Trish’s remarkable journey toward becoming a certified Divemaster takes on even greater significance as she becomes the first local candidate sponsored by Reef Haven. This accomplishment highlights Reef Haven’s primary goal of supporting and empowering individuals within the local community.

Reef Haven’s commitment to creating transformative experiences aligns perfectly with Trish’s path. Starting as a barista on June 1, 2021, Trish faced the challenges of transitioning into customer service, a journey that was made easier with the unwavering support of her colleagues. Little did she know that her life would take a remarkable turn.

On September 25, 2021, Trish’s world was forever changed as she embarked on her first scuba diving adventure. The awe-inspiring beauty beneath the waves ignited a curiosity within her, leading her to pursue scuba certifications. By May 2022, Trish proudly obtained her Open Water certification, blissfully unaware of the incredible journey that awaited her.

Throughout her pursuit, Trish encountered moments of self-doubt and feelings of inadequacy, particularly during her Advanced Open Water course on October 9, 2022. Yet, her determination and the unwavering support of her diving community propelled her forward, reaffirming her commitment to her dreams.

On February 7, 2023, Trish faced another challenge during her EFR (Emergency First Response) training. Overcoming communication obstacles in emergency scenarios required resilience and guidance, which she found through her dedicated instructor.

The subsequent Rescue Diver course, starting on February 22, 2023, proved to be Trish’s most demanding yet rewarding trial. Despite the difficulties, she emerged stronger, more confident, and filled with a sense of accomplishment that further fueled her passion.

March 8, 2023, marked a significant milestone in Trish’s journey as she embarked on her Dive Master Training (DMT), fully embracing the responsibility of assisting others in their scuba journeys. As the first local candidate sponsored by Reef Haven, Trish became a beacon of inspiration, representing the values and goals of the diving shop in supporting and uplifting the local community.

Trish’s story is a powerful testament to the transformative power of pursuing one’s passions. She expresses deep gratitude towards Reef Haven, whose sponsorship and exceptional training became the foundation of her success. Reef Haven’s commitment to the local community and its unwavering support of Trish highlights its dedication to providing opportunities and making dreams come true.

With her newly earned Dive Master status, Trish is determined to pay forward the incredible opportunities she received. Despite her age, she carries herself with confidence, fully capable of guiding others through the wonders of the underwater world and inspiring them to pursue their dreams.

From being a barista to becoming a certified Divemaster, Trish’s awe-inspiring journey symbolizes the immense power of perseverance, self-belief, and community support. Her story serves as a reminder that within each dive lies the potential for transformation, and with the unwavering support of a community, the possibilities are endless.

We have a special message from Trish, a remarkable individual whose life took a transformative turn through her experiences at Reef Haven.

I began my journey as a barista, stepping into the unfamiliar realm of customer service with no prior experience. Being an introvert, it was challenging for me to initiate conversations with new people every day. I often felt frustrated by my slow progress and frequent corrections from my employer, but I am grateful for their patience. At Reef Haven, the diving shop that became my second home, I was given the opportunity to assist with various tasks. Although I initially felt unsure and lost, the team taught me everything, including how to assemble and disassemble scuba equipment. I found joy and a sense of belonging in these tasks, particularly in carrying the tanks, which quickly became my favorite responsibility.

With the support of those around me, I slowly began to make progress. Working at the diving shop was fun and allowed me to feel more comfortable being myself. I even had the chance to assist divers on the boat, which made me feel like a part of the diving community. I vividly remember my immense pride when I was entrusted with folding the surface marking buoy.

Whenever we had students, I felt genuine happiness for them because they were being allowed to obtain a scuba diving license and experience the wonders of the underwater world. I would tell myself, “Your time will come, even if it’s just for a Discover Scuba Diving or Open Water course. At least you have a lifetime license!” And then, my wish was granted. My instructor, Julienne, offered me the chance to try scuba diving, and it turned out to be the best day of my life. I will never forget the feeling of my first breath underwater and the incredible realization that such a magical world exists beneath the surface. I took every opportunity to experience scuba diving again, sometimes even volunteering to act as a victim during training exercises.

However, life took a turn, and I had to leave Reef Haven and move to Calapan. I felt deeply sad, unable to envision myself pursuing college studies or finding fulfillment elsewhere. Sitting alone in my room, I longed to return to Reef Haven in Puerto Galera and work with the incredible team again. At that moment, I realized that “opportunity aligns with every decision you make.” Despite the challenges and uncertainty, I chose to drop out of school and return to Reef Haven. Fortunately, my family understands and supports my decision, never questioning my happiness.

Little did I know that Reef Haven had an immense opportunity waiting for me. Julienne and Steve, my employers, presented me with an email that changed everything. I discovered that I would begin my Open Water course the next day, and to my astonishment, Reef Haven would sponsor me to Dive Master. Initially, I only aspired to become a Certified Open Water diver, unaware of the incredible journey ahead.

My journey was filled with ups and downs, self-doubt, and countless challenges. However, with every obstacle, I gained confidence. Speaking in front of others was particularly difficult, and giving briefings was a major challenge. I owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to my instructor, Julienne. Her patience, inspiration, and tough love have shaped me into the diver I am today. During my training, I am also grateful to Ate Rose, a mentor, role model, and instructor. Scuba diving truly transformed my life, and witnessing beginners complete their certifications fills me with an overwhelming sense of fulfillment. I see myself in them, conquering their fears. It’s never easy to face your fears, but it’s something you must do. I have always been afraid of trying new things and stepping out of my comfort zone. But I constantly remind myself, “Thrive beyond your fears!”

Reef Haven has been the gateway to my improbable dream. The training, knowledge, experience, and quality of service they provide are exceptional beyond words. I want to thank everyone who has supported me on this journey. Mama and Papa, I am now a Dive Master! Thank you for allowing me to pursue my passion and your unwavering support. To my aunties, Tita Gina, Tita Allyn, Tita Ebel, and Tiya Marj, thank you for always cheering me up and believing in me. Thank you, Ate Jacke, for supporting me from the beginning, and Ate Jhe, for lending me your jet fins. Ocean Brew and the entire Reef Haven team, you are simply the best. Ate Melai, Ate Mhean, Kuya Vhalk, Kuya Jing, Miggy, Jude, and the boat crew, Kuya Ferdi, Kuya Thax, Kuya Basil, and Kuya Bon. I look up to you all and have learned so much from each of you. Special thanks to Captain Mick and Dive Master Gary for their guidance and support. And to my second family in Puerto Galera, Tita Cora, and Tito Fred, thank you.

To my instructor, Julienne, I cannot express enough gratitude for your unwavering belief in me, constant support, and dedication to bringing out the best in me. Without you, I would not be a proud Dive Master today. It’s now my turn to give back to the community and offer others the same life-changing opportunities that were given to me. Though I may be young, I am confident in my ability to guide others into the wondrous world beneath the waves.

Thank you all from the bottom of my heart.


Reef Haven will continue to be a beacon of support and guidance for aspiring divers in Puerto Galera, providing them with exceptional training, knowledge, and experiences. Their commitment to the local community and their belief in the potential of individuals like Trish will ensure that more dreams are realized and more lives are forever changed through the beauty and wonder of the underwater world.

Dive into adventure, chase your dreams, and remember the inspiring story of Trish, whose journey from a barista to a Dive Master is a testament to the incredible possibilities that await those who dare to explore the depths and embrace the unknown.

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