The sea floor sloped down as we made our way from the shallows to the murky depths, ready to take on our first and possibly best diving experience at Jpark Island Resort and Waterpark in Mactan Island.

It seems difficult to believe but just half an hour before, we put on our first wet suit and oxygen tank and learned how to correctly breathe underwater at the resort’s simulation pool used only for diving exercises.

We learned the underwater language of divers: thumbs up to go up, thumbs down to venture down further, forming a circle using thumb and index fingers while raising three other fingers for “okay.”

The dive master of Marine Boy Water Sports Center, which operates within the Jpark Island Resort and offers a host of water activities including diving and the best stand up paddle boards. H prepared us for possible occurrences underwater: in case we accidentally let go of our breathing regulator or water gets under our masks and what to do when the pressure build-up leads to pain in our ears.

Jpark Island Resort and Waterpark diving
FANTASTIC VIEW, AWESOME EXPERIENCE. Diving off Jparl Island Resort and Waterpark in Mactan Island is an out-of-this-world experience, especially for people like us who just learned how to dive.


Jpark Island diving package

As beginners to the underwater scene, we made our way down the sea through the beach.

I have to admit it was scary going so far down the sea it had become darker and colder but my fear soon gave way to excitement at the scene that unfolded before us.

Splashes of green, purple, red, yellow, orange, and black greeted us in the varieties of fish, corals, and seagrass that grow and live beneath the Mactan sea.

The underwater scene is a treasure trove of slopes and steep walls, seagrass beds and drop-offs, plateaus and caverns populated by a rainbow of marine life, and you can experience the beauty of this vast liquid world through the diving activities offered at Jpark Island Resort and Waterpark.

Jpark Island Resort and Waterpark Diving
TRAINING. Before you head out to sea, the dive master provides a short training in the pool that will introduce you to using your equipment, safety protocols, and hand signals.


Best diving spot

Sports, entertainment, and activities (SEA) manager Carlo Cajoles said the part of the sea just in front of Jpark is among Mactan’s best diving spots.

“This is why Jpark can offer beach entry. The diving spot is very accessible to us, and it’s one of the most beautiful in Mactan. There exists in that area a wall full of corals. This is why we are trying very hard to have this declared into a marine sanctuary from being a protected area,” he added.

As we swam underwater, we couldn’t help but agree with him. We passed by harmless schools of Nemos and other varieties I do not recognize and a solitary lion fish here and there to remind that the sea is beautiful but it can be deadly.

The guides provided by Marine Boy Water Sports Center brought bread and it was fun to see these underwater creatures rushing to get the bits and pieces of food that we scattered around.

We stopped at a lush spot and had our photos taken and too soon it was back up to dry land.

Jpark Island Resort and Waterpark diving
UNDERWATER. Our group underwater just several meters away from the Jpark Island Resort and Waterpark shore in Mactan Island.


Jpark diving rates

Although my jaw was tired and my mouth dry from clamping down firmly on the breathing equipment, it was a wonderful though brief sojourn beneath the sea. Marine Boy at Jpark Island Resort provided us, first-timers, with our best diving experience.

I don’t know about my other companions but I couldn’t wait to do that again.

Interested in exploring this underwater world? This diving package is for US$60 per person and includes free training and briefing at the pool, diving companion for each guest, unlimited pictures and videos that will be saved in a CD, and use of diving equipment. Including the training, this runs for a maximum of an hour and 20 minutes.

Call 0927-3541216 (tap on number to call on your phone) for bookings and inquiries. You can visit the Jpark Island Facebook page at or follow its Twitter account at

Jpark Island Resort and Waterpark Diving
BACK AT THE SURFACE. Learning how to dive in Jpark Island Resort and Waterpark counts as one of our best experiences.

Marlen is the editor of and co-founder of Cebu-based journalism startup InnoPub Media.

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