Scuba Diving in Anilao.

Learning to dive is something that I've been wanting to do since forever! But because of lack of time and conflict in schedules, it remained on my 'bucket list'. So when my friend Koryn asked me if I wanted to do an intro dive (she's already a licensed diver), I immediately said yes!





I was so excited! I barely had sleep but I was up bright and early the next morning (which is sooo not me). I was also looking forward to getting some sun exposure. Spot Casper the not-so-friendly ghost... in a yellow dress.




This isn't the first time that I'll see the underwater world though. T and I went diving while we were in Sumilon Island (read my blog entry on Sumilon Island). It was such a surreal experience but it was more of a fun dive than an actual intro dive. In Sumilon, our instructors just gave T and me a quick run through of the hand signals and other basic things we should know but did not allow us to swim freely. One instructor was holding T and another instructor was holding me. This time, we will be taught not only the basics but all topics covered by the first module of a diving course.




It was a hot, sunny day. I read tweets of people back in Manila sweating even with the a/c in full blast. I was so thankful I was at the beach.



Before we started with the intro dive, our dive instructor Rob called the group together to explain our schedule for the day.





He also gave us an overview of the scuba equipment and basic information like what to expect while diving, what not to do, etc.



EEP! I look so pale standing next to the sun-kissed Jen aka The Sexy Nomad who just spent 2 weeks in Siargao, surfing!





Although a part of me (the impatient and reckless one) wanted to go into the ocean already, I knew we had to go through the pool session first.



My camera died while we were underwater in Sumilon so I didn't have photos while diving. That's why I was so happy that Koryn and her sister Ainna volunteered to document our intro dive from start to finish. You guys are the best! Thank you!

Even if this a super unflattering photo of me, I'm posting it because this is the only picture I have with Koryn :)

We were divided into 2 groups for the pool session. I was grouped with Peter and Jen, a married couple of 10 years, who I enjoyed talking to because of all the stories they have about their travels :)





The other group went first so Koryn, Ainna, Peter, Jen and I spent the next half hour exchanging stories and eating Doritos.Yes, Doritos :)


And then it was our turn. Our instructor Rob began by teaching us how to wear our weight belt and how to handle the rest of our gear. Next, he asked us to stay underwater for a few minutes so we can get the feel of breathing through our mouthpiece. He instructed us to keep our arms folded across our chest because apparently divers don't use their hands to swim.



After that, he taught us the hand signals. This is the signal for "OK". Never use the thumbs up sign because that means you want to surface and end your dive already.



Peter, Jen and I spent the next few minutes learning the basics like clearing our mask, equalizing and retrieving a fallen mouthpiece.



Rob first showed our group how to do each drill then asked us one by one to repeat what he did. He'd make us do something at least three times until we got used to it. I finally realized the importance of having a long pool session. Since now I know what to expect and what to do in case these things happen, it lessens my chances of having a panic attack in open water.



After the drills, we swam around the pool to get used to our buoyancy. "Exhale to sink, inhale to float." I was already getting excited with the thought of swimming freely under the ocean.

After our group was done with the pool exercises, it was almost lunchtime. I was so hungry! So I guess what Rob, Koryn and Ainna told us was true, diving burns a lot of calories. But I found it funny because I wasn't even in open water and yet I felt like I could eat a horse!



I wanted to get a second plate but I wasn't ready to experience throwing up underwater, which they call fishfeeding since fish will surround you because of the food bits in your puke. Eew.



After an hour or so, Rob called our group. It was time to dive!



This time, our group went first. Cat from the first group also joined us.



Peter went down first, Cat was next and then me. Unfortunately, Jen wasn't able to join us.






Rob gave us a few instructions (via hand messages, of course) and then we were off!






Although there were more colorful species of fish in Sumilon, I felt a different kind of rush during our dive because I was swimming freely. 



But since we were still new at controlling our direction and buoyancy, we often bump into each other. Like this funny moment captured by Koryn's sister, Ainna.



Rob pointed to us different kinds of corals and fish until we came upon something not often seen in the training site.

Joei: Look guys! I see something!

Joei: It's a pufferfish!

Everyone: A what?

Joei: A pufferfish!!!
A predator that manages to snag a puffer before it inflates won’t feel lucky for long. Almost all pufferfish contain tetrodotoxin, a substance that makes them foul tasting and often lethal to fish. To humans, tetrodotoxin is deadly, up to 1,200 times more poisonous than cyanide. There is enough toxin in one pufferfish to kill 30 adult humans, and there is no known antidote. - National Geographic
Everyone: Waaaah let's get out of here!!!

Joei: I guess it's just you and me my friend! One snapshot for the memories ;)

Pufferfish: It was nice meeting you! Bye!! See you around!!

Obviously, that conversation didn't happen. But our photos were so funny that I had to make up a story. About the poisonous spikes of the puffer fish, well.. I don't think the puffer fish we saw was poisonous. I'm still alive and writing this post right? And even if it was, my motto has always been YOLO! (You Only Live Once!)




What should've been a 20 minute dive extended to a 40 minute one. But surprisingly, it didn't feel like we were down there that long. Time flies when you're having fun!




After our group surfaced, we went to the pavilion and ordered fruit shakes. When everyone came back, Rob showed us the photos he took of his students during their check out dives. They were amazing!




As the sun began to set, everyone hurried over to the deck to take photos of the gorgeous sunset.



We were all tired and sleepy by the time we got home. I couldn't even remember much about the drive home. But it was such a great experience! This surely isn't the last time for me... :)





18 comments

  1. Hey, I just found your blog!! :)
    Maybe you'll have time to visit my blog and follow if you like!!
    Kisses,
    Chiara

    Books in my bags

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  2. I'm so happy you enjoyed your experience, mother! The area where Rob took you was for lessons only. There are more colorful underwater areas in Anilao--the Cathedral (where Ate Ains, Georg and I went while you were having your pool session), Beatrice, etc. You'll go there on your check out dive (and following dives!)

    I hope you take your lessons soon!

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  3. CHIARA. Sure :) will visit your blog.

    KORYN. Oh ya! I forgot to mention that it was only a training site. I mentioned something about your dive in the cathedral but I wasn't sure about the details so deleted it ;)

    I really hope I can push through with the lessons. I want to see those places that you were telling me about. Exciting!!

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  4. Good that you enjoyed your intro dive. Mine wasn't really that interesting, or maybe I wasn't really into it. Hehe Good luck on your next diving adventure! :)

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  5. Wow! I've been wanting to try scuba diving. Can't wait for your next diving adventure. =)

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  6. Wow!! Nice dress & nice pics!! Cute ng pufferfish. I want to go diving too but I think mas maganda mag diving diyan.

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  7. How was it, Joei? :) I'm gonna get certified on May too! Looking forward to it :)

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  8. Obviously, I forgot to click the "read more" so i had to ask how was your experience! haha! Stupid me! Anyway, just reading your post made me giddy and excited about my upcoming dive too! I hope mine turns out to be as fun as yours! :)

    Cute pufferfish,too!

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  9. My dear,
    I found your blog by chance, while peeking others and I decided to check it out! I’m glad I did it, because I am really delighted with yours.I’m your new follower and I’d be very pleased if you like my blog enough to follow it as well!
    I wish you lots of success and will surely come back often
    kisses
    http://cottoncandy-peaches@blogspot.com

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  10. Wow! it's one in my least too! congrats for ur intro dive....:) Btw I just wanna know how much will it cost me to have my intro dive :) i want i want! :) TIA

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  11. nice. i can see that surfing and scuba diving is the next craze to pinoy travelers.

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  12. it must be a great experience! i love diving too

    natzcracker

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  13. Wow, what an awesome day! I admit that the open water thing freaks me out but your instructor seemed to do a great job!

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  14. Did you feel the pressure in your ear when you go deeper?
    Wow, spiky pufferfish, that's poisonous, right?

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  15. awesome! i want to experience that too :) great place and great photos!:)
    thanks for visiting my blog!
    http://loveandelegance.blogspot.com

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  16. i want to try scuba diving on my next beach trip!

    follow me and i'll follow you back soon :)

    natzcracker

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  17. Scuba diving scaaaaaares me, but that photo is blissfully peaceful looking!

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Thank you for the love!

I enjoy meeting fellow bloggers and readers from all over so feel free to comment and I'll get back to you as soon as I can :)

♥ joei