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Diving with… Marlon Managa, Magic Oceans Dive Resort, Anda, Bohol, 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?
Marlon Managa

What is the name of your business?
Magic Oceans Dive Resort

What is your role within the business?
Assistant dive center manager, dive master & in-house marine biologist.

How long has the business operated for?
Magic Oceans Dive Resort opened its doors in July 2015.

How long have you dived for, and what qualification are you?
I started diving in 2010 as a divemaster and I have several certifications in marine biology.

Anda
What is your favorite type of diving?
Difficult question! I like many types of diving but if I need to choose, I would say a night dive or muck dive to find macro critters in sandy areas. However, I do love colorful corals and walls full of life as well!

If you could tell people one thing about your business (or maybe more!) to make them want to visit you what would it be?
Visit Magic Oceans Dive Resort because Anda is still a pristine place that is full of wildlife on land and underwater, from the tiny colorful critters to the biggest fish in the world: the Whale Shark!

What is your favorite dive in your location and why?

That would be any dives at the mystical “LAMANOK ISLAND”. Here, you can find a lot of special and rare macro critters (my favorites!). At this dive site you can find a great wall and a sandy bottom: the perfect place to find cool and rare nudibranchs – that’s why we also call this place ‘Nudibranch Heaven’. On top, you can find here special creatures like the mimic octopus, wunderpus, blue ringed octopus, different kind of shrimps and crabs, and even rays!

Anda

What types of diving are available in your location?
You can make a lot of different dive types in Anda: drift diving, muck diving, night diving, or of course exploring walls and/or coral gardens. We even offer black water diving for those who have the courage!

What do you find most rewarding about your current role?
Simple appreciation is one of the most rewarding things in my opinion.
I love talking to people and making new friends. Besides, my passion is diving, so what’s better than doing the things you love everyday?
Finally, I’ve been doing a lot of marine biology works before and I am ready to contribute my expertise about that. It’s rewarding for me to do the job I love, helping the company be its best, make new friends and share my knowledge with the guests and my colleagues.

What is your favorite underwater creature?
Nudibranchs!! All of them!!

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

Maintaining high standards for diving is what we aim for all the time at Magic Oceans. We strive to be the best dive team in Anda and of course that’s something you need to work on (and be aware of) every day. Slight changes and developments include boat upgrades and more local dive masters to be trained as the number of guests increases every year!

As a center what is the biggest problem you face at the moment?
Major concern for us is mainly the laws and regulations among weather circumstances, which sometimes disallow us to go out with the boat for a boat dive.

Anda
Is your center involved in any environmental work?
At the moment, we are working on a project: coral and giant clam transplantation. Aside from that, we also work together with the local schools and colleges closely, to create proper education and awareness about our marine environment.

How do you see the SCUBA / Freediving / snorkeling industry in your area? What changes would you make?
The good thing about Magic Oceans/Anda is that we are far away from mass tourism, which means we can still offer diversity in a pristine and untouched area – there are not a lot of places anymore worldwide where you can find untouched reefs and where you feel like you’re the only diver in the world! Of course we want to show this precious area to every diver in the world! But for now, we’re still that hidden, secret paradise.

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

Like I already mentioned, there are not a lot of places anymore where you feel like you’re the only diver in the world! We are located in a hidden paradise where you can find the XXS Pygmy Seahorse and the XXL Whale Sharks. Combined with a great team of dive masters that are able to find the most tiny creatures in the ocean, diving at Magic Oceans is a must-do for both beginners and experienced divers!

Where can our visitors find out more about your business?
Magic Oceans Dive Resort
Candabong, Anda
6311, Bohol, Philippines

Website: www.magicoceans.online
e-mail: info@magicresorts.online and reservations@magicresorts.online
Facebook: @magicoceans.diveresort
Instagram: @magic_oceans_dive_resort

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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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