with the hope to grow gills

in 10days, my solemates, our extended dive buddies and i would go on board pacific explorer to commence our 8-day live aboard dive adventure to Apo Reef – Tubbataha Reef (transition trip).

to say i am soooo excited is an utter understatement!!!

come on, who wouldn’t?!! excitement has been building up since June last year when we made the entire charter boat reserved for ourselves (just for 5 of us) without hesitation that we’d be able to complete the numbers for the transition trip (24 pax).

and now that it’s just few days away, it feels like i have this constant sweeeet grin across my face.

dove a couple of beautiful dive sites both in (Coron, Anilao, Puerto Galera, Dumaguete, Apo Island, Lubang Island, Boracay) and out of the country (Malaysia, Indonesia, Viet Nam, Thailand) already, but these two sites – Apo Reef & Tubbataha Reef can be what i’d call my dream dive destinations!!! yes, i may be dreaming of diving Palau, Sipadan, Red Sea, Maldives, French Polynesia, Galapagos, Sudan and the list goes on…but these two are the pinnacle of all!

let me give you some facts to give you a glimpse just how amazing this trip would be:

Apo Reef (infos are from diveapo, UNESCO and asiadivesite)

– second largest contiguous coral reef in the world and the largest one in the Philippines

– a marine national park currently nominated to be part of the UNESCO World heritage site

– has an area of 15,792 hectares including land and water areas

– home to 385 species of colorful marine fishes, including sharks, stingrays, mantas, tropical fish and morays, including the endangered Green Sea and Hawksbill turtles as well as 500 species of soft and branching types of hard corals

– hosts 47 species of migratory and resident birds. it has three islands, namely Apo Island , Apo Menor (Binangaan Is-land) and Cayos del Bajo, all with white beaches

– the steep walls are well covered with corals, sponges, tunicates, nudibranchs and slugs. the coral formation at the plateau is magnificent. green and hawksbill turtles, and a multitude of fish including damselfish, butterflyfish, batfish, surgeonfish, snappers, fusiliers and trevallies are common. strong currents increase the chance of sighting sharks (hammerhead, blacktip, whitetip, grey and tresher sharks), great barracudas, tunas and manta rays.

– wall diving is second to none and you won’t have to go too deep to experience a wide variety of life.

Apo Reef

Tubbataha Reef (infos are from 7natureswonder, asiadivesite, and TRNP)

– is home to some of the most beautiful coral reefs in the world. Rising from the volcanic depths of the Sulu Sea in the western Philippines, these magnificent atolls encompass an astonishing diversity of marine life.

– site was declared a National Marine Park in 1988 and a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1994, a place of global importance being preserved for future generations of humankind.

– the atolls and Tubbataha Reef are a sanctuary for more than 1,000 species. lots of pelagics such as tunas, school of jacks, barracudas, whale sharks and reef sharks, hammerhead and grey reefs, manta and eagle rays,  lionfish, tortoises and clownfish. there are 300-350 coral species, 400-500 fish species, and numerous bird life.

– only diveable between the months of March to early June. mostly wall drift dives.

– encompasses 239,000 acres (968.24 sq km). the reefs and atolls are guarded 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

(if video is not loading properly please click here)

click here for some fantastic photos of tubbataha by tommy schultz.

and i have not even posted what seasoned divers of all nationals have said / written about the two sites.

Philippines, center of the marine biodiversity, it being a part of a Coral Triangle, scuba divers’ paradise. how can be diving any better than diving its waters?!?! wooohooo!


5 Responses to “with the hope to grow gills”

  1. 1 Bryan 22 February, 2010 at 1:20 pm

    Sweet! I want to go back to Philippines. How about on summer? July?

  2. 2 Kathryn 23 February, 2010 at 9:16 am

    AWESOME!!! I’ve been following your blog, and I’ve now come to a decision – I am enrolling for a Scuba Class when I get to Philippines.

  3. 3 Flo 23 February, 2010 at 1:17 pm

    Sounds like a real fun dive trip. I can only wish you invited me to join :-(

  4. 4 banggigay 23 February, 2010 at 1:28 pm

    @Bryan woooow! how’s LDN? been a while eh? you’ve finally ended your lurking days eh?;p lemme know when you have booked a flight to MNL. July though is not the best time. Wet season has started and would see less of the country. shoot me an email, will you?

    @Kathryn hi! yeah! i remember you :-) are you still teaching in Seoul? or moved back to Oz? yeah! earn your badge in diving and let’s dive together with my buddies!

    @Flo didn’t i? :p

  1. 1 Bessie A. Winn-Afeku: Percent of Hope for a ‘Percent For Art’ | The African Art Store Trackback on 22 February, 2010 at 7:52 am

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