Diving in Dumaguete
Oh, where to do I even begin. Well, it all started with a pact. A pact that The Boyfriend and I made on his 29th birthday. We figured 30 would be a big milestone year for us and that we really wanted to go all out. Parties can be organized and friends can always be invited so this year, we decided that each of our 30th birthdays would be something we have never done before.
Mine came and went. I’ve been to Boracay before but that was with friends. So I took my 4 sisters to Boracay and had a blast. While I was planning for The Boyfriend’s 30th, we decided to become certified scuba divers. It was something we have always talked about but we never carved out the time, what with our hectic schedules and everything.
When I did my research, I realized choices in Davao is quite limited. And if we’re going to get certified here, we will always put it off: cost, time, effort, etc. We will find reasons to postpone.
I thought about it and thought about it some more and the answer was:
Diving in Dumaguete is a major thing. You can find amazing dive shops everywhere, some being in the business of teaching people how to dive safely for decades! Being an island in itself with lots of beaches left and right and its close proximity to Apo Island (one of the best diving spots in the WORLD) might have something to do with that. Plus I’ve lived there on and off for about 8 years, I know The Boyfriend will definitely like the place because their city fiesta falls on his birthday!
Fiesta + FREE ACCOMMODATIONS + FREE FOOD + island life can’t be beat.
So I crowd sourced my Dumaguete friends, asking for recommendations. And their answer was unanimous, Scuba Ventures Dumaguete.
Since my family’s house is about an hour away from the city, we decided to just rent a car so we can commute back and forth, saving us the hassle. Plus I would be meeting some old high school friends on some nights.
If you’re planning a trip to Dumaguete to dive, you might find this helpful for your budget:
- PADI Open Water Diver certification – Php 28000 (for 2 persons, 3 days of diving from Scuba Ventures)
- Plane fare – about Php 4000 (Cebu Pacific for 2 persons Davao – Cebu roundtrip)
- Taxi to terminal – about Php 700 (this is for Airport – South Bus Terminal and vice versa)
- Bus fare – Php 760 (Cebu – Bato for 2 persons and vice versa)
- Speedboat fare – about Php 400 (Bato – Tampi for 2 persons and vice versa)
- Car Rental – Php 7600 (Php 1900 per day for 4 days)
- Watch out for Cebu Pacific promo fares. If you’re coming from Manila there’s a direct flight to Dumaguete. There’s also one for Cebu if you don’t want to sit in a bus for 4 hours.
- I bet you see this everywhere for tips to Cebu but it bears repeating. If you can help it, don’t take an airport taxi. They charge an arm and a leg for any destination and you can easily load up Google Maps on your phone and advise them where to take you if you’re unsure. But if you don’t feel safe or if you’re traveling alone at night, by all means do it. Always make your safety a priority.
- If you’re not comfortable bringing cash with you, Scuba Ventures Dumaguete accepts credit cards. Or you can withdraw from ATMs around the city.
You can forego the car rental if you’ll stay at a hotel. Because Scuba Ventures will take you to the diving site back and forth and you can arrange for pickup if your hotel is in the city or meet them at their dive shop. Going around Dumaguete is pretty cheap, there are trikes everywhere and they usually charge around Php 10 per person. They also recommend bringing cash with you because you can have lunch with the diving team for about Php 200.
Now for the good stuff…
What to expect when taking the PADI Open Water certification!