The Management Team
Kenneth “Ned” Holohan
Ned – SSI Assisitant Instructor Trainer, PADI Staff Instructor and all round good egg. Ned has many years of experience diving here in Alona having started here as an open water student. As a highly trained critical care nurse, Ned brings many skills to his job, including but not limited to a fantastic knowledge of care for divers small ailments and a great bedside manner (no that’s not a hint girls). He is all about FUN, so whilst the consummate professional around the shop, there is never a dull moment when Ned is around.
(known as the “tall skinny guy with the baldy head” to those who don’t know him, the rest of call him… well, NED of course, but secretly he would like to be known as the best dressed instructor on the beach)
Ned teaches from Open water right up to Assistant Instructor with both PADI & SSI.
Deep, Wreck, Eanx Nitrox, O2 Provider
Favourite dive site: Gak-Ang
John “oi” Parish
John – Shop Manager, Tech Instructor, Recreational Instructor and deep hypoxic trimix diver with a deepest dive of 102m. John brings many years of experience in the dive shop business as well as a travelling instructor & guide who has organised many trips around the world including liveaboards in the Red Sea, Thailand, Indonesia, Galapagos and Truk Lagoon amongst others. John has an intimate knowledge of all things deep and technical, his Nitrox course is like no other, which is probably why he teaches more course for SSI than just about anyone in the Philippines!
Known as “the tall guy with the beard and the hat” to those who don’t yet know him, “oi” to his girlfriend and “JP” to his close friends, really the rest of us should probably be calling him “Mr Nitrox”.
John teaches from Advanced Open Water/Advanced Adventurer up to Divemaster with both PADI & SSI and down to 50m with both PADI and TDI.
Deep, Wreck, Eanx Nitrox, SMB (Surface Marker Buoy), Night & Limited Visiblity, Science of Diving, Dry Suit, Scooters/DPV’s, Equipment Techniques, Boat Diving, Navigation, Photo & Video, Perfect Buoyancy, Cavern & Cenote, Stress & Rescue, Marine Ecology, Altitude Diving, First Aid & CPR, Ice Diving
Lizel – Dive Shop Ninja – Lizel brings many years of customer service experience having worked on Alona Beach since the age of 15. Her passion for diving shines through in everything she does. Always here with a smiling face to greet you, you won’t be able to resist falling in love with her winning perosnality.
Whilst only a recreational diver, Lizel is always there with a helping hand for new divers and is great with translating to both Tagalog and Visayan for our local customers.
Dive Level: Advanced Open Water
Favourite dive site: The Wreck
Favourite thing to see here: The beautiful batfish
Most want to see: A Seahorse
Dream dive destination: Tubbataha Reef of course!
Instructors & Dive Masters
Ryan “Ryan Air” Efondo
Ryan – Divemaster – With his many, many years of experience diving in Alona it was of no surprise to anyone that Ryan won the coveted Valm Divers Divemaster of the Year award in 2018. Not many divemasters get requested by so many returning guests, mostly for his amzing calm and friendly manner, but also his legendary eye for spotting critters that so many guests come back and back to see and photograph.
Favourite dive site: The House Reef
Favourite critter: Nudibranchs
Would love to see: A Mermaid
Dream dive destination: Tubbataha
Carlo G Holganza
Carlo – Instructor – Also known as the local “hippie” (fashion choice, tell us about it…), embodies the word “Chill”.
He’s our Filipino SSI/PADI instructor who describes himself as generally OK dude! He’s a fun-loving guy, easy to talk to and get along with, and loves to share his passion for diving with all our students and guests.
Got questions about which diving destinations to visit next in the Philippines? He’s the guy to talk to having worked previously in Malapascua and Dumaguete.
A Macro-lover, so he’s the guy to go diving with if you’re keen on uber slow-paced dives scouring the wall, the sand and the sea grass in search for the small critters. Nobody finds more Robust Ghost Pipefishes than Carlo!
Be careful where you put your fins and hands though as he’s VERY STRICT with bouyancy!
Carlo teaches with unbounding passion from DSD/Try Dive all the way to Dive Master with both SSI and PADI.
Specialties include: Deep, Peak Performance Bouyancy/Perfect Bouyancy, Eanx Nitrox, EFR/React Right & 02 Provider
The Captain & Boat Crew
Jeyred – Speedboat Driver Extroadinaire – Jeyred is always here in the morning with a smile and a real grafter. He is always available help divers with equipment and transport to and from our large Banka for our dive trips and then takes great care to drop off and pick up our local divers throughout the day. Speedboat driver of the year 2018 no less!
Cito – Speedboat Driver & Boatman – Our newest member of the team comes with many years of experience and is an all round lovely guy. Hardworking team player, Cito, has slotted right into our family at Valm Divers and we hope to have him for a long time to come.
Alfred – Boatman – Our hardest of hard working boatman is very experienced on both the speedboat and the large Banka, Alfred is normally there on our Balicasag trips to help load and unload all our divers and their equipment, keep an eye for safety and assist the Captain in mooring up. A real team player and always around when there is a laugh and a joke to have 🙂
Short for “Mollycoddled” our beautiful little Belgian Malinois puppy Molly is the one guarding the dive shop 🙂 as well as providing stress relief for anyone who wants to give her a gentle stroke. She is a very nice natured dog and just loves to play.
She is just a puppy so she can be a bit nippy if approached, but she is actually kept out of the way so please don’t be afraid if dogs are not your thing. She actually sits very quietly while she takes in the beautiful sea air on Alona Beach.
Valm Divers Banka
Our trusty workhorse for the 30 minute ride out to Balicasag and our other trips around Panglao, the banka is the perfect boat for these waters.
It glides easily over the shallow reefs to get you near shore whilst also being a reasonably stable platform to dive from.
Powered by a large 6 cylinder diesel engine what she lacks in speed she makes up for in comfort.
Complete with CR and kitchen facilities there are comfortable areas to sit and relax. She boasts large flat platform at the bow for giant stride or seated entries.
We always carry an oxygen and first aid kits. Life jackets are provided at the shop before we set off.
The large canopy provides shade from the beating sun, but you are reminded that sunscreen is still a good idea, just please make sure it is coral safe!
Even at capacity she is not a crowded boat and you will have space to spread out a little and enjoy the ride out and surface interval.