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Dive Review of Marco Vincent in
Philippines/Puerto Galera

Marco Vincent, May, 2014,

by Mel Cundiff, CO, US (Sr. Reviewer Sr. Reviewer 11 reports with 4 Helpful votes). Report 7687.

No photos available at this time

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

Accommodations 5 stars Food 5 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity 4 stars
Dive Operation 4 stars Shore Diving 2 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 3 stars
Beginners 4 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments Marco Vincent Resort, Puerto Galera, Philippines
May 24-27, 2014
This resort is like an oasis in the wilderness, reached by a two-hour van ride south from the Manila airport, an hour plus ferry ride south to Batangas port followed by a half-hour van ride to the resort on White Beach. The van off loads on a very narrow lane in a heavily populated area to a secured door that opens into a deceptively elegant resort that one wouldn’t imagine existed in this part of town. Everything about the resort ([ link]) is first class - including the hospitality, ambiance, guest rooms, swimming pool, two in-house restaurants, etc. For breakfast one could order off the menu or choose from a wide variety of buffet offerings. Dinners provided a large selection of menu items both in-house and at the satellite beach restaurant. The resort is well equipped for divers and small conferences. Rizza Fermin, the resort manager, and her large staff could not have been more accommodating. They went out of their way to make sure our needs were met. A free one-hour massage was even provided to all the guests.
A fully equipped dive shop with a separate pool is only one lot away on the way to the beach, which is about 100 meters farther. The last venue on the walkway to White Beach is the resort’s fully equipped restaurant and bar. This area houses about a hundred small restaurants/bars and water-/tourist-related venues, and when we arrived early Saturday evening, there were surely several thousand partygoers engaged in various festive activities, including a wedding.
The dive shop manager and main dive master was Carl from Vancouver, Canada; and our first order of business was a night beach dive. The attention of more than a hundred locals was on us as we, fully outfitted in our scuba gear, walked down the beach. Several curious onlookers approached to be photographed with us before we entered the water. A local dive master by the name of Warren Sioca was assigned to us, and he continued to be with us for the length of our stay. He was very knowledgeable about the reefs and was attentive and accommodating in seeking out the unusual critters for us to see. He would receive my strongest recommendation, and I would seek him out for his services when I return.
I must say that I rolled my eyes entering the water from shore on that first night dive in front of all the partygoers, but the mood quickly changed. During our 63-minute dive to 19 feet, Warren found lots of new organisms for us. This muck dive likely produced 70% of the critters one typically finds in the Lembeh Straits or Milne Bay and it was a delightful beginning to what eventually turned out to be a tremendous add-on to our previous seven-day live aboard diving trip to the Philippines. We managed four dives a day during our short stay there, including three night dives. The most diverse areas with the best intact corals were on nearby Verde Island. Except for one day, all our dives were done from Big Beth, an 82’ x 20’ pontoon dive boat with a galley, four fresh-water showers and two heads; it was even equipped with WIFI. A hot lunch was cooked on board for us between dives. We did three dives on the day we used the smaller dive boat, Lady Merci, a 40-foot deep hull boat, and had a scrumptious hot lunch prepared for us on a nearby beach. It included soft drinks, salads and squid, chicken and pork main dishes plus deserts.
This area is not known for large pelagics, but it certainly had the large diversity of reef critters that I have seen in some areas of the Philippines and on complex/diverse reefs in other areas of the Indo Pacific. We encountered dozens of species of nudibranchs, both large and small and some of the other notables included: electric/fire clams; orangutan crabs; Inimicus devilfish; Pegasus sea moths; cockatoo waspfish; stargazers; hairy frogfish; ornate and robust ghost pipefish; and Mandarin fish. While there were undoubtedly many more, I was able to document seeing 16 species that I hadn’t seen before: a flatworm; a cowry; three nudibranchs; a sea slug; a cuttlefish; four sea cucumbers; a snake eel; a cowfish; two lionfishes; and a scorpionfish.
I would highly recommend this venue to anyone contemplating a dive trip to that part of the world.
Mel Cundiff, Broomfield, CO Cundiff@Colorado.Edu 7/26/14
Websites Marco Vincent   

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience Over 1000 dives
Where else diving On all the best coral reefs around the world.
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny Seas calm, no currents
Water Temp 82-86°F / 28-30°C Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility 25-70 Ft/ 8-21 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions [Unspecified]
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? no

What I Saw

Sharks None Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles 1 or 2 Whales None
Corals 3 stars Tropical Fish 3 stars
Small Critters 4 stars Large Fish 2 stars
Large Pelagics 2 stars

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

Subject Matter 4 stars Boat Facilities 5 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 4 stars Shore Facilities 2 stars
UW Photo Comments [None]
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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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