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Join this conference at Atmosphere Resorts & Spa, where the warmest of Philippine hospitality is combined with first class amenities and service. Beautifully situated within an old coconut plantation on the island of Negros Oriental near Dumaguete, the resort enjoys a spectacular beach front location alongside the warm coastal waters of the Philippine Sea. Whether you want to scuba dive, indulge in the enchanted spa, practice yoga, engage in activities or simply read a book by the pools, you can look forward to an unforgettable convention.

BUCKET LIST OPPORTUNITY: swim or snorkel with whale sharks

SCUBA DIVING: The conference has been arranged so that divers can also experience some of the world’s best sites. We are offering dive packages which include diving off the beach, boat diving, as well as night dives.

 

Day 1

Australia - Manila

Depart Australia for Manila, for an overnight stay at the airport hotel.

Day 2

Manila - Dumaguete

Fly to Dumaguete, on Negros Island, and check in to the Atmosphere Resort and Spa, a boutique family-run retreat right on the waterfront. Your luxurious home for the next seven nights features an outdoor rain shower and is nestled amidst coconut trees, tropical gardens and a swathe of golden sand, kissed by the Bohol Sea.

This evening meet fellow delegates for welcome drinks by the seafront pool.

Day 3

Atmosphere Resort

Demist your mask and have your logbook ready, this morning we have our first dive. Forget about a 6mm wetsuit, if that’s what you wear at home, here the water is a balmy 27 degrees. For our first dive, we’ll be getting our tanks wet on House Reef, an aptly named shore dive, right off the beach outside the resort. This is a great way to check our gear and orient ourselves with the local conditions. The reef is huge – you could easily do two or three separate dives here – and is mix of soft and hard corals. Keep your eyes peeled for ghost pipefish, turtles, octopus, thousands of tropical fish and a resident barracuda.

Afternoon conference session.

Day 4

Atmosphere Resort

We hope you rediscovered your gills yesterday because the shore dive was a warm up for today when we visit Apo Island – lauded by SCUBA divers the world over as one the most stunningly diverse coral collections in the Asia Pacific. We’ll cruise 30 minutes out to Apo on an 84-foot traditional banka, complete with bamboo outriggers and all the mod cons. Apo is a tiny 12-hectare volcanic island – a mere blip in the sea – but her vast treasures lie below the waterline. Apo Reef is the second-largest contiguous coral reef in the world (after the Great Barrier Reef) and spans 34 square kilometres. A protected marine park since 1996, the reef boasts almost 600 different varieties of reef-building corals and 2,000 species of reef fish. It’s little wonder Australian marine researcher Dr Charlie Veron, aka the ‘Godfather of Coral’ describes Apo Reef as “the centre of Earth’s marine diversity”. Spend half a day exploring this extraordinary ecosystem either on a dive or snorkelling.

Afternoon conference session.

Day 5

Atmosphere Resort

Today you can stay in your swimmers all day, if you so choose. There is no conference session and you have the entire day free to explore. Jump on the banka and head back out to Apo Island, enjoying up to three dives with interval time and lunch on board. Keep a lookout for manta rays, reef sharks, black and white sea kraits (snakes) and schools of colourful parrotfish, and see if you can spy a green turtle or leatherback (six of the world’s seven marine turtles inhabit these waters). There are endless coral gardens, bommies, walls and crevices to explore. For snorkellers, the beaches on Apo provide ample opportunity to relax between swims.

In you’re not waterlogged by sundown, join in a dusk shore dive in front of the resort and see if you can spot an elusive mandarinfish in all its neon-hued beauty.

Day 6

Atmosphere Resort

Have you dried out? Good, it’s time to get wet again with a free morning to explore Apo Island once more. If you’re feeling waterlogged, head to Malatapay Market and see where the locals come to buy and sell their wares. The bustling marketplace is a sensory assault – fruit, vegetables, clothes and household goods come together as traders jostle to do a roaring day’s trade. Don’t miss the livestock area, heaving with cows, pigs and goats, and be sure to try some lechon baboy (roast pork), washed down with a San Miguel beer. If you’re all shopped out, return to the resort and indulge in a treatment at the award-winning spa, set amongst tropical gardens, hit the outdoor Warrior Gym, join a yoga class, go mountain biking or simply relax by the pool.

Afternoon conference session.

Day 7

Atmosphere Resort

Rise early and make the most of a morning of free time – today is your last opportunity to go diving. Head out to Apo Island again or enjoy a lazy shore dive. Alternatively, join a tour out to Casaroro Falls, a dramatic 40-metre high column of water that plunges into a cool forest-shrouded swimming hole. Enjoy a refreshing dip before climbing the 300-odd steps back to the carpark. The swim is worth the exertion.

Afternoon conference session.

Day 8

Atmosphere Resort

We’ve saved the best for last. Today we swim with whale sharks, the largest fish in the sea. We’ll travel in an air-conditioned van and by boat to Oslob, on the island of Cebu. Here, we’ll step straight from the beach onto a small boat and watch as the giants of the ocean surface above the water. When you’re ready, slip into the bay and relish the moment to make eye contact with these majestic speckled creatures. Whale sharks reach up to 12 metres in length and feed on plankton close to the surface of the water with their colossal gaping mouths. Don’t let the name ‘shark’ put you off – they’re friendly giants and don’t eat humans, just be sure to keep your distance and abide by the rules  – that means strictly no touching.

Afternoon conference session

Afternoon conference session.

Tonight enjoy a last night with your new-found friends at our farewell dinner.

Day 9

Atmosphere Resort - Manila - Australia

Transfer to Dumaguete Airport and fly to Manila, before boarding a flight home to Australia.



End of arrangements. Please note this program may be subject to change

Dr Gary Kilov (1:42)
Dr Asha Nair (1:31)
Dr Ralph Audehm (1:11)
Dr Diana Hart & Dr Roger Scurr (1:39)