Thresher Shark Divers
Thresher Shark Divers is based on Bounty Beach, Malapascua Island, just off the north tip of Cebu Island in the Philippines. We are located in the middle of a picture perfect white sandy beach near to all the main facilities.
We are a PADI 5 Star Dive IDC Center, so you know that we adhere to the high standards of PADI. We have an in-house Course Director as well as several PADI Master Instructors and a Technical Instructor. Our regular PADI Awards and status as one of the top PADI Dive Centers in the Philippines stand as testaments to our top quality service.
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Thresher Shark Divers was started by Andrea in 2004. Since then TSD has grown to be one of the most well known and well respected dive shops in the Philippines, noted for their professionalism, dedication to safety, but most of all for their fun approach to diving.
Andrea is a PADI Master Instructor and has a wide range of experience. She previously worked as an instructor in Thailand and the Caribbean and prior to Thresher Shark Divers, owned a dive school in San Francisco, California. The kelp beds and sea lions of Monterey Bay were fabulous, but the tropics beckoned her, and she moved to her new paradise, Malapascua Island. She has certified countless divers and done thousands of dives around Malapascua alone.
Your first contact with TSD will probably be Andrea who will answer all of your questions and help make all your arrangements.
Toni Plaza is the crème de la crème of diving instructors, our PADI Course Director 🙂
At TSD, Andrea will only employ instructors who are top of their field, to ensure you get the best dive education possible.Toni, is one of the best instructors we have ever come across and we hope you will feel the same way too. Hailing from Barcelona, where he previously owned his own dive school, the has also taught in the Maldives and Mexico, before deciding to head further east to TSD. He still loves teaching at every level, from Open Water up to Instructor and you can see his face lights up every time he talks about anything diving. Toni will be in charge of your program and will be your main contact throughout, although you will likely work with all the instructors at some point.
Toni is also PADI Tech Instructor, a very safety conscious diver and a lover of sharks and moray eels.
- Instructor Specialty Trainer ratings: Drift, Shark Conservation, Deep, Dive Against Debris, Dry suit, Nitrox, Night, Underwater Naturalist, Underwater Navigator, Wreck, Oxygen Provider, Sidemount, Self-Reliant
- Tec Instructor
- PADI Emergency First Response and Care for Children Instructor Trainer
Leon is our Operations Manager, and also is a PADI Master Instructor - the elite of dive educators. You cannot earn this rating through training alone; it is earned by proven experience of teaching a wide range and large number of PADI courses, and usually takes several years to obtain.
Although Leon's main job is running the shop, he is also very involved in the intern program.
Leon was born and raised in the Netherlands in 1970. He started teaching diving in 1996 and been an active member ever since.
He can teach many specialties and can teach in Dutch, English, German and Spanish. He is also an avid photographer and can take photos of you, for you or with you.
Before getting hooked on diving he was a chef in the Netherlands and worked on the ferries from Holland to England for over 7 years. During that time he went on holiday to Cuba and - in a similar story to most of us at TSD - fell in love with scuba diving after taking his first breaths underwater. The rest is history…
He completed his PADI Divemaster and Instructor Courses back in 1996 and rather than teaching in the cold waters of Holland, made the life changing decision to move abroad to the Caribbean. He moved between the Dominican Republic, Jamaica and Mexico for 21 years diving, managing and setting up new dive centers before making his latest move to the Philippines to take over as Operations Manager at TSD in 2018.
Leon is still in love with teaching and despite moving into a management role, still teaches regularly and re-kindled his other passion of underwater photography during the pandemic, when there was very little else going on.
You will have a lot of contact with Leon during your program.
Toni and Leon are backed up by a team of multilingual instructors from around the around, and you will get to work with some or all of them during your time with us. You will certainly get to know them! They each bring to TSD difference experiences and backgrounds, work history, as well as teaching methods - as there is no one right way. Working with them all will make you a more well rounded Divemaster 🙂
Our local PADI Divemasters, mostly born and bred on Malapascua Island have done many thousands of dives here and know each dive site like the back of their hand. You will dive with them a lot, so follow them and watch and learn. They are particularly good at finding all the hidden critters with perfect camouflage for which Malapascua is so famous.
You will get to know our Filipino dive guides, boat staff and shop staff very well. You could not hope to meet a friendlier bunch of people and they are a delight to work with. You will work side by side with them during your internship and as well as having a good time, you will learn a lot from them. Some of our interns become very close to our staff and their families as they all live nearby.
Our boat staff are simply wonderful. Most people who dive with us say they are the best boat crew they have ever come across. They are friendly, helpful and always smiling.
Cathy and Jess lead our office team. Jun-Jun and Andy work in the compressor room and are our general odd-job men. Jun-Jun wins the prize for the biggest smile in the shop.
Bar & Restaurant Staff
The guys and gals at Oscar's bar and restaurant look after all your cocktails requirements, giggle a lot, and are always available for a game of backgammon, liar's dice, Connect 4, or to challenge you to a Rubik's Cube Face Off.
Last but definitely not least, are our most popular members of staff, Sally and her rowdy brother Oliver...
Update: Sadly, we have recently lost both Sally and Oliver, but it breaks our hear to remove them from the page. In their places we have several local rescue dogs including Jack and Sally (Mark II!)