Malapascua Exotic Island Dive Resort has once again attracted the attention of professional diver documentary makers and is featured on Animal Planet television word wide. In the past we have played host to such esteemed photographers as Jonathon Bird, Doug Perine and Gutsy Tuason, all of whom have opted to dive and reside with the pioneer dive resort on Malapascua to document the Thresher Shark.
Our most recent professional visitor was British documentary maker Monty Hall. Who created a unique film about the Thresher Sharks and Malapascua Island, for his series Monty Hall’s Great Ocean Adventures, shown worldwide on Animal Planet. The film also featured our unique House Reef project, which Monty himself helped add our most recent structure to.
First take for Monty and Scott on Exotic 1
The boat crew and Monty ready to depart for Monad Shoal
After a successful shoot Monty and Scott disembark Exotic 1
Carrying their professional camera equipment with smiles on their faces – success!
The thresher shark picture that led to those smiles!
The famous thresher shark, a regular visitor of Monad Shoal
Monty lending a helping hand to the local boys
Adding the finishing touches to our new thresher shark structure
Filming the loading of this rather heavy metal structure
The owner watches as the new structure is prepared for house reef
Local boat crews securing the structure ready for its short journey to house reef
At house reef finding the right location
The official dumping!
Monty Hall’s Great Ocean Adventure Book featuring thresher sharks at Monad Shoal
Scott Tuason’s Bahura book featuring photos from Exotic’s very own House Reef
Scott is a regular visitor at Exotic, preferring to stay and dive with the original and most experienced thresher shark divers on Malapascua. His dive guide is always Totong Dayday, who was the first local divemaster to dive on Monad shoal with the Thresher sharks in 1987 when Exotic first opened their doors for divers. We are always very happy to accommodate Scott who is widely regarded as one of the Philippines foremost marine photographers.
He started Scuba diving at the age of eleven in 1979. At that time he was diving without a license and had to wait until he was thirteen to get his first real formal training. By the time he was fifteen he was an advanced open water diver, and for his birthday Scott’s father gave him his first underwater camera. It was a Nikonos 5 w a 35mm lens. Through many years of trial and error he used that camera to transform what he saw underwater to pictures; most of the time with very poor results. However he knew by now that underwater photography was not something that could be learnt overnight. Scott went to college in 1986 at the University of Tampa with the hopes of getting a degree in marine biology. He never finished his marine – bio degree, instead he got a B.S. in economics and a minor in art (photography). It was in those classes where he started to learn, not so much the technical aspects of photography but the art of seeing things.
Scott has been diving for 27 years and taking underwater pictures for 20 years. In 1990 he got an Open Water Instructor rating from PADI. Today Scott has logged over 4000 dives. He has dived all over the Philippines with the exception of the northern tip of Luzon and the eastern side of the Visayas and Mindanao. Outside of the Philippines, Scott has been fortunate enough to dive Australia, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Maldives, Thailand, Myanmar, Vietnam, Papua New Guinea, Palau & Yap, Florida, Jamaica, Mexico, Bahamas and the Cayman Islands. Scott has just recently fulfilled his dream of diving with Great White sharks off the coast of Mexico.
Some of his favourite sites include Anilao, Batangas for macro photography and the Sulu Sea for wide-angle shots. He contributes regularly to Asian Diver, Sport Diving Australia, Scuba Globe Asia Pacific and Action Asia, including their “Adventure guide to the Philippines”. Scott has 3 coffee table books one entitled “The Philippine Coral Reefs in Watercolor”. This book was done together with painter, Rafael Cusi. The other a large format picture book on the marine animals of Anilao, co-authored with Eduardo Cu Unjieng. The Anilao book won an award for photography at the 19th Philippine National book awards and the World grand prize for underwater image books at the 27th World Festival of Underwater Images in Antibes, France in the year 2000. As well in 2000 his photo of Mating Mandarin fish won first place at the Los Angeles Underwater Photographic Society’s international competition in the digital print category. His Turtle shot was runner-up in the Wide Angle print category and a Grey reef shark photo was honourable mentioned in the same category. His photos also placed 2nd in the WOW Philippines contest for both underwater and topside category.
Scott’s 3rd book entitled The Ultimate Orient Philippine South Sea Pearls was published in March 2002; it is the story of the pearl told in pictures. He was commissioned by Jewelmer International to shoot the book, which was a corporate gift to their preferred clients. Scott was also a major contributor to the recently published South East Asia Diving Guide by Periplus books. His photographs were also displayed at the Philippine booth during the 1998 and 2004 World Expo. They are also being used by the Philippine Department of Tourism for their WOW Philippines ad campaign.
Over the past several years Scott has aided in the conservation of whale sharks in Donsol, Sorsogon. He contributes photographs to the World Wildlife Fund, which helps in the identification of individual animals found in the area. Scott also gives slide shows during fund-raisers for their different projects and contributes photos for their annual report and calendar. He is a founding member of the Concerned Divers for the Philippines, a non-profit organization that brings awareness to environmental issues affecting the oceans. Some of their projects include coral reef surveys, giant clam seeding, and reef clean-ups. Recently Scott has also been a supporter of Greenpeace (he was invited on-board the Rainbow Warrior and Esperanza) and is also involved with Reef Check.
Scott has just recently launched his 4th forth book titled BAHURA – A Passage through Philippine Reefs, a large format picture book shot on location all over the Philippines and featuring many photographs taken at Exotic’s very own House Reef. Scott is currently working on two books, one on Anilao and the other on Tubbataha reef in conjunction with WWF-Philippines. Scott is a regular contributor to Asian Diver (Singapore), Sport Diving (Australia), Scuba Globe Asia Pacific (Thailand) and Philippine Diver & Thai Diver. He has had over 75 articles and 18 magazine covers published in various magazines from all over the world. Some of them include Sport Diver (UK), Skin Diver (USA),Ocean Realm(USA), Action Asia(HK),Dykking(Norway),Plongeurs(France),Hors Ligne(Switzerland),Fathoms (USA) & Scuba Diver Australasia (Australia).