Crystal Kennard, dive shop manager at Devocean Dive Centre, formerly Seaquest in Malapasca answered my initial email Enquiry about the Thresher Shark dives after I had heard about the dive operation from various diver friends . A quick response and some fantastic communication lead to a long bus journey and a short ferry crossing to Malapasca Island from Cebu.
Great support was given by dive Center staff for Accomodation options to suit budgets and ample advice was given on the dives and ways to book in. It was a very easy process with lots of help.
Like any dive Center there is always an individual who stands out or in this case three. Steff, Tim and Pedro were very charismatic guys who really took time to engage with us as a dive group, humorous, interesting, knowledgable and most of all just fun to be around. Dive centres can sometimes lack atmosphere but it was clear that these guys not only enjoyed where they worked but also had a passion about it, often lost in other factory type dive centres. A warm welcome only adds to the feeling that you made the right choice with your booking.
So the Thresher dive is what I came her for and it was no disappointment, jumping into some fairly harsh current and dropping down the buoy line, we descended. Swimming over the Plato and dropping down to a 30m viewing spot we were met by a thresher. It was awesome! The visibility was not at its best and yet we saw three shark friends with lengthy introductions. I was beaming to have had the pleasure to see this on my first attempt after preparing myself for repeat visits to the site to catch a glimpse.These sharks are nothing but gracious and elegant as they glide through the water with a flick of their signature long fin. Totally beautiful thing to see and worth the hairy current.
The Philippines are without a doubt famous for biodiversity and the long stretched archipelago is embedded within the coral triangle of South East Asia. Centres on Malapasca boast that it is the only place in the World that provides daily encounters with Threshers. It is also quite possible to see other wonders here including Hammerheads and Manta Rays around Kimud Shoal and Monad dive sites.
This island is by no means all about threshers and close by dive sites offer up a vibrant abundance of diverse marine life. Later that afternoon we headed out to Chocolate Island and were met by hairy frog fish, flamboyant cuttlefish, lots for nudi brancs, pipe fish, flat worms, banded coral shrimp, healthy corals both hard and soft and schooling fish.
Helen Armstrong a Dive Master onboard from New Zealand raved about the Chocolate Island Dive and said she came here for the Threshers but had been really impressed by the surrounding topography and diversity of fish. Having a lengthy background in conservation, she was excited to see so much life at this site and to see its flourishing health.
Malapasca itself offers up a perfect spot for divers and beach loungers. The clear waters, hot climate and easily accessible marine world make it a hub for divers. Another note to make is that there is also great variance in the types of diving you can do here.
Devocean were keen to tell me about local wrecks and muck diving opportunities. After diving in Dauin, a muck dive haven I would also argue that Malapasca is good for macro enthusiasts and can wow anyone interested in searching for the small and unusual sea bed creatures.