I rarely go into open waters. I'm still in the process of conditioning myself every time - to push myself to face my fears, leave my drama about almost drowning when I was young and give diving another chance. It's amazing what travel blogging can do to a person.. In a few years, I found myself with thousands of fish circling around me in El Nido, snorkeling in Indonesia, riding a paraw in Bora, surfing in Zambales, camping overnight at the Nagsasa beach, dipping into more Philippine waters and most recently, pretend diving in Boracay hahaha. I think I did A-ok this time (at least a little better than the first dive) hehehe. This is Part 4 of my Globe Bridging Communities experience where they let us subscribers join in on the Code Blue Boracay initiative.
Prior to going into the water, we had the dive briefing at the Lapu-Lapu Diving Center at the White Beach. We then proceeded into shallow water for an exercise about breathing, hand signals and using the gear.
Just like in snorkelling, one has to practice breathing through the mouth.
I could feel my heart starting to go thump-thump-thump. This was going to be the last time I could touch the ground.. It was the last chance to perfect breathing underwater through the tubes.
It was pretty hard to see with all that green icky stuff. It's not always like this in Boracay.
30 minutes later, we reached an alternate intro diving site (not the original with the reef buds). I guess that it doesn't matter yet what we see, we need to learn to master our gears first. The first challenge is to fall into the water backwards with all that scuba gear on.
Whoever's idea was this?! We were in open water - in SUPER DEEP water O_O
At the point of contact with the water, my mind started to go blank. I was taking cues from our Dive Master one at a time. I had to remember to breathe and pop my ears (equalize) every few seconds. I wonder how long it would take for me to learn to dive on my own..
I struggled - a lot. I was also feeling a bit sick. The briefing guy told us that if we needed to barf, we can just vomit normally with the mouthpiece on. The pieces will escape through the holes and the fish will come eat it (eww hehe). My dilemma while diving - I wanted to sneeze and he didn't cover that! Well, I learned that you can also sneeze normally with the mouthpiece on. Haha.
There was an invisible guide keeping me from staying out of course. Thanks, DM! I couldn't have made it without you.
I wasn't keen on the fish-feeding (I don't like them near me) and I was stuck sitting there on the ground when someone sat me down (the gear seemed super heavy). I couldn't get up and was starting to panic actually (bottom left). DM, kindly get me out of here..
There was actually just a few corals in the site and it was an effort not to crash into them if you don't know how to dive - like me. I still couldn't get how to control my body to go up and down.. As a consequence, I only saw a little around me but enough to say that I want to see more life and color here in the future years to come.
Before I knew it, time was up.
Thank goodness.. I couldn't remember how I got in the boat. It was all a blur..
I was glad, on all accounts, to have made it and to be alive haha.
Everything tasted great after
and I let good company
and music soothe my soul.
I decided to look for the Chori Burger for my next adventure on the beach.
Says Merly's BBQ discovered the Longga(niza) and Chori(zo) Burger in 1988.
Top left's the Chori.
They'll put it in a bun (just like that)
then you add their special sweet or sweet & spicy sauce =)
After a full day out, a grilled hotdog would also be nice. The Chori burger and the hotdog would probably be one of the cheapest but yummiest food you can find in Boracay haha.
You can find Merly's BBQ Stall in front of Guilly's Island in Station 1 until the wee hours of the morning!
Learnings on this day? For one, call the Globe Code Blue Hotline 0917-7212583 (conservation monitoring) to report anybody contributing harm to the White Beach or the Reef Buds in Boracay. Two, that it takes a person more hours to clean up what another has thrown away so carelessly in a jiffy and without thought about the environment. And it will take a conscious effort to do that every day for the rest of our lives =) If we're not careful also, the beach we so love, if destroyed in the near future, will take away so many opportunities from people. Just imagine, no more Boracay (and no more places to find chori burger.. hehe).
Thanks to the Globe Bridging Communities group for this wonderful experience! You keep me connected with my family and friends whenever I travel and just this year, you gave me the chance to think about one of my favorite beaches on a new level, to gradually conquer my fear of open waters and to meet new friends from Nudi.ph who've shown me a whole new world underwater.