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Diving with… Dave E. Santos, Buceo Anilao Beach and Dive Resort, Anilao, Philippines

Asia DTA Team

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In this ongoing series, we speak to the people who run dive centres, resorts and liveaboards from around the world about their businesses and the diving they have to offer…


What is your name?

Dave E. Santos

What is the name of your business?

Buceo Anilao Beach and Dive Resort

What is your role within the business?

I am part owner and the General Manager of Buceo Anilao.

How long has the business operated for?

We started the business March 15, 2014 so we are running 7 years.

How long have you dived for, and what qualification are you?

I have been diving for 34 years. I am a PADI Master Scuba Diver Trainer and EFR Instructor.

What is your favorite type of diving?

I love diving on colourful reefs, but Muck dives are very exciting to me because of all the strange critters that can be seen.

If you could tell people one thing about your business (or maybe more!) to make them want to visit you what would it be?

If you guys love Nudibranchs and different critters, this is the place to go. We are known as the Nudibranch capital of the world for a reason! But that’s not the only thing we have here. With over 50 dive sites in our area you’re bound to see what you’re looking for! If you have a list of rare critter you want to check off your bucket list Anilao is the place to go!

What is your favorite dive in your location and why?

For corals I love Beatrice rock because of the colours and abundance of Marine life teaming over the reefs. Then for muck dives a site called Siem Siem is fantastic for so many kinds of critters. Depending on the season, things that can be seen are Ambon scorpion fish, weird Nudis, mimic octopus, wonderpus, blue ring octopus (we’ve seen up to 3 per dive!) and lots more!

What types of diving are available in your location?

We are becoming very popular for excellent muck dives and colourful reefs. If you want to Big fish this is really not the place to be but… we have seen the occasional whale shark…hehehe

What do you find most rewarding about your current role?

Besides being able to dive anytime I like, I would say the greatest reward in my current role is promoting our country to our local and international tourists so they can experience the beauty of the Philippines, specifically Anilao.

What is your favourite underwater creature?

I would say what really amazes me and gives me goose bumps is when I see a blue ringed octopus and special nudibranchs!

Are there any exciting changes / developments coming up in the near future?

Regarding the resort, we have added new rooms which will be ready to open soon. No need to turn down guests anymore due to lack of space! From only 17 room now we can fill 23 rooms with happy divers! New species of nudibranchs are also occasionally popping up needing to be named, maybe the next Nudi can be named after you!!

As a center what is the biggest problem you face at the moment?

Besides this Pandemic, the biggest problems we are facing now are actually the laws implemented by the LGU’s regarding when we can go out to dive because of weather, new rules regarding having to submit a manifest with the coast guard station every time we go out for our dives and the plan to phase out wooden hulled boats which have been used for so many years. The Philippines is known for these wooden boats with outriggers and are called “Bangkas”.

Is your center involved in any environmental work?

We do our part with environmental work. Even though the setting up of buoys should be done by our local government, since we pay Diver taxes and they have the funds, we set up some buoys ourselves to try to minimize anchoring on the dive sites. We also work with the LGUs to educate the locals on the proper way of disposing their trash, daily cleaning of our shorefront and we participate in clean ups organized by different NGU’s (Non-Government Units).

How do you see the SCUBA / Freediving / snorkeling industry overall? What changes would you make?

Over-all this industry is growing and like anything that grows we need to be cautious and try to avoid a negative impact on our environment. So we should do more projects to sustain the environment.

What would you say to our visitors to promote the diving you have to offer?

Macro, muck, and beautiful coral reefs! If any of these appeal to you then come on over and enjoy yourselves! You will not be disappointed with the biodiversity of our waters. From the most colourful marine life, coral reefs, and the resort itself! Buceo Anilao is the destination for a colourful vacation. Oh! Before I forget, we also offer blackwater dives! If you want to experience diving in the outer space then this is the new adventure for you!

Where can our visitors find out more about your business?

Buceo Anilao Beach and Dive Resort

Sitio Balanoy, San Teodoro, Mabini Batangas, Philippines, 4202

Email: contact@buceoanilao.com

Website: www.buceoanilao.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/buceoanilao

Instagram: www.instagram.com/buceoanilao

@buceoanilao #buceoanilao #nudibranchcapital #yellowresort

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Book Review: Secret Seas

Nick and Caroline Robertson-Brown

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Secret Seas: Discover Oman’s Unique Underwater World by Paul Flandinette and Michel Claereboudt 

I do not usually agree to review a book without having a physical copy in my hands, as it is impossible to judge what the quality of the final product is going to be. However, in this case I made an exception, as the book is going to be printed and distributed based on pre-orders. What I can say is that if the publishers put as much care into it as the authors clearly have, it is going to be well worth a look. The book will be a 240 page hardback containing 295 beautiful photos of the 160 marine species featured within.

I have never considered diving in Oman. It has just never come up in conversation before. And yet the opening pages of this book have moved it right up my wish list of diving destinations. I was delighted to read that Oman is an important turtle sanctuary, protesting the 4 species of nesting turtles that visit its pristine white beaches. After introducing the readers to the country, a little of its history, and some information on the marine environment, the book dives right into its main trust which is to show you the beauty and diversity of Oman’s underwater world.

The chapters within cover a range of marine life from macro critters to sharks and are packed with excellent underwater images. You can really get a feel for what it is like to dive there. Whether you love looking for tiny crustaceans or you prefer looking out into the blue for pelagics to cruise past, it seems that Oman has something for everyone.

I was delighted to see that the authors have put in a chapter about ocean conservation and the risks these precious habitats are already facing. It was also good to see a chapter on underwater photography and how to take images like the stunning images in the previous pages, without harming the marine life.

All in all this looks to be a well thought out book filled with beautiful photographs of Oman’s underwater world. You can sense the authors passion for this place as you read and peruse the images.

To learn more visit the website by clicking here

It is available for pre-order by emailing the author Paul directly:

Price is GBP36.85
plus shipping –
GBP 6.50
EUROPE – GBP 16.95
REST OF THE WORLD – GBP 31.95

About the Authors

Paul Flandinette is an award-winning film maker, professional underwater photographer, author and artist. His film making career has included productions for some of the world’s leading companies and government organisations as well as a number of broadcast documentaries.

He is passionate about the underwater world and has dived extensively in the in the Far East, Red Sea, Caribbean and the UK. He has been living in Oman since 2013 and has spent the last seven years photographing Oman’s underwater world.

Michel Claereboudt is Professor of Marine Ecology at the Department of Marine Sciences and Fisheries at Sultan Qaboos University in Muscat. He is an internationally recognised authority on corals and echinoderms and continues to research the ecology and biology of corals and other reef invertebrates.

Michel has been living in Oman since 1997 where he has made thousands of dives and has an intimate knowledge of Oman’s underwater world that few can equal. He is also an underwater photographer.

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Bunaken Oasis wins Global Tourism Award

Asia DTA Team

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Bunaken Oasis, the award-winning destination on Bunaken Island, North Sulawesi, has been recognised as Indonesia’s Best Boutique Resort by Global Tourism Awards 2021.

For a resort that opened just four years ago, winning Indonesia’s Best Boutique Resort is a massive accolade. With the Global Tourism Awards being recognised globally as one of the travel industry’s most prestigious hallmarks of quality, owners Elaine & Simon Wallace are thrilled to have won such a high-profile award.

“We are delighted to announce that the Global Tourism Awards have voted us the ‘Best Boutique Resort in Indonesia 2021. Given the number of amazing resorts in Indonesia, this is an accolade of which we are hugely proud!

“We have also been voted ‘Indonesia’s Leading Dive Resort’ by the World Travel Awards for the past three years, so now to have Bunaken Oasis recognised by the Global Tourism Awards solely as a resort is really exciting, as it demonstrates the all-round excellence which awaits divers and non-divers alike.

 “We’re especially pleased for our team, who’ve worked tirelessly throughout the pandemic to ensure that Oasis is a safe and luxurious retreat which is fully ready to welcome guests as soon as they are able to travel”

Bunaken Oasis Dive & Spa Resort is situated on Liang beach, on the edge of Bunaken’s National Marine Park which is an underwater paradise for divers & snorkelers alike. Bunaken Oasis has redefined diving within Indonesia and helped to put Bunaken on the map as an internationally recognised dive destination.

The luxurious resort prides itself on being an ecotourism destination, with a zero single use plastic policy, and is proud of the extensive infrastructure designed to minimise any impact on the environment.

Offering 12 sumptuous cottages, all with spectacular ocean views and a long list of amenities including beautiful traditionally handcrafted four-poster beds and organic shower products, as well as the latest in room tablets and coffee makers, it is no surprise that Bunaken Oasis has been recognised for its luxury and world-class service.

For more information about Bunaken Oasis Dive Resort & Spa visit www.bunakenoasis.com.

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