Monday, October 20, 2014

Life of a PADI Divemster

The PADI Dive Master in action at Boracay Island in Philippines.
A day working life as a PADI Divemaster.
Scuba diving is an activity that I love to do, besides being a professional photojournalist. I usually waking up early to do some round of swimming, have my breakfast and a cup of tea with calamansi before I make my way down to the dive centre.
Then I will find out that how many divers will dive with me on that day, One of the first things I learn to accept all the divers as they are, the I adapt my supervison tchniques to meet their needs. Then I start with dive briefing, I brief them about the story behind the dive site name, my role, how to minimize disturbing aquatic life and the environment during their dive.
Day passes so fast our 3 dives done, then I bring out my dive computer and help to sign divers log books, while we doing that normally we share a lot of stories, our experience and make common jokes.  After that many of us has become friends and ended up unwinding ourselves with some beer at the point pub to make our day an awesome one. 
Fine test for Open water diving course.
When and where I start diving?
I had always tempted want do lean scuba diving since young.  Because of timing that not right, until four years ago. I was assign to an assignment in Pulau Tioman to cover 1Malaysia corals cleaning projects.
During this trip, I observed divers doing underwater to execute conservation activities. The frustration of not being able to participate in this event triggered a desire in me.
After the trip, I rapidly begin my search for more and in due time I was connected to Sam Ong a PADI OWSI Instructor. We undergo series of PADI Open Water Course training, after that visited Pualu Pangkor is an island off the coast of Perak in north-west peninsular Malaysia for my first dive. My first dive at Pulau Sembilan dive site, the visibility was very poor, but that was sufficient to make me excited about underwater world, not only excited about it but I have addicted on it since then.
A celebration after completed a one month long PADI Dive Master journey, to give thanks to all the PADI instructors and Asia Divers staff at El Galleon Diving Resorts
When and where did I become a PADI Divemaster?
I began my PADI Divemaster Course in 2013 with a bunch of very experience Instructor form Asia Divers at Puerto Galera in Philippines. Very lucky that I have Allison Manis a PADI IDC Staff Instructor as my Divemaster course instructor, she is one of the best trainer at Asia Divers. 
What made me choose to become a PADI Professional?
I am a photographer for past fifteen years, I constantly questioned my competence as I am did not possess a professional qualification. To me the term ‘professional photographer” is rather ambiguous, there are no assigned rules as to what makes a photographer professional. Feeling that I has been doing the same kind of work for more than a decade.
It is my dream to become PADI professional, Scuba diving is so much fun. Not only that I can learn a lot more and showing others how fantastic that I am doing. As a PADI professional I join the ranks of the global PADI organization. Not only that, I can enjoy PADI benefits that include access to PADI educational, marketing materials, access to the PADI pros’ site, PADI publications and more.  

What highlights I recall form your PADI Divemaster course?
I did the intensive PADI Divemaster training in the relatively short time and especially in foreign land.  The course was no child’s play, to attain the qualification must undergo knowledge development, practical application and pass final exams and the 5 stringent swim test assesses the candidate’s physical competency.
Each of the swimming test is scored based on time and stamina. Like swimming 400 meters non-stop with no swimming aids, treading water for 15 minutes, swim 800 meters facedown without using the arms, tow a diver 100 meters non-stop at the surface and  finally, successfully complete an equipment exchange with a diver underwater. And the awesome thing is to getting to assist as an intern on the PADI courses. 
What dive locations on my bucket list and why?
That are a lot of great dive sites in my bucket list, I have seen photographs and heard from others divers that Maldives Island is a must go once in my life, it is not only because of their most romantic beaches in the world, it is host to some of the best dive sites and top diving locations in the world.
Boasting a plethora of stunning marine life like sharks, manta rays, breathtaking coral formations and brimming with exotic fish life, many of the best dive sites in the world are found in the Maldives.
Turtle tomb dive is one of the top 5 dive sites of the world, making it the most popular dive spot in Sipadan.
What has been the most memorable dive in my life?
The most memorable dive that I ever had was when I dive at Turtle Tomb in Sipadan Island, Malaysia with Sipadan Mabul Dive Resort. Is about 18m deep to the entrance to the Cave and is about 200m long tunnel that connecting Turtle Cavern with Turtle Tomb a small cave system which contains many turtle skeletons.
This is due to the great number of turtles that they simply enter the cave and are unable to find the exit. This is the world famous dive site, a special dive that every cave diver must see once in their life. 
What words of encouragement would me give to divers thinking of becoming a PADI Divemaster?
Real man should take up this challenge, is because you will get great experience form PADI education on diving, that will make you better scuba diver and able to helping others to dive safely.
Be an ambassador to over environmental and mother earth to share with others how important is our ocean planet. What’s next for me? PADI Instructor Development Course, naturally. 

Sunday, May 04, 2014

Club of the Most Beautiful Bays of the World

Want a quick dive trip to the Philippines? Check out this island close to Manila which has a good mix of coral and fish life.

It is a sea journey of going through strong currents for about an hour to reach Sabang Beach, Puerto Galera, a paradise of a beach of fine, soft –as – cotton, white sand. By Brian Moh.
PUERTO Galera is listed in the “Club of the Most Beautiful Bays of the World”, and is one of the most popular dive destinations in the Philippines.
Most of the diving action can be found in Sabang Bay and near White Beach. Those who want the comforts of city life while enjoying their diving now have another option to consider: Puerto Galera, some 130km south-west of Manila.
The words Puerto Galera literally mean “Port of the Galleons” and in the early 16th century, Spaniards discovered this place as a safe haven for their ships during typhoons.

The Asia Divers is equipped with a large private diving platform where boats can easily dock. By Brian Moh
After landing at Manila International Airport, my friends and I were transferred via van to Passay City, where we hopped onto a bus to Batangas Pier, a journey of some 100 minutes.
Then we caught a boat, and after going against strong currents for about an hour, we reached Sabang Bay. It was a paradise of fine, white, soft–as–cotton, sandy beaches
The Philippines is the world’s third largest English-speaking nation, and it’s also ranked as the “eighth friendliest country” in the world, so communication with the locals was not an issue at all. Indeed, they were willing to give us a helping hand whenever we needed.

Arthur’s Restaurant at El Galleon Beach Resort-The restaurant is considered by most to be the best beach restaurant in Puerto Galera. By Brian Moh
After landing at Manila International Airport, my friends and I were transferred via van to Passay City, where we hopped onto a bus to Batangas Pier, a journey of some 100 minutes.
Then we caught a boat, and after going against strong currents for about an hour, we reached Sabang Bay. It was a paradise of fine, white, soft–as–cotton, sandy beaches
The Philippines is the world’s third largest English-speaking nation, and it’s also ranked as the “eighth friendliest country” in the world, so communication with the locals was not an issue at all. Indeed, they were willing to give us a helping hand whenever we needed.

Photo by Holiday Asia Divers Resort.
Soon, we headed out to find the Asia Divers Dive Resort, which has enough activities keep guests of all ages occupied. According to its staff instructor Allison Manis, “There are over 30 dive sites around the island, just within 15 minutes of the resort. We offer great diving, ranging in depth from 10m to 82m to suit all levels of certification.”
Package rates inclusive of meals range from US$700 (RM2,310) to US$1200 (RM3,960).
Divers unwinding at the Point Bar with some wine, where many dive stories are told with flourish. By Brian Moh
We started our first dive at 1.30pm at Sinandigan Wall. I was once told by Vincent Chong, a PADI instructor and owner of Dragonet Diving centre in Kuala Lumpur, that the corals here are one of the best he has ever seen in his diving career.
Indeed, there was plenty of marine life and beautiful, colourful hard and soft corals. We also saw many varieties of nudibranches, surgeonfish and yes, even sea snakes.
There were many opportunities to indulge in macro photography, and we took our time snapping photos before ending our dive 45 minutes later.
Verde Island is one of the best wall dive sites in the region. By Holiday Asia Divers Resort
The Philippines is the world's third largest English-Speaking nation, and it's also ranked as the " eighth friendliest country" in the world. By Brian Moh
All Copyright: The Star
For more Photo n Story visit: Galleons of scuba delights and Brian Moh

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

Professional Photographer working experience

The theme of ‘Street Photography” was share during the workshop on early last month.
The Instructor in action. By Mohd Hafiz
I share with them the important elements how to conduct a creative and fun photography.
The instructor share with the participated the photography is all about sharing having fun and be crazy. By Mohd Hafiz.  
And be professionalism means, The student expect you to have expert in photography knowledge about conducting a photo opportunity, they expect you to have good judgment and experience, as a professional photographer must dress and act like a professional, and to have good interpersonal skills that make you someone who makes photography very fun.
A family that love street photography so much, Carmela M Nair and her daughter Diveena Nair. By Brian Moh.
I also share one of the simple rule was shoot first then you ask. During the workshop I also share with the Participants my recent work during my diving trip at Puetro Galera in The Philippines.

After an hour class room at YMCA KL , we gone down to Petaling Street to conduct some great street photographs.

Finally I want to thank all the participants that they have spent their lovely Saturday afternoon with me.
The instructor posted with a group of photography enthusiasts after a great photography workshop in YMCA Kuala Lumpur. By Mohd Hafiz.

Saturday, December 07, 2013

A Lovely Island to go Diving, Snorkelling or do Nothing

The Pulau Perhentian islands off the coast of Terengganu are a good place if you want the simple pleasures of sunshine and beaches of fine, soft-as-cotton, white sand. or if you are looking for some good diving experiences and an adventurous getaway from the bustling city.
A rich mix of fish as well as hard and soft corals greeted the writer at the Light House dive site.
The kids from the fishing village of Pulau Perhentian love to be photograph.
There are actually two islands – Perhentian Besar and Perhentian Kecil – and they are surrounded by seas which form a marine park.

The name Perhentian means “stopping point” in Malay and in the old days, it was a resting spot for fishermen out at sea before they returned to the mainland.

Our bus from Kuala Lumpur stopped at the small fishing town and port of Kuala Besut, in northern Terengganu.

You can also take a flight to Kota Bharu, and then a one hour taxi ride to Kuala Besut.

We then took a boat through strong currents for about 45 minutes to reach our destination – a paradise of clear waters.
  Top: These cute clown fish reminded the writer of the movie Finding Nemo. A blue-spotted stingray.
Soon, we headed out to find the Quiver Dive Team. Tourists can choose scuba-diving or snorkelling packages. There are dozens of dive sites around the island, ranging in depths, from 10m to 30m, to suit all levels of diving expertise. Each boat dive cost us RM80. 

We did our first dive at a site called the Light House. As we moved to deeper waters, I saw plenty of marine life and a mixture of hard and soft corals, giving us many opportunities to indulge in macro photography.

Then, we went to check out a site known as Temple of the Sea. It is one of the best dive sites around the island. Visibility was good at between 5m-10m, plus there was plenty of marine life, a healthy mixture of hard and soft corals, Scopionfish and schools of yellow snappers as well as boxfish, puffer fish and nudibranches. Of course, let’s not forget forget the cute clown fish, as dramatised in the movie Finding Nemo. We spent about an hour there, and did lots of underwater photography.

At another popular site, known as the Vietnamese Shipwreck, divers can easily swim through the sunken boat (at a depth of 22m) and observe the marine life within. There are always strong currents here, and the site should be tackled only by experienced divers.
All Copyright The Star
For more Photo n Story visit BrianM FB n Perhentian Pradise

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Theme: “Street Photography”

Photography is all about sharing, having fun and be crazy.

The Trainer post with a group of photography enthusiasts that participated in Saturday photography workshop. By Mohd Hafiz
I share with all the participants about what make photography really good by not simply rely on the point and shoot method of photography

Certificate was presented to participants after Brian M Photography Workshop. By Mohd Hafiz
This time I share about “Street Photography” is because I want them to lean some of my experience and knowledge that can apply when they go travel. Is about to shot something that is very interesting, perhaps something that they never seen before or they think others haven’t seen before. Later show it to their love ones and friends back home, or share it in social media. 

In just 3 hours I share with them about Air Photography, Land Photography and Underwater Photography, 3 method of photography in 1 class.

Applying there three principals at once, You get the " Good UW pictures guideline" which says, get close, get low, shoot upward and use strobe.
Finally I want to thanks to all the participants that attended and spend a lovely Saturday afternoon at the Photography Workshop held at YMCA in Kuala Lumpur.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

My Underwater World ( We are Malaysia)

About a year ago I picked up scuba diving as my adventurous hobby to unwind myself from my hectic life in the city. 
Things that I  bring with me for my Scuba diving trip are Canon G12 with WP-DC34 Case, Lavocore thermo guard, colorful beach pants and etc. 
I was inspired by a group of diving enthusiasts during an assignment at Pulau Tioman to cover 1Malaysia corals cleaning projects.
During the trip, I was told by the divers that “as a diver you get to see the colourful and diverse marine life”. After I came back from the trip, I rapidly began my search for more and in due time I was connected to Sam Ong he is PADI instructor by profession.  We undergo series of confined water training before going to open water.   
After a week’-long training, we visited Pualu Pangkor for my first open water dive. For my first dive at Pulau Sembilan dive site, visibility was poor.  But it was sufficient to make me excited all about underwater world. I was lucky enough to have Angel Tang to join me in my unscheduled outing that started with a trip down to Perhentian Island, Terengganu to discover the marine life.
Perhentian Island is one of the most popular islands in Peninsular Malaysia, it have more than 15 dive sites and about 18 dive centers to choices.
I have discovered Temple of Sea dive site, massive pinnacle and sandy bottom. it is one of the best dive site in the island. Good visibility with plenty of marine life , healthy mix of hard and soft corals Scopionfish, schools of yellow snappers, boxfish , puffer fish, green turtles, nudibranchs can be seen and don’t forget the cute clown fish in the movie Finding Nemo, the computer-animated comedy-drama. Almost every month I pay a visit to this beautiful island. It has become my second home since then.

Every time I relate my diving experience to my friends, there are two things that I cannot forget to tell them I bring with me - Lavocore thermo guard and colorful beach pants.
I usually get that funny look, then they the question pops out, “why u like to wear the colourful pants, every time you dive?”
With a smile I answer” So that shark doesn’t attack me.”  I was told by Jonn Benedict Lu of Sharksavers Singapore. “More people die per year from dog bites, lightning strikes, than people dying from shark attack”, Shark normally doesn’t attack human.
Last  August, I went on a weekend break to Sabah. The trip was just about 30 minute of bus and boat ride from Kota Kinabalu International Airport. I reached the paradise of clear water and powder-fine beaches of the Gaya Island Resort located on Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park. It has always been my desire to see that exotic island and scuba diving.
Tunku Abdul Rhman Marine Park has over 25 named sites, all with their own marvels and catering to all levels of divers.
I decided to choose the Eddell Patches and Sulug North dive sites as there two are most popular sites at Marine Park.
During my trip I bumped into some Singapore divers, we share a lot of Scuba diving memory and jokes about our two countries.
After 2 great dives I ended up unwinding myself with a class of wine at infinity pool to make my trip an awesome one.City folks gear up to get out of your busy city life.