I decided to do my Instructor Development Course (IDC) in Bohol, Philippines, on the Panglao Island.
Living in Panglao
Reflecting on my living experience on Panglao Island is rather interesting. The diving is certainly top notch and much better than popular destinations like Koh Tao for instance. Aligned parallel to Alona beach is a wall drop that hosts an abundance of life and beautiful corals.
On the other hand, I feel the experience on land is another story. Don’t get me wrong, I fully enjoyed my 6 weeks that I lived there, but the problem is there’s not much to do other than drinking and diving….so many begin to fall into a sort of, let’s say, ‘tropical hole’. That doesn’t mean to say I didn’t enjoy some great evenings with fellow nomads, nor that I didn’t meet some very special people…I just don’t think it’s a good place to live long term. But hey, that could simply be my nomad side talking, please don’t take my word for it and experience it for yourself! The tropical beaches and sea are certainly beautiful and the basic living is rather refreshing.
Before and after my IDC course, I was able to do fun dives and assist on courses. This was a great chance to experience the Panglao reef and it’s hidden beauties and a chance to develop my skills. I can’t stress enough how important I think helping and observing lots of different instructors teach courses is to your own growth as a diving professional!
There’s also a wreck just passed the wall drop at around 30-35 metres that hosts a few pretty cool frogfish.
2 whaleshark experiences
If you don’t know, whalesharks are the biggest fish (yes, I said fish) in the ocean. So, a chance to see them in the wild is a truly amazing experience. Luckily for me, I had two experiences diving in Panglao.
1) The first was when I was on my last fun dive before my IDC began. My buddy and I were diving off Balicasag Island close to Panglao. There we were finning along and out of the blue came this immense figure. Through shaky hands i managed to turn on my go pro to document the unique experience.
2) The second was during my IE (exam for IDC). I just finished playing ‘unconscious diver’ so I had no gear on other than my wetsuit and fins. I suddenly felt something nudging me from below and when I turned around all I saw was a huge fin! As you can imagine, my first thoughts were not that it was just a curious ol whale shark. Needless to say this was an amazing….yet particularly adrenaline fuelled moment.
Overall if you have a love for diving, want to share our beautiful ocean with others and are interested in a career in what you love then go for it !!