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Dive Review of Anilao Photo Academy in

Anilao Photo Academy: "Anilao Photo Academy", May, 2018,

by Patricia A. Sinclair, LA, US (Top Contributor Top Contributor 31 reports with 10 Helpful votes). Report 10308 has 2 Helpful votes.

No photos available at this time

Ratings and Overall Comments 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Accommodations 3 stars Food 3 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity 4 stars
Dive Operation 4 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 4 stars
Beginners 4 stars
Advanced 4 stars
Comments I arrived at Anilao Photo Academy around noon on the 20th and was greeted by Flor. I was shown to my room after meeting Fugly and Shittie and spotting Cat-herine and her daughter Meow. As I was totally exhausted from the 30+ hours of travel, I was ready to hit the bed. But of course, first I had to get my dive equipment into the provided box for them to take down to the dive shop area. I got that done and pulled out the things I had brought for Rina (and got them to her) then I unpacked a bit, and got into my PJs and slept – for so long and hard, that of course, I missed dinner – but sleep was more important anyway.
In the morning I got my photo gear down to the camera area and put everything together. I also had a nice breakfast, which is served family style. Coffee was brought to me and I savored it! I was still tired, so I decided to wait with diving until Tuesday, the 22nd. So, I spent the day being lazy and getting cameras together, testing everything and completing my unpacking upstairs in my room.
A moment here to explain that the rooms are rather Spartan, but very clean and in their own way quite comfortable. A safe box is available downstairs for your things like passports, money, credit cards and so on. Wifi is available so you can communicate home and post those Facebook photos!!!
Diving is from a panga, which are quite comfortable, all and all. I think they are quite stable as well, except in very rough water, but we never really had that. A lot of the best dive sites are quite a boat ride away from the “resort” and so you stay out all morning and arrive back in time for lunch. Here, dives are not limited as to time, typically dives were 80 or more minutes in length. Most of the diving is muck diving, which I love, although we did go to Sombero Island one day and on another day we went to another “island/sea mount” where a large school jacks had been found. So for 2 out of 5 days of diving, we did wide angle photography. However, I find, I prefer the macro stuff. Since you are out so long in the mornings, the boat always has water (and plenty of it), snacks for between dives (bananas, cookies and crackers) and the BEST hot ginger tea I have ever had. They also provide instant coffee on the boat as well as green tea. This was bliss for me, the time on those pangas and in the water learning from Ivan and Jason…what great dive guides and instructors. Rina Jones joined us on several dives, and she got some of the best macro images I have ever seen, what a talented lady!
Lunch is served family style for all the divers who returned on your panga from the morning dives. The two or three pangas tend to leave and return on slightly different times, so there is not much overlap of the divers until dinner time.
After lunch, you go out for an afternoon dive, usually lasting about 80 or more minutes. The only time I did not do the afternoon dive was when we were going to try and get images of the mardarinfish. Skunked again – they did not come out for me! Oh well, it was a nice and quiet dive as the sun went down.
Dinner is always served family style (and the meals tend to be Philippine foods which most Westerners like me will find interesting and of course tasty! There is always a dessert on offer as well.
I did 15 dives and got almost 21 hours in the water over those dives.
I will return to APA as soon as I am able to do so. I truly enjoyed the diving, the instructors and everyone there who made my visit a very, very pleasant and memorable stay.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 501-1000 dives
Where else diving Jamaica, Bimini-Bahamas, Grand Bahamas Island, Grand Cayman, Little Cayman, Cayman Brac, Roatan, St Eustatius, Florida, Florida Keys, Dumaguette-Philippines, Cebu-Philippines, Bonaire, Curacao
Closest Airport Manila Getting There from New Orleans it took 36 hours total

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny Seas calm
Water Temp 83-86°F / 28-30°C Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility 50-100 Ft/ 15-30 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions 2 hours per dive
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

Sharks None Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles None Whales None
Corals 3 stars Tropical Fish 3 stars
Small Critters 4 stars Large Fish 2 stars
Large Pelagics N/A

Underwater Photography 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Subject Matter 4 stars Boat Facilities 3 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 4 stars Shore Facilities 4 stars
UW Photo Comments really nice camera area and the owners and the instructors are happy to look at your work and give you suggestions on how to light or other tips on improving your work.
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Note: The information here was reported by the author above, but has NOT been reviewed nor edited by Undercurrent prior to posting on our website. Please report any major problems by writing to us and referencing the report number above.

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