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?
What is the name of your business?
Magic Oceans Dive Resort
What is your role within the business?
I am part of the Dive Center Management.
How long has the business operated for?
Magic Oceans Dive Resort started in July 2015.
How long have you dived for, and what qualification are you?
I got certified as a scuba diver when I was 19 years old and started working in a dive shop in the weekends. I became a Divemaster when I was 22 and an Open Water Scuba Instructor when I was 24.
What is your favourite type of diving?
I guess that depends on what day of the week it is. Sometimes I prefer muck diving and love to stick my nose in the sandy bottom and look for the small stuff. Other days I am more on the ‘adventure’ tour and love to swim far away from the reef to scan the big blue looking for a whale shark, eagle ray or something else big. I love doing both.
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 want to have a little bit of everything then definitely come to Anda! Whether you want to make easy relaxing dives all day long or do some exploring on the island, WE HAVE IT ALL! The resort is nice, quiet and surrounded by our beautiful green garden. We have an amazing house reef that offers two different kind of dive sites. Our elevated private beach has the best view over Camiguin Island and if you want to have this long beach walk on the white powdery sand than Anda beach is the perfect spot and only 10 min. away from the resort.
We treat our guests like they are family and since the resort isn’t that big, it gives you this intimate feeling. We have dinner ‘family-style’ so even when you are a solo traveller it is easy to meet new people. We share stories around the long tables where everybody is sitting together and enjoying their evenings. The island of Bohol is beautiful and there is so much to see. You can’t say that you have been to Bohol if you haven’t seen the Chocolate Hills and, of course, the smallest primate of the world: The Tarsiers.
What is your favourite dive in your location and why?
I have two favourite dive locations here in Anda. The first dive site is Coral Garden which is, like the name suggests, a beautiful garden full of soft corals. Since there are not a lot of diving operations here in Anda, the dive sites are untouched. The explosion of colours in the shallow parts are amazing and there is a big chance to spot Green Sea Turtles here. My second favourite dive site is Secret Place. It is SO secret, that we didn’t put it on our dive map, but it is there! A beautiful muck dive site with just SO MANY critters to find. A 70-minute dive isn’t long enough. I’m not going to tell you what you can find over there because that is something you have to experience for yourself, but what I can say is that on this dive site it is possible to spot a Whale Shark (Yes.. on a muck dive site!!)
What types of diving are available in your location?
We have a wide variety of dive sites here in Anda. On the west side of the resort the dive sites are mostly wall dives with beautiful reef tops covered by soft corals where you can easily spot hawksbill and green sea turtles. On the east side we have dive sites that offers both walls and sandy slope areas. The dive sites that are further away than 15 min. boat rides are muck dive sites with the chance to spot different kind of octopuses, pipefishes, nudibranchs and many more critters.
What do you find most rewarding about your current role?
Meeting people again who have been diving with us before. It is so nice to see people coming back to Magic Oceans and hear the stories and experiences they had with us. To hear them say that they had such a wonderful time with us the last time they visited us, THAT is the best reward ever.
What is your favourite underwater creature?
Definitely the Green Sea turtle. These guys look so super cool and chill, they make me laugh every single time I spot one during my dives.
Are there any exciting changes / developments coming up in the near future?
Magic Oceans Dive Resort has been up and running for only a few years, so there were a lot of exciting changes already. We got the very comfortable pier to dock our dive Bangka’s so no more walking through waist-high water to reach the boat before diving. We are now a 5* PADI IDC centre and run our own Instructor Development Courses. There are more IDC’s coming up in the near future.
As a center what is the biggest problem you face at the moment?
We don’t have big problems here in the Philippines, but we do have big challenges. I guess that weather conditions here can be a challenge for us, since Magic Oceans Dive Resort is on open sea. I like the policy we have here that we don’t cancel our dives because of bad weather. We will do everything that is needed to make sure our divers can be in the water. And when I say everything, I mean EVERYTHING.
Is your center involved in any environmental work?
We are lucky enough that our waters are not as polluted like some other places in Asia. However, every now and then the local government is doing coastal clean ups and we are supporting these activities in every possible way.
How do you see the SCUBA / Freediving / snorkeling industry overall? What changes would you make?
The underwater world has become more accessible for every single person. The recreational scuba gear has developed so far that breathing underwater is getting more and more easy. Therefore it is easier for people to see the oceans with their own eyes. I truly believe that people must see it first before they can understand it. Understanding comes with education. If I could change one thing, it would be that underwater activities will get less of a recreational value and more of an educational value.
What would you say to our visitors to promote the diving you have to offer?
If you want to feel like you are the ONLY diver in the world and can’t choose between muck dives or colourful coral gardens, then take the chanve to dive with us and you will feel the ‘Real Magic Oceans Experience!’
Where can our visitors find out more about your business?
Magic Oceans Dive Resort
6311, Bohol, Philippines
Save on NEW Emperor Harmoni
The launch of Emperor Harmoni – Emperor Divers’ brand-new liveaboard in Indonesia – is just a few weeks away with the finishing touches currently taking place. And, to welcome her to their fleet, Emperor have put together an offer as magnificent as the boat herself.
Anyone booking a trip on Harmoni for 2022 or 2023 will receive a 25% discount if they book and confirm before October 1st 2022.
That means the first guests on board can not only explore and dive the Indonesian waters in the finest of style but do so at an incredible price. And sailing on Harmoni really is fine.
She is a 24-berth, traditional Indonesian phinisi-style vessel which has been bespoke made using a combination of Emperor’s vast experience of liveaboards and the expertise of legendary Indonesian boat builder Pak Haji.
Constructed almost entirely by hand using Sulawesi ironwood, Harmoni has been designed specifically to offer the finest diving experiences possible in spacious surroundings of the very highest standard.
The beautifully-finished cabins all have en-suite bathrooms and air conditioning while the deck areas offer plenty of comfortable places to sit and maybe even enjoy a relaxing massage. The dining area is spacious and serves the high-quality food and drink you would expect from an Emperor Divers holiday.
The first trip leaves on September 16th and will cruise from Bali, taking in the wonderful scenery of Moyo Island, Sumbawa and Sangean Volcano before finally reaching Komodo National Park.
The offer is valid on new bookings only and discount is not to be combined with group free places or any other discount or promotion.
Email email@example.com to confirm pricing and availability or speak personally to the Emperor Divers’ reservation team to find out more.
Reef-World launches Green Fins Japan!
The Reef-World Foundation, the Onna Village Diving Association, the local government, and Oceana are delighted to announce that Japan is now the 14th country globally to implement the Green Fins initiative – a UN Environment Programme initiative. Onna Village in Okinawa is the first Japanese tourist destination to adopt Green Fins environmental standards to reduce the threats associated with diving and snorkelling on the marine environment.
Green Fins is piloted in Onna Village, Okinawa prefecture, an area renowned for its marine sports and has been working to protect its reefs for many years. Green Fins is implemented as part of the national Sustainable Development Goals project, which aims to manage and illustrate to the local industry how sustainable tourism can play a role in reef conservation. The economic benefits of the reefs benefit not only the fisheries industry but also the tourism industry as it has rocketed in recent decades.
If the project is successful – proving the value of sustainable tourism – the model has the potential to be escalated to a national level. A wide rollout would allow Reef-World to focus on uptake and expansion into other marine tourism and biodiversity hotspots across Japan. Green Fins implementation in Japan would provide practical solutions to many of the common problems faced in the area. It would also help to promote high standards for diving in the country. Improving the quality of the diving industry through Green Fins would demonstrate the added value of Onna Village’s tourism product. This, in turn, will encourage tourists to spend more time and money diving in the region.
Following a week of training by Reef-World (23 to 28 May 2022), Japan now has a national Green Fins team comprised of four fully certified Green Fins Assessors and two Green Fins Coordinators from Oceana and the local government. They will be responsible for recruiting, assessing, training and certifying dive and snorkel operators to become Green Fins members in the country. This involves providing training about the ecology and threats to coral reefs, simple and local everyday solutions to these threats and Green Fins’ environmental standards to dive and snorkel operators. Green Fins membership will help marine tourism operators improve their sustainability and prove they are working hard to follow environmental best practices as a way of attracting eco-minded tourists.
James Harvey, Director at The Reef-World Foundation, said: “We are really excited to finally introduce Green Fins in Japan. We have been planning this for almost three years, but the travel restrictions related to the pandemic hindered progress. The diving industry in Okinawa and the marine life upon which it has been built is so unique, it must be preserved for generations to come. The Okinawa diving community is very passionate about protecting their marine environment, and Green Fins has given them an opportunity to collectively work to reduce their environmental impact and pursue exemplary environmental standards.”
Diving and snorkelling related damage to sensitive marine ecosystems, including coral reefs, is becoming an increasingly significant issue. This damage makes them less likely to survive other local and wider stressors, such as overfishing or plastic debris and the effects of climate change. Based on robust individual assessments, the Green Fins initiative helps identify and mitigate these risks by providing environmental consultation and support to dive and snorkel operators. Through Green Fins implementation in Japan, Reef-World aims to reduce negative environmental impacts in the region by reaching 10 marine tourism operators, training 50 dive guides and raising awareness of sustainability best practices among 10,000 tourists in the first year.
Yuta Kawamoto, CEO of Oceana, said: “Green Fins will help to unify all the conservation efforts in Okinawa by applying the guidelines in many areas and raising tourists awareness. We hope this will increase the sustainable value in the diving industry and in turn increase the diving standards in the country.”
Green Fins is a UN Environment Programme initiative, internationally coordinated by The Reef-World Foundation, which aims to protect and conserve coral reefs through environmentally friendly guidelines to promote a sustainable diving and snorkelling tourism industry. Green Fins provides the only internationally recognised environmental standards for the diving and snorkelling industry and has a robust assessment system to measure compliance.
To date, four dive operators in Onna Village have joined the global network of 600+ trained and assessed Green Fins members. These are: Benthos Divers, Okinawa Diving Center, Arch Angel and Pink Marlin Club. There has also been significant interest from other operators, even those that are not located in Onna Village, for Green Fins training and assessment.
Suika Tsumita from Oceana said: “Green Fins serve as an important tool for local diving communities to move towards a more sustainable use of their dive sites; so that they can maintain their scenic beauty and biological richness to provide livelihoods for many generations to come.”
For more information, please visit www.reef-world.org or www.greenfins.net/countries/japan. Dive and snorkel operators interested in signing up for Green Fins can find the membership application form at: www.greenfins.net/how-to-join.
Dive and snorkel operators in Japan interested in signing up to be Green Fins members can contact the Green Fins Japan team at firstname.lastname@example.org.