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Dive Review of Anilao Photo Academy in

Anilao Photo Academy: "Anilao Photo Academy", May, 2019,

by Anilao Photo Academy, LA, US (Top Contributor Top Contributor 31 reports with 10 Helpful votes). Report 11012 has 1 Helpful vote.

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 5 stars
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving 5 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 5 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments I arrived at Anilao Photo Academy around 11PM and the driver (who met me at the airport) took my luggage up to my room, while a resort employee got the keys for me. As I was totally exhausted from the 27+ hours of travel, I was ready to hit the bed. Since I had arranged for the next day to be a non-diving day, I did not worry about my dive equipment nor my photo equipment. We just made sure that the photo gear was at my camera station and the box unlocked for me to get right to work in the morning.

The next morning I went downstairs to breakfast and was planning to do the set up lof my camera gear to find that Ivan (my dive guide for the 2 weeks) had already set everything up for me. So, I sat back and had a nice leisurely breakfast, Coffee was brought to me and I savored it! I spent a couple of hours catching up with Ivan and Rina (Tim was away visiting family) and finding out what was going on in their lives these days. After that, as I was still tired, I decided to go back up to my room and relax a bit and un[pack my dive gear and get it downstairs.
A moment here to explain that the rooms are rather Spartan, but very clean and in their own way quite comfortable. Be aware there is no TV in the room, but there are generous hook ups for your laptops, and camera equipment, if you want to do the battery charging there, rather than at your station. 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!!! The rooms are set up expressly for divers, so dripping all over the place will not ruin the carpets (not any there) and you have a place in front of the room's a/c to hang your dive skin and/or bathing suit to dry.

Diving is from a banga, 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 happen, though there was a day or two around the full moon where it was rather choppy. Quite a few of the best dive sites are aa long 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 went to a “island/sea mount” where last year a large school of jacks had been found. This particular site also had a leopard shrimp at 70fsw. Needless to say we went here several times! So for 2 out of 10 days of diving, we coiuld do wide angle photography., although I opted to do macro on the second trip (that leopard shrimp, you know.) I find, I prefer the macro stuff and there is lots to see here. 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 bangas in between dives and in the water learning from Ivan…what great dive guides and instructors. A new innovation here is that they sometimes pack a lunch for everyone on the banga and you stay out all day long. We would do two dives, have the packed lunch (which was still very hot) and then do the 3rd dive. A way to really get to know your boat mates and the dive quides better.

On other days, when someone opted to do only 2 dives, we would return to the resort and lunch is served family style for all the divers who returned on your banga from the morning dives. The two or three bangas 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.

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 36 dives and got almost 43 hours in the water over those dives.

The goal at APA, as one of the owners informed me, is make those who stay here feel like family and at that they succeeded with me. The other goal is to help you improve your photography skills, and again, success at that for me. I will be returning to APA in May 2020, it is that good an experience! 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 prearranged ride

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, windy, cloudy, dry Seas calm, surge, currents, no currents
Water Temp 80-86°F / 27-30°C Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility 50-75 Ft/ 15-23 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions none
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

Sharks None Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles None Whales None
Corals N/A Tropical Fish N/A
Small Critters 5 stars Large Fish N/A
Large Pelagics N/A

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

Subject Matter 5 stars Boat Facilities 4 stars
Overall rating for UWP's N/A Shore Facilities 5 stars
UW Photo Comments Wonderful subject matter, I got some great macro and supermacro images on tis trip
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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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