Return to Website

Sibalenhon Web Forum

Welcome to our Sibalenhon Web Forum and feel free to share your views/outlooks for the development of our beloved island Sibale!

Maliy kamo, kita'y mag-kamustahan ag mag suyat it ato mga pananaw at kuro-koro, subaleng usa kina sa parayan adong lalung mapaganda pa nato ka ato pinalanggang banwa!



This Forum is intended to encourage public debate.  We expect people to differ - judgment and opinion are subjective things, and we encourage freedom of speech and a marketplace of ideas.  

However, due to unprofessionalism of some users that we have observed lately, "RULES IN POSTING" is hereby instituted.  This serves as guidelines for us especially for those individuals not putting their real names,  their posting(s) will be deleted and the Internet Protocal (IP) address will be banned effective 13 September 2007, for the following grounds:


- Any things or materials contain vulgar, profane, abusive or hateful language, epithets or slurs, text or illustrations in poor taste, inflammatory attacks of a personal, racial or religious nature, or expressions of bigotry, racism, discrimination or hate.

- Any things or materials that are defamatory, threatening, disparaging, grossly inflammatory, false, misleading, deceptive, fraudulent, inaccurate, unfair, contains gross exaggeration or unsubstantiated claims, violates the privacy rights of any third party, is unreasonably harmful or offensive to any individual or community, contains any actionable statement, or tends to mislead or reflect unfairly on any other person, business or entity.


As per above rules, we reserve our right to remove any content posted in this forum at any time for any reason. 


Note: If necessary, you may request from the Web Forum Management about the IP address of any person violating this newly established Sibalenhon Web Forum's Posting Rules, for any legal action.  However, prior to release and banning of an IP address, we encourage you that you first present or post your request in this forum for public dialogue and deliberation to provide a fair action against such person or party involved.

Thanks for your cooperation.

By: Sibalenhon Web Forum Management



Sibalenhon Web Forum
Start a New Topic 
Diving to keep RP tourism afloat/ by Cheche V. Moral

..copied from Phil. Daily Inquirer/Sunday Lifestyle
November 23, 2008...

It's like owning a Ferrari and never driving it.

That's how Dave Allen likened the majority of Flipinos who don't scuba-dive. Allen is an American marine videographer and president and publisher of, an on-line forum for the international diving community. He has taken a special interest in the Philippine dive sites since his first visit three years ago.

Do you realize that you're in paradise and you've never been able to experience what Americans and Eurpeans will pay thousand of dollars for the privilege of going to see?" he asked rhetorically at the Dema (Diving Equipment and Marketing Asoociation) Show 2008 held recently at the Las Vegas Convention Center in Nevada, USA.

Allen is just one of the 6.9 million scuba divers in North America whom the the Philippine Department of Tourism (DOT) hopes will bouy the country's tourism industry through global economic crisis. The DOT bolstered its bid with its biggest participation yet in the Dema this year, targeting one of the "least affected" markets, according to Mary Anne Cuevas, Phil. tourism attache in the US Southwestern State and Latin America.


Diving is one of the DOT's so called "special-interest" markets, which it believes to be "recession-proof."(Others are the adventure sport, wellness and medical tourism markets). Meaning, divers may not go as often but will go at least once a year. "Let's say there are 6.9 million divers and 20% is wiped out," cited Vernie Velarde-Morales, Phil. tourism attache in the US, and Canada's Midwest Regions. 'But there's still over 5 million. If we target one percent of that, that's 50,000. That's big."

Lyn Funkhouser, a veteran underwater photographer based in Chicago who comes to dive in the Philppines for at least two months every year since 1976, shared that opinion. "It's pretty scary. I've never lived through anything like it," she said of the US economy. "But you always have people wealthy enough to travel and they will go. And those of us who have to save and scrimp may not be able to go as often, but the moment we have two nickels, we'll go."

Funkhouser, a former flight attendant who found herself in the country for the first time on a side trip at the height of martial law, now calls the Phil. her second home. "If I couldn't go, I'd feel deprived," she said. "It's like diving on LSD: It's out of this world!"

Coral Triangle

She also operates dive travels to the country, and speaks at dive sites titled "Simply the Best." "Well, it's the best," she said emphatically. The Phil. is right smack at the center of the "coral triangle'" the most bioligically diverse marine environment, according to the industry rag Scuba Diving. On the borders are Bali, Indonesia: the Solomon Islands and parts of Malaysia; Papua New Guinea and Timor Leste.

"You have 2,500 species of fish," Funkhouser said. "Austalia has 1,500. Who cares?" A subspeces of soapfish that has eluded her for decades she found only in Philipine waters. Funkhouser, who was on a boat that was fired on while on a medical mission during the Marcos years, pooh-poohed US travel advisories against the country. "It has nothing to do with safety," she said. It has everything to do with what we want to put economic sanctions on...When Saddam was chucking scuds in Israel, the Ohil. was in the travel advisory, but not Israel, and ther was no war going on in the Phlippines."

"The average American is safer in Davao than in LA," Allen, a Los Angeles native, also said. Funkhouser's fliers underscore that there's "No Malaria!" in the country, contradicting a claim of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 'I've talked to professors...There's none, except for a small corner of Palawan, which I'm not going to if not via helicopter. I don't listen to the State Department. I've gone there and I know it's wonderful."

Security queries

Cesario Calanoc III, a former ABS-CBN Star Circle talent named JR Herrera and now president of Activentures, a dive and golf travel firm based in San Francisco with its own resort in Anilao, Batangas, says this is the first time there were no queries on security. "We say it's safe. Next question." "In Europe we never hear that," noted Connecticut-based Mercy Agudo, VP of Marco Vincent Dive Resort in Puerto Galera. "But here we used to." "I'm not so bothered with the travel advisory because it's always been ther," said Emma Ruth Yulo, the tourism attache based in New York. "What's important is the personal experience," she added, referring to random incidents of theft and whatnot. "There's no cohesive tourism awareness in the country...Isa lang ang mabibiktima and[word] gets around...Isang e-mail lang."

Allen said what has been dismaying is that Phlippine resorts and some government entities don't respond to e-mail inquiries--or take forever to do so. ...