Up Close and Personnel: Murex Dive Guide Aswar
For guests diving in Bangka there is a good chance that they will meet our Dive Guide Aswar. Aswar is our most senior Dive Guide in Bangka and he knows the dive sites in the area like the back of his hand. Aswar’s passion for diving and marine life is truly infectious and there is no where he would rather be than underwater! In this edition of “Up Close and Personnel” we catch up with Aswar to find out more about how he became a part of the Murex Team 12 years ago and how he loves being a dive guide despite being scared on his first ever dive…
I – Interviewer / A – Aswar
I. Okay, let’s start with the basics – what is your full name?
A. My full name is Aswar Anas Ruganni
I. Is that a name from Manado?
A. No, because I am not from North Sulawesi. My home town is called Palopo and it is in South Sulawesi near to Toraja – it’s really far from the sea!
I. Is that where you went to school?
A. Yes, I studied in Palopo up until Senior High School where I studied electrics until I was 18 years old.
I. And so after school you started working?
A. Yes, I got a job straight away working as an electrical installer. We installed electrical projects in people’s houses, in businesses and we also worked on the main electricity lines that you see in the streets. I did this for around one and a half years before I came to Murex.
I. What made you move from South Sulawesi to Manado?
A. My uncle was also an electrician and he was working at Murex and he said that there was a job for me if I wanted to join him – so I did. I worked for 6 months at Murex Manado installing electrics, then for 6 months I was helping with the electrics for the swimming pool while it was being built and then after that I went to Murex in Bangka to work on installing electrics there.
I. So how did you go from being an electrician to being a Dive Guide?
A. The first time I tried diving it was because one of the instructors at that time let me join him for a try dive but I was very afraid because I had sinus problems and felt some pain. He talked me into trying again and on that second time I could relax and look around me and WOW, it was so beautiful. I knew then that I loved diving! It was some months later that the manager at Murex heard that I was becoming quite good at diving so he dived with me and when he saw me in the water he asked me if I wanted to train to be a Dive Guide so I said yes and since then I have dived, dived and dived. I started taking PADI Courses in 2007 and now I am a PADI Divemaster.
I. Did you learn English at the same time?
A. Yes, because at first I wasn’t sure if I would be a good Dive Guide because my English was very poor. We had classes at school but I didn’t think it was so important as I was learning electrics. Murex encouraged me to try speaking more English and to practice as much as possible. It was very difficult at first but now I really like talking with the guests and sharing diving experiences and stories with them.
I. What else do you like about your job as a Dive Guide?
A. I like it that I meet people from all over the world and that I learn about marine life but mostly I really, really love the diving and living on Bangka Island. I come from the mountains so it is very different for me to be on a white sand beach next to the ocean. I love the island and the nature and I like to wake up early and watch the sunrise – it’s so beautiful.
I. What are your favorite dive sites at Bangka Island?
A. Have two favorites: Sahaung and Batu Pendeta. I love both of these sites because of the soft corals which make the sites so colourful and also because both sites have an amazing variety of fish.
I. And what about dive sites from Murex Manado?
A. At Bunaken I love Lekuan II because the wall there is so vertical and there are also lots of sea fans, I also like Bethlehem in Manado Bay because it is great for finding critters like sea horses.
I. What is your favorite critter?
A. I love flamboyant cuttlefish. We see these a lot in Lembeh and also at Peter’s Sponge in Bangka. Their colors when they are flashing and the way they move is really unique.
I. Are there any critters or fish that you haven’t seen yet but would like to?
A. I already saw many things like whale shark, hammerhead, thresher shark, manta rays, sperm whale and dugong but I would really like to see a mola mola or an orca.
I. What do you like to do when you are not diving and in your free time?
A. I like music and I play my guitar in the band at Bangka. I listen to Indonesian music but also many others artists like Bob Marley and even John Denver. On my days off I sometimes go to Manado or I stay in Bangka and do my chores! Once a year I return to my home village to see my family for Ramadan. It takes 10 hours to get there but it’s nice to see my Mum. Because we are from an inland area my family think it’s very strange that I am a Dive Guide but they are so happy and proud of me.
I. Thank you Aswar – Every one at Murex is very proud of you too! Now, can we go diving?!
If you’d like to meet Aswar and dive at his favorite dive sites in Manado, Bunaken, Bangka and Lembeh book yourself a Passport to Paradise trip and explore all of these distinct dive destinations in one trip. At Murex we believe in personalized service which is why you’ll have the same dive guide at each location and with seamless boat diving transfers from resort to resort you’ll literally dive your way around North Sulawesi! To book your dive adventure of a life time contact us at: [email protected]
We are here to ensure that you experience some of Indonesia’s best dive sites in comfort and safety that’s why our experienced team will look after you every dive of the way.
Epic walls, stunning reefs and the world’s best muck in one single trip? Yes – and that’s not all, you’ll be diving in three of Indonesia’s best diving locations: Bunaken, Bangka and Lembeh which means over 150 dives sites to choose from which show case over 1,500 species of fish.