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Dive Review of Sea Explorers Philippines/Sea Explorers Malapascua, Cabilao, in
Philippines/Malapascua, Cabilao, Dauin

Sea Explorers Philippines/Sea Explorers Malapascua, Cabilao, : "Great Dive Trip to 3 different locations Pre-Covid Shutdown", Jan, 2020,

by Claire Rausch, HI, US (Reviewer Reviewer 3 reports with 2 Helpful votes). Report 11771 has 1 Helpful vote.

Photos Submitted with this Report

Click on an image to see an enlarged version and captions

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 5 stars Shore Diving 3 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 5 stars
Beginners 2 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments My dive buddy and I had decided we wanted to go to a couple different islands in the Visayas area of the Philippine Islands. We used the Sea Explorers Service as they offered resorts/dive shops in the areas we were interested in diving and they took care of all the transport arrangements for between islands/and resorts. This was probably a little bit more expensive overall (money well-spent tho'), but a lot easier and comfortable, plus we didn't have to figure out transport modes/time schedules, etc.. We were very pleased with how organized and easy our travel between resorts/island was thanks to Sea Explorers. All we had to do was let them know when we were arriving at the Cebu Airport and where/when we wanted to go and how long we wanted to stay (about a week at each of the three places.)
First stop - Malapascua Island where we elected to stay at Buena Vida Resort which is off the main beach area as I had read it could get pretty noisy in the evenings. This was a good plan except for the walk on the beach sand involved in dragging my butt there after a four dive day...exhausting!
This resort was a great place to stay as the restaurant there served great food and one of the co-owners was prone to offering an a variety of after supper appertifs/liquors to guests, one of which was Don Papa Rum which is a favorite Philippine treat. All of the restaurants we did try on Malapascua Island were good!
The night boat dives we did on Malapascua were chock full of interesting flora and fauna to find and photograph/video. And on our second trip out to Moaun Shoal at sunrise our dive guide took us to a great spot where a very photogenic Thresher Shark came by and then the guide entertained us with teasing a Common Mantis Shrimp out of his hole. Be aware tho', at Moaun Shoal it is best to be diving on Nitrox for this spot.
Then we traveled to Cabilao Island off of the island of Bohol to the Sea Explorers Resort there - Pura Vida Cabilao. The Resort was very nice and the restaurant had a very good chef and great meals! Two drawbacks though were this resort is built on a cliff and the stairs up to the restaurant and our room were, once again, daunting especially after the fourth dive of the day. Plus, as the natural water sources on this small island are limited, the swimming pool was not functioning during the time we were there. Beautiful views from our rooms and the restaurant.
The staff at the dive shop were great along with the diving which was a lot of easy drifting along walls which is great by me. We especially enjoyed our walk-in night dive where we found some great nighttime flora and fauna including two Partridge Tun Shells doing "Boom, boom," activity as the staff called it.
Lastly, we traveled to Dumaguete on the island of Negros to the Pura Vida Beach & Dive Resort at Dauin. Once again, we were not disappointed with our accommodations, the dive service and staff/the resort staff, and the restaurant at the resort. I would recommend this place to anyone who does not want to pay the prices at the Atlantis Dive Resort in that area, but wants an all-inclusive resort stay.
The dive boats here were great dive platforms and very accommodating although walking up the plank hanging onto a bamboo pole was always an adventure getting onto the boat. I finally got to dive at Apo Island, but truthfully, the muck diving off of Dauin was much more interesting to me; I found tons of underwater flora and fauna subjects to occupy me photographing/videoing on every dive! Night diving from the shore was not good when we were there due to strong currents and subsequent low visibility.
My dive buddy and I then flew from Dumaguete to Manila and then home to Hawaii on Philippine Airlines which I find has improved their service over the years I've used them for my air travel to this part of the Pacific.
My buddy and I were definitely glad we had booked with the Sea Explorers Service. We had a great time meeting other divers from world-wide locations and the only downside of this dive trip was the escalation of Coronavirus and subsequent shutdown of dive travel in the following months.
Websites Sea Explorers Philippines   Sea Explorers Malapascua, Cabilao,

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience Over 1000 dives
Where else diving Hawaii, Fiji, Palau, Marshall Islands, Pohphei, Kosrae, Saipan, Rota, Tinian, Guam, Egypt, Philippine Islands, Bali, Komodo Nat'l Park, Borneo
Closest Airport Cebu Int'l Airport, Mactan Getting There Fly to Manila and onto the island of Cebu

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, windy, rainy, cloudy, dry Seas calm, choppy, currents, no currents
Water Temp 0-°F / -18-°C Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 50-100 Ft/ 15-30 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions Usually surfaced after one hour or if a small group, when down to 500 lbs of air.
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

Sharks 1 or 2 Mantas None
Dolphins Schools Whale Sharks None
Turtles > 2 Whales None
Corals 5 stars Tropical Fish 4 stars
Small Critters 5 stars Large Fish 5 stars
Large Pelagics 5 stars

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

Subject Matter 5 stars Boat Facilities 4 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 4 stars Shore Facilities 5 stars
UW Photo Comments There is never a problem with having plenty of underwater flora and fauna to photograph/video in the Philippines. I had one great dive getting video of a Thresher Shark at Moaun Shoal at Malapascua Island.
Facilities for rinsing underwater camera and lights were good at the shore base dive shops, but only on the dive boat at Sea Explorers Dauin was there a camera rinse bucket.
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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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