Malapascua in the Philippines is the only place in the world where you can see the Thresher Shark on a regular basis. Although this shark is harmless to humans. This is pretty cool in itself, but then throw in Manta Rays, Hammerhead Sharks and really good macro diving and you have some great reasons to take your Divemaster in the Philippines. The other reason is that you will be living on a tropical island with warm waters, white beaches and lovely people!
Training to become a Dive Master with Xtreme Gap means living on exotic places with lots of amazing dive sites and a great social life. If spending several weeks on a gorgeous tropical island, diving some of the most interesting dive sites in South East Asia sounds like some much needed travel therapy, then doing your Divemaster Malapascua, a small island, located not far from Cebu, is the right choice for you!
Philippines Divemaster Highlights
Dive Master Qualification in 6 weeks (with previous experience).
Advanced Open Water to Dive Master Qualification in 10 weeks.
Getting the chance to dive with the Thresher Shark.
All accommodation included during the stay.
Choose between three different types of accommodation.
All diving gear included.
Diving instruction from professional top divers.
10% discount on your bills in the restaurant in the resort.
Diving in one of the stunning tropical islands in the world.
Shark Divemaster Malapascua Philippines Photos
Top Dive School:
We work with an extremely professional dive school on the island. One of the most established, they are credited with discovering the Thresher shark several years ago and are the only National Geographic Dive Centre on the Island.
Five Dive boats and lots of variety:
We run five dive boats and are one of the busier dive schools in Malapascua. This means there are always a lot of options to dive different sites, loads of variety and plenty of customers to assist which is an important part of getting your dive master.
Studying the Thresher Sharks, Mantas and Hammerheads.:
The real beauty of doing your dive master here is the Thresher shark. These are sharks with a distinctive long tail that they use to thrash the water, hence the name Thresher. No where else in the world can you see these majestic animals. Usually they live well beyond the reach of humans at around 300 metres below the surface. For some reason not yet understood, they gather off Malapascua all year and head to the top of the Monad Shoal Pinnacle, at around 23 meters. Besides that you can also see huge Manta rays swoop past and even occasional a Hammerhead.
Open Water (OW):
When completing your open water course, you can expect the open water course diving course to last between 3 to 4 days. The time scale usually depends on how quick you and your group are to using the equipment. You will start with a short swim test: it is a requirement that you can swim before undertaking your open water scuba diving course. The first couple of days will be spent in the class room and swimming pool. Furthermore you will learn about the safety aspects, about the equipment and the physics of diving. This will be under the watchful eyes of your scuba diving instructor and an assistant Divemaster.
After the classroom and pool modules are completed and you have demonstrated that you are able to complete various open water diving course skills correctly (such as recovering a regulator, clearing your mask) you will be ready to continue your open water diving course in the sea! The open water diving course consists of 4 scuba dives. During these dives you will practice skills learned in the pool and get used to the underwater environment, whilst diving with incredible fish in a beautiful underwater setting. To pass the open water Scuba Diving course, you must complete an exam at the end of the course, this is not hard to pass, but you must study, or risk failure!
Advanced Open Water:
The PADI Advanced Open Water Certification is a natural progression once completing the PADI Open Water Course. This course is scheduled over 2 days and consists of 5 Adventure dives from the list below (2 of which must be Deep and Navigation). On completion of this exciting course you will be awarded with the Advanced Open Water Diver certification, which allows you to dive down to a depth of 30 metres.The real beauty of the advanced course is that it enables you to dive deeper to 30 metres. At this depth you can see more species. It also improves your confidence and builds on the fundamentals. If you plan to dive as a continuing hobby, then the advanced course is highly recommended.
Rescue and EFR:
When completing your advanced open water course, you can complete your Rescue diver course. The rescue diver course lasts about 2 days. You also need to complete your EFR (emergency first response) course during this time. Challenging and rewarding best describe the PADI Rescue Diver course. Building upon what you have already learned, this learns you how to prevent problems, and how to manage them if they occur. If you are serious about your diving, take this course and have confidence leading dives.
On the PADI Rescue diver course, you are trained how to look out for the danger singes of distressed divers. The rescue diver course also teaches you how to rescue distressed divers and search for missing divers using specific search patterns. You are also taught how to safely recover an unconscious diver from the sea bed, and administer first aid both in and out of the water, this includes giving mouth to mouth resuscitation in the water.
The rescue diver course is a pr-requisite for the Padi dive master course, however even those not considering going professional, should consider this course, especially if they are intending on diving as an on going hobby. This is a great place to do you rescue diver course, with a tropical paradise island full of divers, you will meet like minded people making the learning experience great fun.
You will be assisting a qualified Divemaster or Instructor on guiding dives. Every day you will be diving (if you wish) and learn more about the dive sites, different fish and diving skills. There are usually different departure times for dives daily. There is also the occasional night dive as well. The morning diving is very early, usually a double dive leaving at 5am. This is necessary in order to catch the Thresher sharks as they come up to the cleaning station in the early morning. You can choose to dive as little or as much as you like, just bear in mind you will need to complete a minimum number to pass your Divemaster course as set out in the PADI Divemaster qualification requirements.
For the duration of your stay you will be located at a comfortable dive resort, right on the beach. You can choose The rooms have a maid service and are safe, secure and clean.
You will have your own private room, but you have to share facilities (shower and toilets). All the rooms and facilities have recently been renewed.
The resort has many facilities that make it a great place to stay for you and to make sure you have everything you need nearby. The following facilities are located at the resort:
Restaurant and Bar
Dive compressor and equipment servicing
Dive gear wet and dry room
A Rough Idea of Price
All of our gap year holidays are completely customised to your needs and prices will therefore vary based on things like the time of year and level of accommodation; but we want to give you as good an idea of how much this itinerary will cost.
The following is included with the Divemaster programme
Pre departure information pack
Rental Dive Gear
All manuals for all courses
Unlimited diving for the duration of the course
10% discount on restaurant bill
Airport pick up from Cebu
Transfer to Malapascua
Insurance (Must cover you for diving)
PADI Divemaster registration and annual subscription fees (about $139 AUD)
Transfer back to CEBU (can be arranged locally)
Dive Computer (recommended)
Frequently Asked Questions
You can go all year round as we have nice weather on this paradise island so any time is a good time to visit Malapascua! For your information there are three distinct seasons here in Malapascua.
Spring from February to May,
Summer from June September and
Winter Rain Season starts from October January.
The Christmas and Easter periods are busy times on Malapascua, so once again be sure to reserve your Divemaster programme well in advance. The only holiday seasons that really affect traveling are Christmas day and the Easter weekend as most public transport stops, including airplanes. And do not forget we are also busy with Chinese New Year. July and August are officially low season but we tend to be busy with courses so for a DM would be a good time because there is plenty of opportunity to assist courses as well as guide/dive.
We can include breakfast for you, this will be GBP 7 a day. Meals on the island are between 4 and 10 USD in the little restaurants. You can get a sandwich for about 2 USD. There are many little kiosk for chocolate snacks and drinks. They are very cheap. If you go out to a bar, part of the resort, expect to pay about 2 USD for a beer.
There are few islands that can match Malapascua for a pure dreamy setting. Soft white sand encircles the island, and clear blue seas always warm invite you to explore the wrecks and dive sites located minutes from the shore. You could walk around the island, although one part is mangrove. All beaches are white sandy beaches and have palm trees. In the middle of the island you find the village where are locals life, they are truly a lovely bunch of people and the great thing is that English is ought at very school in the Philippines, so communicating will not be a problem either!
Chilling with your new friends and hanging on the beach. Walking round the island and drinking a beer. Yes life in paradise is tough indeed.
You can get to the island Cebu by boat. It takes about 30 minutes. Cebu is quite big and to get to the airport you can take a bus or arrange a taxi.
On the island there is ‘normal’ western food served, as many tourists come here to dive. There is lots of fresh sea food and noodles, chicken and pork. Even pizza and pasta. There is a very good Italian restaurant. But if you would like to try out the weird Philippines food, have a go! They serve dog, cat and snake.
They are the most amazing loving people you can imagine! The resort is run by a Dutch man, but all staff is from the (nearby) island. The dive school, which is attached to the resort, is run by an English woman and Spanish man who are both very experienced shop managers and dive instructors.
There are on average 5 Dive Master trainees at any one time gaining their Dive Master qualifications at the school. On joining you will quickly become part of the team, and once your preliminary dive training is underway (Open Water and Advanced and Rescue qualifications) you will be tasked with helping customers, leading dives and building up your dive experience.
If you are a fish, yes, but to your average scuba diver: no.
The Thresher shark is not dangerous of humans. They eat only small fish. Although, there are stories, myths at best, that fisher men were hit by the long tail of the Thresher shark after they caught them in their nets… Just be nice to them, and they will be a part of an incredible experience for you.
The Koh Tao Divemaster course is an 8 or 12-week experience giving you plenty of opportunity to dive with whale sharks and thousands of tropical fish, like Nemo! Set on a tropical island paradise with white sandy beaches and crystal clear seas, this is the world’s number one spot to do your Divemaster. You will discover one of the most amazing lifestyles and gain a professional level qualification enabling you to work in the scuba diving industry all over the world.
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