Our good friend Sir Kevin of England came to visit us once more and this time completed Emergency First Response and PADI Rescue Diver before Chris and Andrew put him through his paces on the PADI Divemaster course. Lots of fun was had by all during the courses and we finished off with the traditional snorkel test. See you soon.
Following on from an enormously successful first trip with relief goods for the people of Maniguin Island we went again. With further donations from our divers and money still left over from the first trip, Christmas presents purchased in Manila, along with soft drinks and sacks of rice were packed onto Isla once again and we headed off to the remote island to ensure a very happy Christmas. The people again greeting us with open arms and words of thanks. The Captain of the island community said she would protect the Maniguin dive sites for future generations to enjoy, a move in the right direction. The Captain also told us that they are starting to receive Government aid now as well. Calypso Diving would like to thank everyone who kindly donated.
Saturday 23rd November 2013. Calypso Diving finally set sail to Maniguin Island after post poning the trip due to bad weather.Maniguin Islandis 26 nautical miles from Boracay and has around 900 people living there. The community is very isolated and depend upon sea weed farming and fishing to make ends meet. We departed at 4am and arrived at Maniguin Island around 9am after 5 hours on the high seas. It was all worth the effort though. On arrival we were greeted by the Captain of the island along with all the families and children. With the help and coordination ot the Captain we were able to distribute the relief aid to the families who had been living off sea weed and coconuts with no fresh water. Calypso Diving would like to thank Beno Iseli, Kevin Goodwin, Olle Anderson, Johan Munthe, Jonas Jansson, Erik Logdberg, Kristian Nylen, The Rotary Club (Marlow), Andre Stalder, Lisbeth and Ruedi Kneubuehler, Carlota Cura, Tanja Bjoroy, Alberto P. Nunez, Klaus and Cornelia Aebi, Calypso Staff and everyone who helped out. A truely successful trip, thank you.
Please click the following link to see the video:- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rMCQm64-bhg&feature=youtu.be
Super Typhoon Yolanda filled the Calypso Diving pool with palm leaves, roof tiles and any other debris that was not secured down. We drained the pool, cleaned it and made some slight repairs such as new pool lights. The pool took 14 hours to drain and 9 days to refill. The pool is now reopened and confined water training underway.
In the coming days after Super Typhoon Yolanda had passed through the Philippines friends and family of staff along with many guests past and present of Calypso Diving wanted to help the local communities close to Boracay affected by the devastating typhoon. With the funds raised we purchased over 2 tonnes of relief aid including drinking water, rice, canned goods, biscuits, sugar, oil and soy. The whole team and many guests went to work dividing the goods into relief parcels for the local community of Maniguin Island.
What a wonderful surprise we received this morning at Calypso Diving. Jimmy Christrup, PADI Area Manager for the Philippines,presented Calypso Diving’s owner Rene with an award for 20 years of Outstanding Service as a PADI Member. Rene was the first person to have a PADI dive shop on Boracay, opening 7th December, 1993. Jimmy also presented Andrew and Calypso an award for our amazing fundraising and support for the recent Finathon. Andrew swam 7.5km in 4 hours and the team combined swam over 18km, the distance around Boracay!
Great news. The length of stay in the Philippines has been increased on arrival. The length of stay in the Philippines a recently implemented Memorandum Circular No. RADJR-2013-006 which extends the visa-free entry from 21 days to 30 days under EO 408 dated 09 November 1960 was taken into effect on 01 August 2013.
We received the following information from the Bureau of Immigration here in Manila.
E.O. 408 (No Entry Visa Admissible for an initial stay of 30-days):
Countries whose nationals may enter the Philippines without a visa for a stay not exceeding 30 days under E.O.408 dated 09 November 1960, provided these foreign nationals are holder of a passport valid at least six months, beyond their contemplated period of stay in Manila and return ticket to their country of origin or a ticket and/or visa to their next country of destination:
|1. Andorra||51. Ghana||101. Norway|
|2. Angola||52. Greece||102. Oman|
|3. Antigua & Barbuda||53. Grenada||103. Palau|
|4. Argentina||54. Guatemala||104. Panama|
|5. Australia||55. Guinea||105. Papua New Guinea|
|6. Austria||56. Guinea-Bissau||106. Paraguay|
|7. Bahamas||57. Guyana||107. Peru|
|8. Bahrain||58. Haiti||108. Poland|
|9. Barbados||59. Honduras||109. Portugal|
|10. Belgium||60. Hungary||110. Qatar|
|11. Benin||61.Iceland||111. Romania|
|12. Bhutan||62. Indonesia||112. Russia|
|13. Bolivia||63. Ireland||113. Rwanda|
|14. Botswana||64. Israel*||114. St. Kitts & Nevis|
|15. Brazil*||65. Italy||115. Saint Lucia|
|16. Brunei||66. Jamaica||116. St. Vincent & the Grenadines|
|17. Bulgaria||67. Japan||117. Samoa|
|18. Burkina Faso||68. Kenya||118. San Marino|
|19. Burundi||69. Kiribati||119. Sao Tome & Principe|
|20. Cambodia||70. Korea (ROK)||120. Saudi Arabia|
|21. Cameroon||71. Kuwait||121. Senegal|
|22. Canada||72. Laos**||122. Seychelles|
|23. Cape Verde||73. Latvia||123. Singapore|
|24. Central African Republic||74. Lesotho||124. Slovak Republic|
|25. Chad||75. Liberia||125. Slovenia|
|26. Chile||76. Liechtenstein||126. Solomon Island|
|27. Colombia||77. Lithuania||127. Somalia|
|28. Comoros||78. Luxembourg||128. South Africa|
|29. Congo||79. Madagascar||129. Spain|
|30. Congo, Democratic Republic||80. Malawi||130. Suriname|
|31. Costa Rica||81. Malaysia||131. Swaziland|
|32. Cote d’ Loire (Ivory Coast)||82. Maldives||132. Sweden|
|33. Cyprus||83. Mali||133. Switzerland|
|34. Czech Republic||84. Malta||134. Tanzania|
|35. Denmark||85. Marshall Island||135. Thailand|
|36. Djibouti||86. Mauritania||136. Togo|
|37. Dominica||87. Mauritius||137. Trinidad & Tobago|
|38. Dominican Republic||88. Mexico||138. Tunisia|
|39. Ecuador||89. Micronesia||139. Turkey|
|40. El Salvador||90. Monaco||140. Tuvalu|
|41. Equatorial Guinea||91. Mongolia||141. Uganda|
|42. Eritrea||92. Morocco||142. United Arab Emirates|
|43. Estonia||93. Mozambique||143. United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland|
|44. Ethiopia||94. Myanmar|
|45. Fiji||95. Namibia||144. United States of America|
|46. Finland||96. Nepal||145. Uruguay|
|47. France||97. Netherlands||146. Vanuatu|
|48. Gabon||98. New Zealand||147. Vatican|
|49. Gambia||99. Nicaragua||148. Venezuela|
|50. Germany||100. Niger||149. Vietnam|
*Nationals from these countries are allowed to enter the Philippines without a visa for a stay not exceeding fifty-nine (59) days.
So you can now stay with us longer.
Maria has been with Calypso Diving for nearly two years helping out in the restaurant, behind the bar and in the dive shop. Maria started with a Discover Scuba Diving experience and was hooked. She went onto complete Open Water, Advance, EFR and Rescue, Enriched Air Nitrox Specialty and finally Divemaster. It has been great having her here at Calypso and we wish her all the luck in her new job in Hong Kong. I’m sure it will be a long time before she forgets the snorkel test and the raw egg…….. It was her choice!
Big congrats to Gery and Randy who successfully completed the IDC and passed the Instructor Exam.
Randy – winner of LiveTheScubaDream contest sponsored by PADI, Asia Divers, Cressi, Calypso and Canon – has been documenting the amazing experience. He’s got some great photos to share, and he’ll be posting his thoughts on the LTSD blog very soon.
On behalf of Rene, Sue, Andrew, the rest of the Calypso Team and the generous sponsors: WELL DONE TO YOU BOTH!
Photos taken with Canon cameras.
Congratulations to new PADI Divemasters: Lachy, Jonny, Berting and Gery! With a record-breaking 4 graduates, of course we were in for an awesome party! The boys did a great job completing their snorkel tests, administered by Chris and Andrew, and were awarded with their Calypso Pro Graduate t-shirts. From everyone at Calypso, big congrats DMs and enjoy your diving!