Adventures and Sports

Under the Sea Part 2

Batangas

Renzelle Ann Palma
Renzelle Ann Palma | Oct 04, 2013

DAY TWO -BALAYAN BAY, BATANGAS

The next day, I was up and ready to dive. With a beautiful morning and the ocean to wake up to, I enjoyed a hefty breakfast for the dive ahead. The great thing about diving is it exerts no pressure. Diving is a relaxing activity in an equally relaxing environment. It is definitely not a sport but a recreational activity. I realized all of these once I got into the water via a pebble beach beneath the resort.

As I got into the waters of Anilao, I was more excited than nervous. The ocean is a far cry from the pool that we practiced in the day before. The ocean is a gigantic environment and it demands respect. I clamped the regulator into my mouth and off we submerged!

The first breath was natural. It was as if my body knew by instinct what to do. Just open your eyes, it said, breathe, and enjoy what God created for you. If I could just open my mouth and talk, my first words would be "Wow!" but in this case, a simple "OK" sign sufficed for the moment.

The world under the sea was literally breathtaking. Actual anemone fish that I recognized as Nemo were the first to greet me from their colorful habitat. I was so close that I could almost touch them. Try to restrain from touching anything underwater though- no matter how cute the critters may seem, you can hurt them and no matter how innocent looking the creature may be, it can actually hurt you if touched or played with.

Once in the ocean, I was afraid to get too close or touch the corals, not because I was afraid of them, but because I was afraid that I could inflict damage. I am bigger than all that I see, and I am just a mere visitor in their environment that it is natural for me to respect their home. Interaction with the critters are encouraged just as long as the instructor gives a go signal.

Albert allowed me touch an anemone which shoots a substance upon contact and an anemone with sticky tentacles which it uses for protection.

I admittedly searched for the familiar. The anemone fish were obviously a big hit for me, the big colorful coral formations and the colorful fish that were everywhere. As we swam deeper (a beginner is allowed up to 40-60ft dive for safety) and closer to the corals, I noticed the small, almost unseen blue fishes with colorful spots. I noticed a seahorse almost hidden amongst the corals. I noticed tiny fish biting, almost like cleaning a bigger fish. I noticed the smallest critters. I knew then that they have a life of their own, almost like a story waiting to be told. I became aware of my surroundings and I definitely appreciated the whole experience.

Our team was in the water for 47 minutes, which seemed to be just a minute while we were there. Breathing came naturally and buoyancy came next. If only I could, I wanted to go on and maybe even deeper but I knew that would need additional training and practice. As soon as I came back to surface, no words really could have described what I saw. It was simply sobeautiful, something that if seen, we would cherish and will aim to protect and preserve.

I believe that SNUPS (Splash NUDI Underwater Photo Shootout), the event that we were invited tom cover and generously gave us the opportunity to dive, was successful in their goal to convert us into environmentalists and diving enthusiasts- I just could not help but fall in love with the ocean and all the marine life I just saw.

Underwater photos and videos can show the beauty of the seas and the oceans but nothing really beats seeing the real thing.

I hope and pray that you, our readers, can get to experience what we just did in Anilao. Make it a goal or add it on your bucket list. Make an effort to explore and be one with the creatures underneath the ocean. I can assure you that once you see what is under the waters and our rich marine life, you will begin to understand the blessings that God bestowed upon the waters of our country.

And hopefully once we get past the beauty, we will help protect the life within and help preserve just how it is for the generations to come.

Some photos from: www.snups.ph

To get there:

From Metro Manila (Buendia/Cubao Station), take any bus bound to Batangas City-Pier (preferably the Derecho/ACTEX/Balagtas Exit buses) and alight at the Batangas City Grand Terminal. From there, take a passenger jeepney to Anilao, Mabini, Batangas.

To Drive: Mabini, Batangas is approximately 120km South of Manila. It takes about 2-3 hours to get there.

  1. From Manila, take the South Luzon Expressway (SLEX), take the last exit, pay toll.

  2. Keep on SLEX, you will approach another toll plaza. You will soon go through yet another toll plaza which means you’ve reached the STAR tollway, drive through to the end of the highway (Batangas Exit).

  3. Upon exiting the tollway, there will be a roundabout. Take the road across where you exited star, this should be heading towards BATANGAS PIER. You should pass a Toyota dealership on your left.

  4. Keep driving along the road. There will be an overpass heading into Batangas Pier. Make sure to keep right and stay below the overpass.

  5. Turn right at the intersection below the overpass, and you will be heading towards BAUAN.

  6. Upon reaching Bauan, you will see Jollibee and a roadblock indicating a one-way street. Turn right and follow this road, which will turn left at the end.

  7. Upon exit at Bauan, there will be a Metrobank to your left, and after a few hundred meters a PETRON on your right.

  8. After Petron, there will be a small bridge. Turn left after this bridge. You are now heading towards Mabini, Batangas.

Photos from: www.facebook.com/SNUPS.ph

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