Freediving with purpose

Logo Conservation Freediving Bohol - Freediving Center Philippines
Logo Conservation Freediving Bohol- Freediving Philippines

Conservation Freediving Bohol

Conservation Freediving Bohol offers courses of marine conservation and freediving in the Philippines, on the island of Panglao, in the province of Bohol. The school operates the freediving courses under Apnea Total and AIDA freediving agencies.

Logo Apnea Green Environmental OrganizationApart from sharing the passion for freediving and raising awareness about environmental concerns among the visitors of the island, the primary objective of the conservation and freediving school is to logistically and financially support the Apnea Green Organization, a non-profit environmental organization which acts to protect marine resources and benefit local communities through freediving in the Philippines.

Conservation Freediving Bohol itself is a non-profit organization, and all the profit generated will be donated to the Apnea Green NGO in order to finance its activities in the Philippines. Come freedive in Panglao with us!

We offer certifying freediving courses with Apnea Total and AIDA freediving agencies, for beginner, advanced and master levels. We also offer personalized coaching sessions according to your needs.

Our instructors are fluent in English, Spanish, and French. They are all passionate freedivers who have several years of experience as freediving instructors, and all dive beyond 60m deep.

We offer a personalized teaching philosophy adapted to who you are and what you seek, based on quality rather than quantity, focused on the beauty of the experience rather than on the performance itself.

You will learn to let go and to explore new depths in comfort, relaxation and security.

Conservation Freediving Bohol (CFB) has been created with the objective of financially and logistically supporting the activities of the Apnea Green Organisation.

While Apnea Green provides free environmental courses to the local communities in order to monitor, maintain and rehabilitate the coral reefs in the Philippines, Conservation Freediving Bohol offers the same courses for a fee to the visitors of the island. Each course given through CFB is an opportunity for us to train members of local communities like fishermen, spearfishers, and tourist guides, … for free.

Logo OceanQuest Global

For the coral reef rehabilitation courses, we  partnered with the Ocean Quest Global organisation and their all-natural methodology, and we adapted their standards to freediving.

Logo Coral Watch Program

With regard to our coral monitoring training, we follow the “Coral Watch” methodology, a citizen science program launched by the University of Queensland in 2002.

Conservation Freediving Bohol has teamed up with Eco Warrior Mermaid to provide mermaiding courses incorporating environmental awareness and education.

We offer Eco Warrior Mermaid courses to local children for free, but also provide a full range of mermaid courses that will allow you to become one with the water. Building environmental awareness through art is the key message of eco mermaiding, so why not learn how to best protect the marine environment while you learn how to become a mermaid and dive in it? For a magical experience you won’t forget, we offer a special mermaid photoshoot package so that you can share your special underwater memories with family and friends.

If you are interested in community outreach here in Bohol, you are welcome to volunteer in the Eco Warrior Mermaid Program and help our mermaid instructor to teach some local kids how to swim while holding their breath, and to bring them some environmental awareness.

The practice of freediving is particularly adapted to take amazing underwater pictures. 

While scuba diving photography focuses more on close subjects and macros, the total absence of bubbles in freediving allows to shoot entire landscapes and more distant subjects, using the natural light to lit the scene. 

Conservation Freediving Bohol offers a discovery module and a complete three days course to delve into the specificities of freediving underwater photography. We also offer a more specific post-editing module and teach you how to apply filters to your pictures in order to get the best out of your underwater shoots.

And if you prefer to be on the other side of the camera, we also offer some professional level photo shootings, so that you can impress your friends and family on your favorite social media. 

The Conservation and freediving school is settled inside the premises of Almira Diving Resort, in Napaling Point, on the North shore of the island of Panglao, in the province of Bohol, in the Philippines. Napaling Point is the best place on the the island to practice freediving and snorkeling.

The dive site is located just in front of the resort, behind the Marine Protected Area, where you can see a colourful pattern of abundant sea life, including a huge school of sardines, and the occasional visit of whale sharks, dolphins, and even a blue whale, if you are lucky!

The resort itself offers comfortable rooms, a big swimming pool adapted to our pool sessions, a restaurant, and all the facilities you may need for your stay. We can get you a discount on the prices if you are interested in their services : Almira’s Facebook page  and Google page.

One of the best freediving spots in the world

The freediving site in Panglao is one of the best places on earth to learn freediving and is perfect for training. The available depths vary from 15m next to the Marine Protected Area for the beginner courses, to a depth of 95m at approximately one hundred meters from the shore for competitive freedivers. No need to take a boat, we can access the water whenever we want!

With water temperatures between 26°C and 30°C, no thermocline (same temperature at depth as on the surface), little to no current, barely no waves, and water visibility from 15m to 30m, this is the perfect spot to learn and train freediving in the Philippines. These unique conditions allow us to dive 95% of the time. It takes a typhoon or a world pandemic to prevent us from going into the water.

Come and try freediving in the Philippines! 

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Founding Team

Profile picture of Patrick Swartenbroekx underwater with a bubble ring

Patrick (Belgium)

Co-Founder of Conservation Freediving Bohol & Apnea Green
Advanced Instructor AIDA, Molchanovs, PADI and SSI
3 Belgian national records in depth disciplines

Patrick started freediving in 2013 in Nemo 33 in Brussels and was directly hooked. He continued evolving through the different levels and he became an AIDA and PADI instructor in 2017.

Discovering freediving was a radical change in his life. For the last eight years, he had been working as a logistician and a project coordinator for the medical NGO “Médecins Sans Frontières”, in different emergency contexts and conflict zones. After this intense period, the practice of freediving gave him the opportunity to breathe and to find another perspective of development.

He arrived in the Philippines in 2017, with the idea of practicing freediving in Panglao, and developing a project in permaculture. Since then, he became a freediving instructor with two more agencies: SSI and Molchanovs. He also had the opportunity to grab three national records (in CWTB, FIM and CNF). His personal bests so far are -83m FIM, -73m CWTB, -63m CNF and 6’36” static.

He met Arnaud on the island in 2019, and they launched together the Apnea Green NGO. They later decided to open Conservation Freediving Bohol… The adventure continues!

Profile Picture of Arnaud Simons while Coaching Static

Arnaud (Belgium)

Co-Founder of Conservation Freediving Bohol & Apnea Green
Master Instructor AIDA and Instructor level 2 Apnea Total

After living for a while in Morocco where he worked for the Dutch embassy, Arnaud resumed his studies in management, environment and development in Belgium then headed to Southeast Asia. He has since then been sharing his time between environmental projects and freediving, first in Thailand then in the Philippines.

His first discovery with the sport happened in Koh Tao, where he became intrigued by a small group of quirky individuals who all seemed to be obsessed with the idea of holding their breath and disappearing into the water… there had to be something interesting there.

He became a freediving instructor late 2017 under Apnea Total, and then crossed over to AIDA a year later. At the time he co-founded Apnea Green with Patrick in Panglao, he was working for the environmental organization Ocean Quest Global on a campaign to better involve local communities in reef rehabilitation processes through freediving.

His personal bests so far are: -58m in FIM, -61m in VWT, 115m in DYNB and 6’05” in static apnea.

Testimonials

Sébastien Jungo
Sébastien Jungo
Coaching sessions level 3
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Arnaud and Patrick are beautiful people who are very generous and try to go beyond freediving in order to give back to the sea and the community. I had the chance to be coached by Arnaud and was delighted by his professionalism, helpful tips and knowledge. His patience and encouraging attitude were the perfect match for my reunion with the Big Blue 11 years after my last training. The priority is given to you and not the money, which makes it a very relaxing and positive experience freediving with them. Thank you so much for what you are doing: I hope I can come back and help you with your conservation projects too!
Marie F.
Marie F.
Level 1 Course
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I did my class with Arnaud. The class was amazing! He really takes the time to explain everything well and makes sure that we understand what we are supposed to do at every step of all type of breath hold exercise. Arnaud was very friendly! He was calm and made us feel quite confident about going down. He totally over delivered on this class! Good job! Great experience!​
Milos Masar
Milos Masar
Level 1 Course
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I was lucky enough to complete my SSI freediving course Level 1 under Patrick's very experienced, patient and detailed focused instructions. It was very professional as much as it was fun! I'm very grateful for the experience and can only recommend Patrick!​
曹世芳
曹世芳
Coaching sessions level 2
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I had a great experience with instructor Mr Arnaud. He is so patient with beginners and he has so many techniques towards fixing the common problems beginners have. You never have to worry and scared when you exploring the deep water because he is always there for you to secure you. Highly recommended him as an instructor. 👍👍👍
Teagan Kane
Teagan Kane
Level 1 & 2 course
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I took the level 1 SSI freediving course to see what it was all about and ended up loving freediving. Patrick was very professional, taught a great course, I liked it so much I took level two. Patrick was patient and taught me not just the course material but other ways to be a better freediver. I would really recommend him for any level.
Shuyi Chua
Shuyi Chua
Coaching session
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Patrick is a resourceful, humble, and earnest instructor. He was firm yet gentle, serious yet funny, setting boundaries for us, yet letting us explore our limits. He is also a very safe instructor who has the divers' safety and well-being of his utmost concern. We had many laughs while being coached both individually and collectively about what we could improve on. He has a way of making you feel at ease.
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- Update -

Following covid, we are currently going through a soft reopening and run a limited number of courses monthly. 

If possible, please reach in advance so that we can schedule a course or training for you in the best possible manner.

Marine Conservation and Freediving in the Philippines