real beauty underneath

last week was pretty stressful with all the deliverables in my work place. i missed the extended cinemanila festival (arrrg!), international book fair and my virtual run and the la mesa eco trail run.

if there’s one consolation though, it’s the thought that a great weekend in anilao is ahead of me.

so i treaded each day with office’ serious stuff and rewarded my nights with the anticipation of the thrills of my check-out dive. it was like that day in, day out. until clock hit 5pm of friday, wooohooo!

hopped to my broombroom, and drove to valle verde to pick up my other dive buddies to head for batangas that night in preparation for a fully loaded saturday dive schedule.

took us more than 5 hours to get to the resort, cos 1. we did not do our homework to check the map 2. C & I who’ve been there but normally sleep in the car could hardly remember which way to take. we’re lost upon entering mabini town. however our frustrations were masked with our giddiness to reach planet dive and get a good rest for another adventurous weekend.

had our first jump 11ish of saturday. sun danced upon the ripples on the surface of the balayan & batangas bays. there was no much of an excitement on the surface apart from the company of 10 excited new divers, the course director and his angels. buddy system was implemented and had J as my buddy for the day. we were briefed before every jump so we’d know what tasks to perform underwater, what skills need emphasis (trimming, hovering etc) and what marine life encounter to expect.

but underwater, everything felt so different. at first i started feeling nostalgic about my first dive almost exactly 2 years ago. CD Dencio gave us the intro dive and i was with my atenean diving friends, and we went to the twin rocks dive spot. my contemporaries back then pursued the training and like K now, she is about to complete her MSD.

shore entry

NAUOI batch mates!

anyway going back, as we go deeper, that intro dive slowly vanished and i was brought back in to the present when i am tasked to do stuff with my buddy at the sand bottom – removal of mask, mass clearing/defogging, buddy breathing and all other things i used to be scared about. i mean who would want his regulator being removed from their mouth? or ran out of gas in your tank whilst underneath? but rigorous training prepares you to these situations. we were trained to manage our fears and positively respond to such situations. and then i felt responsible about my buddy.

the first three dives were stressful. despite the tranquility the marine life offered me, i was too conscious about my buoyancy difficulty (i shoot up whenever my pressure gauge reads half of its content), about my constantly fogging mask (arrrg! i bought a new one and i have not treated it with toothpaste overnight), and about my numerous cramp attacks. then i realized i got too preoccupied about all these things and have not enjoyed the beauty underneath. it was a regret but a learning experience nonetheless.

but sunday dives were far better. splendid to an extent infact! i was able to deal with my underwater problems by focusing alone. and then kicking and gliding became natural. neutral buoyancy became not about my weights or just my BCD, i have controlled it with proper breathing. my cramps, oh yes my cramps! it became non-existent when i started getting steady and relax. and the apparent absence of moderately strong current that made our first dives difficult. woohoo! and now the fun begins!

colorful corals, groupers, gorgonians, clown fish (hello nemo!), seahorses and even trigger fish and other species i’m not yet familiar with comprise the rich biodiversity of the mabini marine sanctuary. no wonder this side of the country is world renowned for being divers’ heaven and said to be the Center of the Center of Marine Shorefish Biodiversity, where a vast species of fish can be found. panalo talaga ang ganda ng pilipinas!

and the visit to the cathedral was the icing of the day. it’s anilao’s pride with its anemones and clown fishes. we stopped right at the sanctuary (FVR planted the concrete cross marker) and fed the fishes with loaf bread. it was indeed an amazing experience being mobbed (in a splendid way :p) by super colorful fishes. i didn’t mind actually being bitten a little.

during that 30minute fish feeding at the sanctuary and another couple of minutes exploring the area, i saw beauty, harmony and serenity in one place. and that is there right at the heart of the sea! it was a surreal experience! and how i wished i was with D, as we both witness that grand stage of god’s beauty.

but my amazement in marine life and the ecosystem itself doesn’t end there. i’m now more passionate in saving it. no to styros in fast food chains. decline plastic bags in convenient stores. reuse stuff as much as possible. and recycle! i wanna be a positive contributor to the ecosystem! let’s all do our share.

on 15th of september, my dive buddies and i will be joining the world as it celebrates international clean-up day! we have signed-up for a clean-up dive in the anilao waters. wooohooo! say hello to scubasureros! :-)



6 Responses to “real beauty underneath”

  1. 1 sardonicnell 5 September, 2007 at 1:04 am

    that’s one thing i’d like to do again, scuba. im sure it was a wonderful experience. seeing beauty underneath, must be a wow moment!

  2. 2 tutubi 7 September, 2007 at 5:41 pm

    missed the cinemanila too but at least i got to watch 2 movies at cinemalaya earlier.

    missed the boof fair din :(

  3. 3 bullrunner 9 September, 2007 at 9:37 pm

    You are just EVERYWHERE! One week running in KL and the next diving in Batangas. Great way to celebrate life :)

  4. 4 hitme64 9 September, 2007 at 11:04 pm

    so NAUI ka na rin vangie! congratulations!

    haven’t seen dencio in years but he still looks the same…great CD he is…learned a lot from him in my 35 dives…

    stopped diving because i found running a better respite from stress…maybe someday i’ll do it again

  5. 5 banggigay 10 September, 2007 at 1:32 am

    nel, take the plunge na! what org did you join? when you come here for a vacay, let’s go to malaspascua! tara!

    tutubi, kainis noh? naextrend na, di ko parin napuntahan, when i’ve been meaning to see couple of the film entries. haay! sayang tlga!

    jaymie, aye! i’m making sure i get to do what i luv before settling down. alam mo na..:-)

    rex, yep. i already am. at last, imagine 2005 pa ko 1st nagplunge?! anyway such a small world noh? kay CD Dencio ka din :-) so, what now? tubbataha? tara sked natin next year :-)

  1. 1 Travel Philippines » Blog Archive » real beauty underneath coffee mug Trackback on 6 September, 2007 at 1:57 pm

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