Our Journal

July 2017 Dive Against Debris

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July 29 was another day dedicated to our monthly dive against debris. We were joined by a couple of new patrons and as such it was a good day to make new dive friends. Shout out to Christine, Jayvee, Meg, Myrtle, Hilbert and Earl for supporting our cause!

Due to the typhoon hovering above the eastern seaboard of the country, water movement has been greatly affected which has contributed to a very bad visibility and likely contributed to the volume of debris we were able to collect as well.  We managed to take out 16 lbs of debris comprised mainly of (surprise!) plastic. Sadly, we have collected a juvenile brokenline wrasse among the rolls of plastic fragments. You may access the full report submitted to Project Aware here. We will be stuffing the non-biodegradable spoils to plastic bottles as ecobricks again.

We would like to remind all patrons that each participation to our monthly dive against debris gets you a chance to earn a free certification. Please be guided accordingly by the promo duration below:

  • May 2017 to April 2018 – at the mark of our second year of the activity, the patron with the most dedication to the Dive Against Debris program will be  honored with a FREE Specialty Certification as an official Project Aware Dive Against Debris Specialty Diver.
  • June 2017 to December 2017 – the patron with the most dedication to the program from the period will get one (1) FREE Specialty Certification. He/she may choose among the following certifications:
    • Enriched Air
    • Underwater Photography
    • Peak Performance Buoyancy
    • Emergency First Response
  • January 2018 to December 2018 – the patron with the most dedication to the program from the period will get 50% off his/her next core certification. This applies to the following courses only:
    • Advance Open Water
    • Rescue
    • Master Scuba Diver

We will be posting the next event on our Facebook page so watch out for it. Until then, keep diving, don’t let your dives go to waste, don’t litter and keep bubbling and creating ripples of change!

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

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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

  • P13,600

    per person

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

  • P23,000

    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

  • P12,500

    per person

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

  • P13,600

    per person

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

  • P5,000

    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.

June 2017 Dive Against Debris

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June 11 was a good day to do a deep dive against debris. The team started with a dive down to 27m. Happy to say there was not much debris in the deeper columns. Most of the debris were collected on the way back to the shallower part of our adopted dive site. We managed to collect 6kg of debris comprised mainly of (you guessed it!) plastic. Sadly, we have collected a small dead crab among the rolls of plastic fragments. You may access the full report submitted to Project Aware here.

From 6 kg of debris to 3/4 of a 2L ecobrick.

We’re also happy to report that of the 6 kg of debris collected, we were able to stuff most of them to make almost one complete 2L ecobrick. Most of the debris in the ecobrick are fishing lines. This is our contribution to The Plastic Solution PH.

We would like to remind all patrons that each participation to our monthly dive against debris gets you a chance to earn a free certification. Please be guided accordingly by the promo duration below:

  • May 2017 to April 2018 – at the mark of our second year of the activity, the patron with the most dedication to the Dive Against Debris program will be  honored with a FREE Specialty Certification as an official Project Aware Dive Against Debris Specialty Diver.
  • June 2017 to December 2017 – the patron with the most dedication to the program from the period will get one (1) FREE Specialty Certification. He/she may choose among the following certifications:
    • Enriched Air
    • Underwater Photography
    • Peak Performance Buoyancy
    • Emergency First Response
  • January 2018 to December 2018 – the patron with the most dedication to the program from the period will get 50% off his/her next core certification. This applies to the following courses only:
    • Advance Open Water
    • Rescue
    • Master Scuba Diver

We will be posting the next event on our Facebook page so watch out for it. Until then, keep diving, don’t let your dives go to waste, don’t litter and keep bubbling and creating ripples of change!

Underwater Photography Course Cebu by Dive Funatics

How Much Destruction Did Your Underwater Photos Cause?

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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.

May 2017 Dive Against Debris

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This month marks the 13th Dive Against Debris we have made in our beloved adopted dive site, Kontiki Marina. We started the day with the clean up dive at 10AM. The water was a good 28.3 degrees and we went down to a maximum of 13.7m. We surfaced 47 minutes later and 15 lb heavier. Crazy talk during what feels like a very short surface interval and then we made just a chill dive at around 12:15PM.

Yesterday was a fun day for us as we made new friends, Michelle and Mike. We were also joined by fresh-from-open-water-certification Abi and fresh-from-advance-open-water-certification Andrew. And as usual, we were joined by our ever supportive patrons, Tanya, Karl and Paula. This month’s program was backed by the support team made up of James, Hilbert, Darwin and yours truly, Kae.

For more details about the profile of the debris collected this month, you may access the report at Project Aware here.

Next month, our event will be on June 11, 2017, Sunday. We would like to remind you that each participation to our monthly dive against debris from June 2017 onward contributes to two chances of getting a free specialty or a subsidized cost of your next core certification. Please be guided accordingly by the promo duration below:

  • May 2017 to April 2018 – at the mark of our second year of the activity, the patron with the most dedication to the Dive Against Debris program will be  honored with a FREE Specialty Certification as an official Project Aware Dive Against Debris Specialty Diver.
  • June 2017 to December 2017 – the patron with the most dedication to the program from the period will get one (1) FREE Specialty Certification. He/she may choose among the following certifications:
    • Enriched Air
    • Underwater Photography
    • Peak Performance
    • Emergency First Response
  • January 2018 to December 2018 – the patron with the most dedication to the program from the period will get 50% off his/her next core certification. This applies to the following courses only:
    • Advance Open Water
    • Rescue
    • Master Scuba Diver

Until then, keep diving, don’t let your dives go to waste, don’t litter and keep bubbling and creating ripples of change!

 

Cheers,

Dive Funatics

Summer with Dive Funatics

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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!

Your Chance to Earn a FREE Specialty Certification

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This May 2017 kicks off the second year of our commitment to Project Aware’s “Adopt A Dive Site” Program. For twelve straight months, we have religiously conducted monthly Dives Against Debris and collected over 123.32 kg (271.89 lb.) of underwater debris! In terms of piece count, this translates to 2,179 pieces of debris offloaded from our favorite underwater backyard, Kontiki Marina. We couldn’t have possibly done this without patrons supporting the cause.

 

This year, as we strive to continue our efforts, we hope to give back to our most loyal patron. We will still be doing at least 1 dive against debris every month and from the period May 2017 to April 2018, the patron with the highest attendance will earn the “Diver Against Debris” specialty certification for FREE. That’s right, at the end of our second year of collecting underwater debris, one truly dedicated underwater warrior will earn the Project Aware Diver Against Debris certification, honoris causa. That’s the least we can do for our beloved ocean warrior. This certification will bring you closer to achieving Master Scuba Diver rating later. We will be posting the Dive Against Debris schedules as events on our Facebook Page so watch out for that. The first event will be on May 28, 2017.

 

We continue to hope we get to a point where we would be proud to say we have no debris to report. To add more meaning to our efforts this year, all underwater debris collected which can be upcycled as ecobricks will be used as such. Look out for our upcoming post on the dos and don’ts of ecobricking!

 

Until then, keep diving but don’t let your dives go to waste and don’t ever, ever litter.

 

Cheers,

Dive Funatics

Dive Against Debris on Earth Day 2017

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We have been consistently gathering underwater warriors every month to help us clear the ocean from debris one dive at a time. To commemorate our commitment to helping keep our ocean trash-free, our twelfth monthly dive against debris was done on Earth Day 2017. We were graced by the presence of fellow dive pro Greg and his wife Ivy, Earl and his son Ethan, Hilbert and Doc Karl.

It being Earth Day, there were a few efforts made in our adopted dive site, Kontiki Marina, during the morning. A group of local divers did a clean up dive for the local government unit (LGU) of the City of Lapulapu. Since our scheduled Dive Against Debris was set at 2PM, we were kind of excited by the prospect that we might not have anything to report for the dive. As pointed out by Greg we have to remember the clean up was made in the morning and that the time from then and 2PM trash could accumulate considering the boat traffic on one Sunday during summer. Sad to say Greg was right. We were able to harness 27 lbs of trash, despite the fact that the LGU unearthed a huge amount of trash which prompted one standard size garbage truck on standby for the aftermath.

As usual, the profile of the garbage we collected consist mainly of plastic. To get more insights on the type of trash collected, you may click here. Photos taken during the event are up on our Facebook Page.

This being our 12th set of data collected, we will be compiling a year’s worth of garbage collected from our beloved adopted dive site Kontiki Marina. We will be publishing a report on this along with other ways on how we can be of help so look out for this upcoming post!

Our heartfelt thanks to this month’s patrons. We hope to see you again next month!

 

Thank You

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