We are thrilled to be working together with award-winning PADI Course Director Dan Robinson and are very happy to have him joining us here at Exotic Island Dive Resort completing our IDC team.
Bringing with him a wealth of knowledge and experience from diving and working all around the globe, Dan teaches all PADI courses available, all the way up to PADI Instructor level including PADI TecRec Instructor and beyond with trimix... Dan has also got his very own Technical advanced wreck speciality!
What can we say about Dan -
Dan is very passionate about diving and teaching!
Dan arrived to Exotic early September and dived straight in to meet with the sharks at Monad Shoal the following morning and yes, he was greeted and welcomed by several Thresher sharks!
The Exotic IDC September had 3 candidates: Rey, Janet & Florian. They all did our Gold package and are now aiming to complete their Master Scuba Diver Trainer certification. Main highlights during their IDC included unlimited diving, free accommodation and a chance to gain experience next to our instructors at the beginning of their new career as PADI Open Water Scuba Instructors, all with a minimum of 5 PADI Specialities taught by Dan.
Dan had a lot of courses going on: The Instructor Development Course (IDC), Staff instructor course, Deep, digital underwater photography, emergency oxygen, enriched air nitrox, multilevel and computer, Self reliant (solo) and wreck speciality instructor courses! And if that wasn't enough there was also PADI Tec 40, Tec 45, Tec 50 , Tec instructor, Tec deep instructor and Cavern!
The IDC was a great success with all candidates passing with flying colours, and Dan continue the 100% first-time pass rate without any make-ups.
We want congratulate again the new PADI Open Water Scuba Instructors Janet, Florian and Rey. Well done!! Also a big thank you also to Rebecca, Joa and IDC Staff trainee Bjørnar who helped out through the IDC.
During the speciality instructor training Dan made several great dives including a trip to Dona Marilyn Wreck and Gato Island which was very popular. The Dona Marilyn is also a perfect training site for Dan’s new Tec Advanced Wreck course! Dan dived most mornings during PADI IDC Malapascua with ourthresher sharks, (alopias pelagicus and vulpinus). This gave him chance to train Tec 40, 45 and 50 Divers and Tec Instructors and Tec Deep Instructors. Dan said one of his best dives ever was when the water was very clear and the sharks very close. He could see their silver skin and big black eyes and even identify if it was a female or male.
Dan also got to see his very first bamboo shark at Gato and also seahorses, white tip reef sharks, rays and loads of seahorses. Dan was cross that he kept missing the blue-ringed octopus, but he did find a frogfish by himself on a night dive!
The next IDC and IDC Staff course starts on 3rd December 2013, with MSDT prep specialities and technical programs. Dan and the team will be delighted to welcome you to Exotic Malapascua!
Groups are kept small so if this sounds interesting, make sure to book your space now!
PADI Course Director
DSAT TecRec Trimix Instructor Trainer and Tec Sidemount IT. +66 901 590739. Skype: DiverDanDan.
The Hairy Frogfish surely looks like its' name - Hairy! The "hairs" are actually fleshy extensions covering the whole of its body resembling hairs. The hairy frog fish is also known as striated frog fish and can when necessary change colour to help blend into the environment and hide. This adoption takes anything between 2 -5 weeks to complete.
All frogfishes, Antennarius hispidus is a voracious carnivores which will devour all right-sized prey that passes within reach, usually other fishes but sometimes, even its own kind. It can swallow prey its own size. Hairy frog fish has also been seen to stalk prey along the bottom.... If you have ever seen a frog fish swim you will have noticed how poor swimmers they are. They would mostly move by "walking" along on the bottom. Males grow to sizes of 12 cm, females to 25cm, so based on the previous information : a male who is trying to find a new partner, needs to be cautious as the females can literally swallow a partner she does not fancy!..... talk about a hard dating system :)
Alfi and Pusoy just returned after a period of time on Kerikite where they have been helping out with our new resort! But we all have to dive, right?! So here they are again -as eager as always to show you around the beautiful waters surrounding Malapascua!
We want to thank everybody who donated, cheered, sent lovely messages and
the swimmers who took the plunge and swam with us to END shark finning!
This is how it went:
At 4pm on 31st July enthusiastic swimmers from Exotic Island Dive Resort staff took Exotic 5 dive boat out to the our house reef and made a race back to the beach! There were 17 brave swimmers who battled the waves and went SWIMMING TO END FINNIG. And as expected in a country having 7107 islands they sure knew how to swim!
Here is everyone before in the water minutes before we took of!
It was a great swim and race and the Champion of our FINATHON was Tito, one of our valued boatcrews working for Exotic. Congratulations!
Note: We were aiming to give away a diving price if we reached our goal of $3000....
- We are still giving away a diving price and if your one of the winners, you will get an email very shortly!
BIG THANKS TO ALL WHO DONATED!
AND REALLY THANK YOU FOR HELPING US FIGHT FOR THE SHARKS!!
So, you are swimming along a
beautiful shallow coral reef and you spot an amazing colorful nudibranch! The scenery:
Sandy bottom which is easily stirred up but you hover motionless and use your
fins to stay in place.
You set your camera white
balance and aim to take the shoot of the nudi. There are some algae disturbing
the picture so you rotate and lower the camera in order to get the blue water
background instead. You compose and take your shoot! After looking at the
preview you notice that the shoot is all too bright. Hmmph! Well a quick
adjustment and another line up for a second shot and you nailed it! Perfect
shoot to show friends and family.
Conclusion: With proper
positioning, camera handling and
settings all come together you get great
Want to get that perfect picture? Enroll in the PADI Digital Underwater Photographer Specialty!
This course is tailor made
to your photography level. We recommend sending / showing us a few of your
diving pictures so we can set the correct level and pace.
is Swimming to End Finning - Join our FINathon!
you know shark fishing is largely unregulated around the world? Overfishing,
bycatch and finning – slicing off sharks fins and throwing away the body at sea
- kill thousands of sharks every day. Join us today to give sharks a brighter
Here at Exotic we are passionate about
sharks! Most of our divers visiting us here in Malapascua are here because of
the Thresher sharks at Monad Shoal, and who can blame them? This is the only
place on earth where we have nearly daily encounters of this beautiful shark at
only 20 meters depth! So of course we
want to do our part for protecting our beautiful sharks!
The Project AWARE foundation is working
on a global scale to protect sharks and they need our help to fight for the
sharks! Project AWARE is a non-profit organization and their main goal is to
protect sharks and rays.
The goal for the swimming against Finning
is to raise $40,000 globally for the protecting of sharks. Here at Exotic, our
goal is to collect $3000 by 31st July 2013 and if we do, we will
be swimming around the whole Malapascua Island in our pledge to end shark
Right now, we have $450 in the pot and we need everyone to help us reach our goal and support the sharks!
For everyone who knows our crew... – who wants to see Tong swim around the island? Please sponsor us if you do!
Don’t worry you will still see us
swimming if we don’t reach our top goal:
$1500 - we will swim from north to
$1000 - we will swim from Exotic to
$500 - we will swim from Exotic to
our House Reef.
As an additional bonus from Exotic to help the sharks:
we reach our goal of 3000USD we will sponsor a FREE 25 fun-dives package to one lucky donor to use here at Exotic. To participate in the draw make sure to leave a
comment with your donation.
So you love sharks and want to help,
then there are two ways: You can either join our swim on the 31st of
July which is our deadline or you can sponsor us to swim. Donating is really
easy, all you have to do is follow the link at the bottom of this update and
donate online. If you are on Malapascua you can also drop in to our shop and put
something into our collection box.
Every little bit counts so please help
us fight for the sharks and spread the word!
divers already know... It’s been a well-kept secret here at Exotic for a few
years but now we are telling the world!
is building a new hide-away resort!
did you say? - Still in
the Philippines, don’t worry. Why move away when you got it all?
Resort is located on a small island called Kerikite in the province Samar, a 3
hour boat ride from Malapascua. The island is nearly half the size of
Malapascua, but in difference to Malapascua Kerikite has Mountains, not tall
ones but definitely bigger than hills! The sides are green and lush, covered in
coconut palms and fields where vegetables are grown. The mountain sides go
straight in to the sea along the rocky shore. Do not despair, there is still
beaches on Kerikite so for those who like to enjoy a swim or drink on the beach
in the sunset you will be happy here to. The scenery is spectacular and you
will have great views in all directions.
Kerikite there is only a small fishing village - that’s it! No 7/11, no mopeds, no cars, just the hide-away paradise you need to relax from the busy world we
live in today!
Island Dive Resort plans to make this a great opportunity for the whole island
and its local population.
started with a small pier and later the restaurant, it is now well ongoing and
we are planning to open in the beginning of 2014. This will be the first PADI dive
Centre in the whole region of Samar! Now you have probably already figured this
one out: This means lots of unexplored dive sites! We have been diving around
Kerikite for quite some time but there is plenty so much more to explore and
that will be posted later.
& Joa, the Dive Center managers at Exotic have the goals to try to locate
undiscovered wrecks and to find a new cleaning station for Mantas and Sharks!
Exotic has already heard the stories from the local fishermen about the big
mantas staying around the west side of the island! So we shall see what we can
find! But for now let’s just say that the marine life is spectacular and the
sea fans huge! Follow along in our updates and who knows you might just be the first guest
sleeping and diving at our new hide-away paradise resort! For info and bookings please email email@example.com
In the Visayan language Banka means boat. Visayan is the language mainly spoken in the region surrounding Malapascua Island. When we refer to Banka we mean the thin hulled boats with outriggers on the side. There are also smaller boats with flat hull and no outriggers. These boats we simply call flatboats.
A Banka boat is a traditional Filipino boat used for almost everything in the Philippines. If you are planning to make a trip around the Philippines (a total of 7107 islands!) you will very likely, at some point,be traveling on a Banka boat. The Banka boats come in sizes normally ranging from 2 to 40 meters.The Bankas are utilized as anything between simple paddle vessels to impressive cargo haulers.
When building a Banka Boat you start with the main hull called “Papag”. First there is a wooden keel called “Kasko”. On the kasko the ribs are attached. Everything is then covered with plywood. The bow is reinforced together with supports for engine and outriggerscalled “Kati”. The Outriggers are traditionally built in bamboo and lashed together with nylonlines,this makes for strong joints, whichin return gives the construction flexibility and helps absorb the force of big waves. The center hull, on bigger Banka boats, has one or more masts.From the masts there are cables running down supporting the outriggers.
This particular boat design makes Banka Boats very seaworthy and the weather has to be pretty rough before they are forced to seek shelter. Another great advantage of this design is that it causes very little drag in the water which makes them faster on flat seas as only a small part of the outrigger are in contact with the water. In rougher seas they provide a stability which few other vessels can match.
Small Bankas are propelled by paddling or by using small air-cold one-cylinder engines. Bigger bankas are usually using converted car or truck engines.
Exotic we have 4 big Bankas and several smaller dive & transportation boats. Our “smallest” Banka takes upto 12 divers and the biggest one up to 30 divers. With this big variety in boats and sizes we can send the right boat for the right amount of divers for each trip.This helps our ECO mission, caring about the environment, as we don’t have to use more fuel than needed.
On all our Banka boats we stock first aid kits and emergency oxygen as well as VHF radios so we can always radio the Exotic Dive Center even if we are 2 hours away. Driving our Banka boats we only employ experienced Captains and boat crews.Did you know that most of our crew and staff are divers themselves? Because most are divers they know what is needed and when, making your journey safer and more organized.
So when you are on a banka, take an extra look at the boat, as now you understand and can appreciate the design that has been a winning concept for so many year!
Most people diving with us here at Exotic Malapascua
have heard the stories about the famous thresher sharks, some have also heard
the stories about the cute mandarin fish and maybe even our purple or yellow
pygmy sea horses as well.
Yes Malapascua got them all and and we like to add: so
Firstof all, the thresher sharks. As we all listen from media nowadays, the
shark population in the world is declining rapidly and places where you can see
sharks on a regular basis are not that many anymore. Monad Shoal is one of
those places where we have a great chance of spotting the thresher shark almost
The mandarin fish shares the same story - You have to be almost unlucky not to
see them and most divers get to see them mating as the sun set!
Thirdly: Our tiny beautiful pygmy
seahorses of either purple or yellow colour. Who
like to live in a lovely seafan of the exact same colour! Talk about hard to
Let´s start with the big fish: manta-ray,
devil-ray, white tip reef sharks, black tip reef sharks and more. Some common some less common but they are around,
and if you are really lucky you might even see hammerheads!
medium to small fish: On our housereef there is usually a big school of bat
fish hanging around in our purposely built reef. The
bat fish seem to like the structures down there and you can see them hiding
away from the current. What more? Well there is butterflyfish, angelfish, clownfish,
sweetlips, travellies and so much more.
Now we come to the macro life and now it
starts to get really interesting! We have a such a wide variety of nudibranchs
that you can dive here for more than 10 years and still find one you never seen
before, ask our guides!
Spanishdancer, flabellinas chromodoris to name a few suspects (have a look in our gallery). Colman shrimps, flamboyant cuttlefish, mimic octopus, ghostpipefish, snake eals, spider crabs and frogfish. An all time favorite too is the
tiny octopus living at East Garden called the blue ringed octopus.
Malapascua Island has got much more to offer then "just" the
"sharks" and to explore the whole area takes time! If you want to see and experience the best spots around we recommend
that you plan for a minimum of 5-6 days and if you end up staying a month
we can almost guarantee that you will still find new creatures every day! If
you get interested and you need to know more information, please visit us