Connect with us
background

News

Diving with…Jessica Stroet, Magic Oceans Dive Resort, Anda, Bohol, Philippines

Asia DTA Team

Published

on

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?
Jessica Stroet

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
Candabong, Anda
6311, Bohol, Philippines
Website: www.magicoceans.online
e-mail: info@magicresorts.online
reservations@magicresorts.online
Facebook: @magicoceans.diveresort
Instagram: @magic_oceans_dive_resort

News

Book Review: Secret Seas

Nick and Caroline Robertson-Brown

Published

on

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.

Continue Reading

News

Bunaken Oasis wins Global Tourism Award

Asia DTA Team

Published

on

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.

Continue Reading

E-Newsletter Sign up!

Trending