point A to point B when in the water. However, the kind of swimming in scuba diving is not as tiring and demanding compared to swimming on the surface without the aid of buoyancy compensation devices to keep you afloat and with fins to easily push you.

2. Equipment familiarizationScuba diving requires specialized equipment. You need to be familiar with its use, operations, assembly, disassembly and care.

  • assembly
  • disassembly
  • operation
  • instrument reading & monitoring
  • proper cleaning and care

3. Pre-dive checksGoing through your checklist before jumping in the water can save a dive, and may save lives. Unfortunately, this step can easily be taken for granted. Most problems underwater can be safely avoided if pre-dive checks are done thoroughly.

  • buddy check
  • proper weighing check

4. Dive planning, Communication, situational & environmental awarenessplan the dive, dive the plan, agree in everything unanimously.

  • maximum depths, maximum time, turn around time, separated diver protocols, emergency procedures, etc.
  • hand signal
  • recall procedure
  • dangerous marine life to watch out for
  • water movement changes, depth changes

5. Regulator drillsthese are skills that you need to do when the regulator is out of your mouth for one reason or another. Without knowing how to safely put your regular back in your mouth, you’d be breathing water instead of air.

  • regulator clearing
  • regulator recovery
  • regulator-snorkel exchange
  • free flowing regulator breathing

6. Mask drillsmasks can flood and fog underwater, they can be knocked off by a fellow diver, or the strap could snap. Knowing how to put them back and clear them is essential to a more enjoyable dive.

  • mask clearing
  • mask removal
  • no mask breathing
  • no mask swims

7. BCD drillsyour buoyancy compensation device makes your dives fun, easy and effortless. Know how to use it properly, and knowing what to do when it fails is not only important, it can save you or your buddy life.

  • Inflate / deflate
  • Power inflator use
  • Oral inflator use
  • low pressure hose disconnection

8. Entry, Ascent & Descent techniquesgetting in and out of the water is not as easy as 1, 2, 3. There are established safe procedures for going down and going up. Various deep water entries are also essential and knowing when to use what technique is important.

  • Shore
  • Giant Stride
  • Backroll
  • Controlled seated entry
  • 5 point descent
  • 5 point ascent

9. Air depletion exerciseswhat do you do when you run out of air? What you do in this situation will either save you or injure yourself. Master these techniques like your life depended on it!

  • Signaling
  • Alternate air source use
  • Controlled emergency swimming ascents (CESA)

10. Problem solving drillsyou can’t talk underwater, you can’t just swim up to the surface everytime you encounter a problem. Although most problems can be avoided during pre-dive checks, equipment failures, cramps and other minor things may happen during the dive. You can safely solve them by practicing these skills.

  • weight removal & replacement
  • scuba unit removal & replacement
  • cramp removal
  • tired diver towing
  • loose cylinder band fixing

11. Neutral buoyancy & Hoveringby far the most difficult scuba diving skill to master.  How you hover is what separates you from a novice diver to an experienced diver. Knowing the principle, understanding the techniques and paying conscious effort can help you hover like a pro.

12. Other SkillsOther skills that, when mastered, make you a better diver and a better buddy.

  • Navigation
  • Proper kicking
  • Skin Diving
  • Surface marker buoy (SMB) deployment

Details, procedures, critical steps and the purposes of these skills are discussed to you by your instructor during your in-water training.