Phaidon Resort & Ranay Explorer, Pandan, Antique

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AntiquediverPADI OWD78 TGs

Dive trip in Antique, Philippines 4 wonderful day ...

Dive trip in Antique, Philippines
4 wonderful days at Phaidon Beach Resort and Panay Explorers
I got a couple of days off from work and decided to dive in Antique, Pandan and Culasi Philippines and stayed at Phaidon Beach Resort in Pandan. I flew into Caticlan from Manila and was picked up at the airport by the resort’s shuttle service. The resort is about an hour from the airport and surrounded with an unspoiled white beach and amazing rain forest back yard. Checking in was a breeze as the resort is small and family run. The room was large and very nice with 2 beds and a great view of the ocean from the front and lanai (patio). There was a TV in the room but I never turned it on, the ocean view terrace has an amazing view to the unspoiled beach and some little islands.
I did two fun dives to some reefs just offshore and not far from the resort. The reefs were great, lots of life and lots to see and explore. It was just myself, the DM, resort employee and resort owner diving from the dive boat. Lots of starfish, Angelfish, Damsel Fish, hard and soft coral, fans, anenomes, clown fish nudi brancs and numerous other aquatic life. The visibility was great around 25 meters and was great for taking pictures. Max depth was 21 meters for the first dive and 18 meters on the second dive. Bottom times were unhurried and averaged around an hour. After these dives I was back to the resort where I had dinner and a couple of beers and then off to sleep as I was wiped out.
Woke up early the next morning and my dive gear was packed away in a van and off we went to Culasi, Malalison Island. After about an hour drive to Panay Explorers home, the dive gear was packed away on the dive boat and I went with the owner to get lunch, freshly caught fish at the market. The weather was perfect and the boat ride to a small offshore island was beautiful. The first dive was a deep dive to a reef called “Aquarium”. Today it was myself, the DM, resort owner, resort employee, and the OIC from the local Coast Guard Station. This dive was great lots of fish of too numerous to describe varieties even lots of nooks and crannies to explore. The Coast Guard new the site very well and pointed out several Lionfish, numerous nudibrancs, and a couple Morray Eels. The dive was great with visibility over 35 meters and was great for taking pictures. After this we headed back to a small beach on the island where the fish was cooked up and we ate. After that we headed just offshore of the small island. This site “Nablag Point” was fairly deep and laced with canyons. The views here were great and there was not nearly enough time to explore it all. I could spend weeks at this site alone exploring all the canyons, swim through, nooks and crannies. The Coast Guard guy again knew this site very well and pointed out lots of aquatic life and with 35 meters plus of visibility there was lot to take pictures of. After this dive we cruised around to the other side of the island and hung out for a bit before making our third dive. This was a shallow dive of about 15 meters “Borbon Reef” max to a shallow reef. This dive was fantastic. Visibility was around 27 meters and there was tons to see. Several types of eels, nudi brancs, several Lionfish, Stingrays, and Eels of several types. The reef was in good shape and I got lots of pictures here. This was a great dive! Bottom times were around 60 minutes.
After I got back to the resort after a full day I was beat tired, got a fantastic steak for dinner a couple of beers and swapped diving stories with the resort owner. After that is was off to bed where I was asleep before hitting my pillow. Great day of diving.
The third day of diving we headed off to Culasi and Malalison Island once again. We headed off to what was the deep “Clam Farm”. The clam farm was in very good condition. Depth here was 40 meters and visibility 18 meters at best. After this we again headed to the island and cooked up some fresh fish, squids and sausages. There was some question as to permits with the Coast Guard. The resort got the permit to dive off the island as the area is protected but there is a wreck that was sunk during the typhoon that is being salvaged and guarded by the Coast Guard and a second permit was needed. Rather comical as the second permit simply stated they have permission to dive. The second dive was a new spot “Kalangasa” that was everyone´s first time diving as this site is simply a fisherman´s spot with two hills and reefs. The dive was very good and was a huge circular reef. There was lots of aquatic life, large lobsters, barracudas and white tip sharks. Max depth was 30 meters and visibility was around 22 meters. The third dive we stopped at another spot “Borbon 2”on the island where fresh water stream on the island flows into the ocean on the island, it is an extreme beautiful spot on the island with various colored corals. We overshot the reef and since I was already in the water I just hung on to the outrigger as we cruised back to the right spot (thank goodness I attempt to stay in shape). The dive here to this spot was again outstanding. Visibility was excellent at 35 meters plus and there was tons of aquatic life to see once again. Bottom dive here was well over an hour. It was great diving here as I saw several Stingrays, Lionfish, Scorpion fish, Eels of several types, nudibrancs, too much to see and do in a single dive. Regretfully I came up after over an hour under and we headed back to Culasi and later to the Resort in Pandan.
All in all it was an excellent couple days of diving. This is not a typical diving there, this is more of adventure diving. The dive sites are very easy to dive the entry and exits make this diving more challenging and advanced diving. As far as I could tell we were the only divers anywhere in the area and the sites were untouched by mass diving operations.
The Resort was great. The food was fantastic and service was always excellent. The rooms are huge and comfortable. This is the place you want to go to get away from it all and I do mean get away from it all. There is a small village right outside the resort and then there is nothing but rice patties, but the surrounding area is beautiful, quiet and peaceful. The beach is beautiful and is the first time I have seen a white sand beach that is so beautiful, huge and for the most part untouched. The resort does not specifically cater to divers but also offers boat tours on nearby famous and clean river, mountain hiking, cannoning and other activities.
If you are thinking of coming here some things to think ahead about are: the resort accepts cash payments in various currencies or wire transfer payment only.
All in all it was a perfect vacation. I tried to keep this as objective and honest as possible.

paradise garden


clam farm


borbon reef2






resort and beach

resort and restaurant