Kids of Asilo de Milagrosa playing the creature ID game during the Dive Funatics Christmas Party.

Christmas being the season of giving, I am so proud and privileged to be part of a business whose people are kind-hearted enough to share their blessings this Christmas. Dive Funatics did a staff meeting for the Company’s Christmas party some time in November and my heart has been very warm ever since the staff unanimously volunteered to share a decent meal with the kids of Asilo de la Milagrosa. So, we’ve set the date and made arrangements to party with the kids last 20th of December 2019.

As a way of thanksgiving, spending time with 48 kids and sharing a meal and playing some games with them seemed to have wrapped up how amazing 2019 has been to us at Dive Funatics.

Games for the kids with Gen and Jane facilitating.

In February, we moved shop and moved even closer to our favorite training site, inside Kontiki Marina.

In March, Darwin got accepted to the very prestigious Course Director Training Course in Kota Kinabalu and became one of a handful of Filipino Course Directors to date.

In December, our very own Assistant Instructor Arthur became an Open Water Scuba Instructor. I got recognized by PADI as one of forty-five who won the 2019 Elite Instructors Challenge in the Elite 50 category.

Shop Manager Gen joined us in May as a non-diver and finished the year as a Divemaster. Instructor Hans joined us late July as an Advanced Open Water Diver and finished the year as a Master Scuba Diver Trainer. Jojo is more active than ever in our Dive Against Debris efforts and became a Specialty Instructor for Dive Against Debris; he has also certified over a hundred students this year.

Instructor Arthur cutting the roast pig as everyone falls in line to get a piece.

Those things being said, we have a lot to be thankful for as individuals and as a shop as a whole for our loyal patrons who trusted Dive Funatics. You all made these possible including our ability to share this year’s abundance with the less fortunate kids in the Asilo. In behalf of Dive Funatics, thank you! Special shout-out to the following Dive Funatics alumni for their generosity:

  • Angel
  • Adam
  • Melissa
  • Robert
  • Catalino
  • James

Special shoutout to our staff as well – to Gen for sponsoring the pasta; to Arthur for sponsoring the vegetables and to Hans for sponsoring the cake.

The younger kids showing their dance talent as an intermission number while waiting to the lechon to arrive.

Just a little backgrounder, the Asilo is home to about 48 orphans – from toddlers to 18-year-old kids. The Asilo fosters them until they are selected for adoption or when they reach the age of 18, whichever comes first. During the wait time, they go through education and life skills development that hopefully prepares them for the reality that is life.

The kids lining up to get their presents. For the safety of the kids, up close photos are not allowed in the Asilo.

Our celebration with them consisted of some fishy games – some sea creature ID for the young ones and a simulation of dive against debris sorting for the older kids, among others. The kids were also very proud to share their talent with us through some dance numbers. And to wrap up the morning well spent with them, we shared a festive Filipino lunch of lechon (roasted pig), chop suey (stir fried vegetables), pinoy-style lasagna, chocolate cake and iced tea. Each kid also left the party with a little present.