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Divemaster Instructor recommendations

Discussion in 'Philippine Paradise Divers' started by YYCLuke, Jul 27, 2020.

  1. YYCLuke

    YYCLuke Registered

    # of Dives: 25 - 49
    Location: Calgary
    35
    10
    Since we still can't travel to Philippines, and regardless my wife can't leave Canada for another 6-12 months until her PR stuff comes in, I figure I would do a little research. Next time we go to PH, it'll be for a few months while we attend to some business, and I was thinking of achieving my goal and getting my DM certification.

    What I am asking all of you fine folks who you would recommend as a great instructor? I've dove mostly with Cam and his crew at Cebu Dive Centre in Moalboal, but I've also dove in Coron, Bohol, Camiguin and Malapascua, so I don't have my heart set on anywhere in particular. I will consider recommendations for anyone inside the Philippines, cost is secondary in my mind. If I don't find any good recommendations, I'll be forced to fly to Bali (and suffer the inferior beer and roasted pig) as a friend of mine is a PADI course director there.

    Also, I saw at one shop that it's about a 12 day course for 70-85k, but they also offer a six week "free" internship for 150k.. I don't understand how it can be free and still cost almost $4000. Can someone explain that to me?

    Thanks everyone!
     
  2. FindingMenno

    FindingMenno PADI Pro

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Amsterdam, Netherlands
    273
    291
    I'm not aware of your dive history and goals, so apologies if this question is misplaced, but;

    What would be your goals you want to achieve by getting your DM certification?

    Reason I'm asking that many people who enquired with me about doing a DM was with the goal of becoming a 'better diver'. Depending on how you define that, I feel that different routes bring different benefits.

    If you thing about 'going pro', or want to focus more on being able to guide/manage others while diving doing your DM is a solid option. The focus of DM is not necessarily to make you a better diver (but it can be a side-effect), but to train you to be a dive professional.
    If you want to focus on improving your own skill level (buoyancy, trim, theory understanding) I would recommend doing an entry level tech course, for example TDI AN/DP, PADI Tec40/45.

    If you do DM, I'd recommend against any free internships. In my experience most (not all!) will result in you doing a lot of jobs nobody else wants to do, with a few sparse moments of in-water training chucked in to meet the bare minimum for the certification. Pay a fee, so you have some control over the training you receive.
     
    ScubaBackpacker likes this.
  3. YYCLuke

    YYCLuke Registered

    # of Dives: 25 - 49
    Location: Calgary
    35
    10
    Thanks for the advice about the internship, that's good to know. I work a good job in Canada so I have the ability to do it without an internship.

    My goal is to become a more aware and well rounded person, with the possibility of being pro at some point when I'm outside of Canada. Long term is I want to own a dive shop, and to do that the best way is to become an instructor yourself. But also, I'm in the Health & Safety profession, and learning how to be a better navigator and instructor helps me in diving as well as in my occupation. I told myself that I wanted to become a dive master before I hit 40, but I never thought of why other than to better myself and start myself on the route to being a professional. Does that help answer?

    I always heard that you're only as good as your instruction, which is why I'm looking for recommendations. After I get my certification, I'm planning on doing a Gue fundamentals course to supplement it (to be a more well rounded diver)
     
  4. borisphotosafari

    borisphotosafari Contributor

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Banff, Alberta, Canada
    228
    145
    I have been at Thresher Shark Divers in Malapascua at least 6-7 times. I went for diving and we had DM trainees on the boat with us. They were very professional and the diving was pretty good too.
    I think 12 days is too short to do the course. There is a lot of studying involved, plus you want to be in the water as much as you can. Malapascua is a chill place to do it, with a variety of diving.
     
    YYCLuke likes this.
  5. YYCLuke

    YYCLuke Registered

    # of Dives: 25 - 49
    Location: Calgary
    35
    10
    I went to Malapascua about 2.5 years ago near Christmas, and I was booked with TSD but a typhoon came in, we spent 3 days sitting in the room since none of the boats were allowed out, and it was "hell (and) high water" getting off the island back to Cebu so we could meet my mother at the airport. I never did get the chance to see the Threshers (just did my nitrox with little mermaid and a short shore dive) but I'm wanting to go back. That would actually be a good option that I never considered, thank you.
    You're from Banff, I did my dry suit in Two Jack a couple years ago too and boy did I regret it hahaha
     
  6. borisphotosafari

    borisphotosafari Contributor

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Banff, Alberta, Canada
    228
    145
    I did my dry suit course at Two Jack Lake too, 10 minutes from my house. The first time and last time I dove and Canada. I need warm water. :)
    Can't wait to go back to Philippines, hopefully next year. Threshers were awesome, seen them on all the visits to Malapascua. But not on every shark dive there.
    Pick a place where there is a variety of dives to get experience, almost any place will be warmer then Banff.
     

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    YYCLuke likes this.
  7. FindingMenno

    FindingMenno PADI Pro

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Amsterdam, Netherlands
    273
    291
    Thanks for clarifying. With that goal in mind (becoming pro / owner) the DM would be a logical first step. Firstly to expand your skills in guiding/teaching, as well as getting your pro status with regards to getting insurance, and knowledge of training agency standards and materials.

    On whether you should do your DM in an 'internship' form, that is an often hotly debated subject in the diving community and fora/social media. There are roughly two schools of thought:
    1) Divemaster is diving certification, with the requirements clearly defined in the manuals of the various training agencies. The DM candidate should be trained for these requirements, and should not be asked to do any additional tasks/labor for the dive shop. Therefore the DM should be done as a 'course', not an internship. This could be done in 10 - 12 days.
    2) Divemaster is your introduction to working as a dive professional. Working in diving consists of much more than doing the inwater and training elements. For example filling tanks, cleaning and maintaining gear, picking up guests, doing shop/desk duty, doing admin etc. As part of your introduction to becoming a dive pro you should experience this to get the 'full picture', and also this experience would be beneficial for the candidate to find employment. Therefore a good DM training should be done in an internship form, which can last anywhere from 1 to 6 months.

    In my view, if you just want to get the card option 1 is ok, if you really want to experience and learn working in diving option 2 is better.

    Whatever form you choose, I would certainly recommend against any 'free' options. In my experience the time and training you will get can potentially be lesser in time and quality. Also you have very limited leverage if things don't go as you want. You won't be the first DM candidate chucked out the door without certification after providing a few months of free labor because you are 'difficult' in asking for your training to be conducted. As a paying guest you have better control in the training received. Also note what is provided for 'free', often training materials etc are excluded and these can be a sufficient part of the costs involved.
     
    YYCLuke likes this.
  8. wetb4igetinthewater

    wetb4igetinthewater Instructor ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Seattle
    6,123
    4,503
    I'd suggest taking GUE fundies or UTD Essentials to have a solid foundation before going into a DM program.
     
    YYCLuke likes this.
  9. YYCLuke

    YYCLuke Registered

    # of Dives: 25 - 49
    Location: Calgary
    35
    10
    Yeah, either I'll look at GUE right before or right after I do my DM, whichever way it works out. There are a few GUE instructors in the Philippines as well, because I'm definitely not doing it here in Canada, for a couple of reasons haha.
     
  10. Centrals

    Centrals Contributor

    # of Dives:
    Location: Hong Kong
    10,534
    3,963
    Base on this: Tec Asia in Puerto Galera.
     
    YYCLuke likes this.

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