The Man behind Diveshoppe

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He is a big guy, with an even bigger heart. You think you can move faster than him, but you are sadly mistaken. He can outplay you in Badminton anytime and he moves through the current like a fish. Well, a big fish. Except for that one time that it got really wild and I saw him tumble backwards..

He hardly gets all worked up about anything. He has the patience, to tell you things again and again, until you remember. (or until I wrote them all down because I am so very forgetful..) He does not expect you to accept everything he tells you. He waits for you to ask questions and then he shows you why what he is saying is true. He waits for you to have an open mind that can be taught. And then he teaches you.

He does not claim to be the best. But he’s certified over a thousand divers to date and there are zero accidents under his watch. Which makes it sound like he is the best. I have never taken lessons from a different instructor so I cannot claim that he is the best. But he has taught me more than what was required.

He can take you to face your fear and be done with it. He can convince you that you can do things that seem impossible, and you discover afterwards that you have accomplished a greatness beyond your wildest imaginings. He is like a pot that never empties. He can motivate you to be the kind of person that you only ever hoped to be. The belief that anybody can dive is made real by his enduring patience and love for diving.

But he is very modest. I am sure he will feel a little strange to find out that I have written things about him yet again.

I am certain that he is one of the best diving instructors in the world. He always goes an extra mile for everyone around him.

Posted by : Ali

Photography: Tom & Paz (Palau & Anilao)

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20 Comments

  1. There is probably no one that will even come close to how this guy handles his students. Yes,I have met many dive instructors in the past, but I have yet to meet one as passionate about the sport as Dave. I am proud to have been trained by him and will continue to promote his services to others (except laundry service) for as long as the sport continues to exists. The “Best diving instructor” is an understatement. Oh, did I mention that he is also a great Dad? Happy Father’s day! Maraming, maraming salamat Dave.

  2. Hi there people…..thank you very, very much for all your Heart fattening and Head enlarging comments!!!! Sobra naman kayo!!! I just love all of you so much and I love sharing this beautiful and unique sport with all of you!!! Lets keep diving!!!

  3. wow…. nakakaiyak naman ng comments syo pre… huhuhu…pero sa totoo lang yang si dave… pusong mamon din yan iyakin din yan… tingin ko binabasa nya yung mga comments about him… baka teary-eyed na siya… heheh…….. pero d’best yan si dave…. !!!! INUMAN NA!!!

  4. Sobra ka naman Doc Bong….binubuking mo ako!!! hehe

  5. dddddaaaavvvveeee, musta na, I was browsing friendster and I got a hold on Bong page, then ayun tuloy tuloy na, looking fr friends here and there. Musta na kayo? I miss everyone.. This guy is really a big guy and very huggable,, hehehehe pwede sumo wrestler but then I know you are the best in everything. Keep it up and keep in touch. Kamusta sa lahat. uuwi ako inuman na ulit, heheheh wala nag pipigil sa akin hahahahahahaha.

  6. howdy May…..welcome back to the circle …nice talking to you last night glad everything is going well.

  7. Good am Sir Dave,

    Merry Christmas and A Happy New Year to you, your family, and to the rest of the diveshoppe family. Thank you rin po for the dedication and patience you showed us while teaching the open water course. I must say your manner of teaching and the way you conducted the course is very professional and all knowing giving myself full confidence in you. I am greatful i learned scuba diving from you. Again thank you and God bless.

  8. Hi doc angel….thank you very, very much for you compliments. Let us dive soon…hehe Merry Christmas to you and your family too.

  9. dave, sorry i almost forgot your birthday. HAPPY BIRTHDAY TSONG. Iinom na lang kita dito. May you have lots of birthdays to come. Regards to paz and the kids. Take care and I’ll keep in touch.

  10. Wow pre……Finally…..I have found you!!!! Tagal tagal na kita hinahanap at gusto ma contact. Kamusta Family….regards kay lisa. advance happy birthday sa inaanak ko!!!! April 13 diba??? Will email you later…medyo rush lang ako ngayon dun kita email sa kokfuentes email mo. Take care pre

  11. Long time no see and hear Mike. I’m glad you found our site. Okay naman kami lahat ng mga bata. Nasaan na ba kayo, Canada? Tuwang tuwa talaga si Dave na nahanap mo siya. Do keep in touch 🙂

  12. Hi dave and paz
    finally nahanap din namin kayo. we miss you guys. ilan na ba ang mga anak nyo? do you still live in manila? what is the best tiime to call you? tawagan namin kayo. nasa vancouver, canada pala kami. lamig dito. anyway mali pala ang binigay ni mike na email address sa inyo. Please use this address: ldcfuentes@shaw.ca. Ano pala ang phone # nyo? xoxoxo lisa

  13. xxxx

  14. Hi Lisa. Dave’s cell is +639209612317. You can call him anytime but he is leaving for Palau, Micronesia tomorrow night and will be back on April 9. We have three kids ages 16, 13 & 6. How about you guys?

  15. Mike/ Lisa….emailed you several times…..did you receive them??

  16. Hi all, we also had the experience to dive with Dave and find out his way of teaching.
    We where also certified bij Dave last may.
    I will be probably back in the Phils. on october for a week.
    We had a great time spending in Anilao, also the Karaoke in the evening wih Dave, Jett and Abby.

    Good luck to you all

    Bob & Mayette and the Kids

  17. HOW ARE YOU DOING DAVE? I DON’T KNOW IF YOU REMEMBER ME BUT I HAPPEN TO COME ACROSS YOUR WEBSITE WHEN I WAS GOOGLING DIVE SHOPS IN THE PHILIPPINES. IT HAS BEEN AWHILE SINCE I HAVE BEEN HOME TO THE PHILIPPINES . I AM PLANNING TO GO HOME NEXT YEAR AND MAY LOOK INTO DIVING AGAIN. I AM TRYING TO CONVINCE MY AMERICAN INSTRUCTOR TO TAG ALONG AND DO SOME DIVING WHILE WE LOOK FOR PLACES IN MANILA TO COMPETE IN BRAZILIAN JIUJITSU. HAVE YOU HEARD FROM ANY OF MY FORMER GROUPMATES. WHEN YOU GET A CHANCE TRY TO EMAIL ME. GIVE MY REGARDS TO PAZ. JOSELU

  18. Hello Jose Lu…..of course I remember you!!!! very very well…..so how long have you been gone???? ever since we use to hang out at scuba world San Juan??? By the way are you still a practicing OT??? So still in the martial arts…thats nice to hear!!!! So where are you based now??

  19. Hello Dave! Last time I went home was in 2000 to visit my Dad when he got sick. I have been planning to go back home but with work and the kids going to school and doing a lot of activiities it just makes it hard to find time to be away from Terre Haute, Indiana for an extended period. Yes I am still practicing OT which has really been good to me and I pretty much control my work schedule and caseload. Anyway, I am seriously thinking about going home to the Philippines and have my daughter and son spend some time with my parents during their summer break next year. I am also thinking about bringing my friend around the beautiful beaches we have and have been bragging about diving in the Philippines. I will make sure to give you a call once I finalize things so we can hang out and do some diving. Have you heard from our other group mates? When I went home in 2000 I tried to visit Karen and Mahalia but they had already gotten married and moved away. Well, it was nice to hear from you. I will keep in touch. JoseLu

  20. Yes….Karen is in Cagayan de Oro, mahalia is around somewhere here in Manila. Robert is atill aroun d and dives actively. Am still in touch withPaqui too.


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