Monday, September 19, 2016

Fun Diving at Twin Rocks - Anilao, Batangas

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Diving has been one of the top things that I want to do, before I turn 20. There's just something in it that makes me so curious, why people love to do it, ever so often. My father and two brothers started the hobby in the early 2000's. I of course, was too young to even wear a full - on gear. Instead, I opted a safer alternative, until I am ready to explore the sea.

My father is very good friends with the owner of the Bed and Breakfast called "Bontoc in Batangas", where I rented scuba gear and an underwater camera. The owner was kind enough to lend me these things and I am so thankful that he did.


While waiting for the gears to be loaded, the pit of my stomach felt very bad. I'm a very nervous person, to the point that if there is a slight problem, I'll panic immediately. To be fully honest with you, I was skeptical to have done this. One, it's cause my anxiety has reached overboard. Two, I CAN'T SWIM. Yes, I admit it. I cannot swim for my life. This is why I felt twice as scared, even before hoping into the boat. I prayed to God for my dear life!

Luckily, I was accompanied with two other professional divers. They taught me the most basic signs for when I needed to go back to the boat, or if I'm having a very hard time to equalize. My mind was in full - on panic mode, trying to remember everything the divers said. All I could remember was a "HELP ME" sign floating in my brain. hahaha!

It was game time, as soon as they were done cleaning the scuba gear. I put my SD card in the camera, tested it out, then put on my swim boots. I felt a little better, when I stepped into the water. We started walking, until the water swallowed us. I could not believe what I was seeing beneath me, as I submerged my head into the water.


There is no perfect word to describe what this is. I was seeing a different side of life away from dry land, for the first time. I felt like a mermaid for a second, then I realized I wasn't, cause I suck at breathing properly though the oxygen tank. Panic, yet again! My face, mouth and lungs felt so bad, I needed to take a brake, so we found a tall rock and stood there for a bit. The diver told me to relax and take a deep breath. He was right. I needed to relax.

I thought of the best possible chance of what I can see under. I said to myself that I might see a really cool, rare fish or a sea turtle or maybe Flounder! I distracted myself by taking pictures and started to feel my panic go away. I was one with my mind, completely at peace again.


I got a little too carried away, I thought I had lost sight of the diver who was with me at that time. I looked left and right but he wasn't there. When I turned back, the diver pointed something or someone from a distance. Silly me, thinking it was a shark from afar, only to know that it was just another fellow diver. (I was told later on, that they were working for Nat Geo! *COOL*)

My eyes have not seen such beauty as this. Just a few feet away from me, was a school of fish. They were as big as a foot, all swirling into a cone like direction. It was such a breathtaking moment!


On the way back to the boat, I found Marlin and Nemo! They were so comfortable seeing a human right in front of their eyes. No fear, No doubt. I wish I was as brave as them. In life, is what I mean.
Looking back, I remembered what I had learnt, when I was younger. That the Sea can lift you effortlessly. I cannot drown, unless I learn to float.

I tried all my might to take off my gear. No life vests. No nothing to support me. I tried to be calm, thinking I would be fine, if I just let my body float in the water. Miraculously, I was floating fearless! My friend was so happy to have witnessed me, conquering my fear of sinking!

We couldn't help but to celebrate for a job well done! (This was taken just after I took off my gears and vest. See how happy we were of my achievement)


 "to my friend, thank you for believing that I can do anything."

If you'd like to do a fun dive, I suggest to go to Anilao Batangas. It's only a 2-3 hour drive from Manila! I recommend staying at "Bontoc in Batangas", Bed and Breakfast. They have great food, service and interior, PLUS you can rent scuba gears and a boat. Talk about convenient for your fun dive trip with friends! Look for Romy, he knows a lot of diving spots! You can also ask him, if he could take you to the twin rocks (the place where I took pictures of the school of fish)

For questions, tips and advice, feel free to send me an e-mail at jamiekatblog@gmail.com or you can reach me by sending a direct message at my instagram @katdannug :)

Photos & Words by Kat
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37 comments:

  1. It's because I want to feel these experience too that I really want to take a diving license! But the older you get, the more you realize that there are primary and more "important" things to do or spend money into and the license... well, another "next time."

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    1. Hi Luca! Yes I know. It's hard to find time to do these things! Oh well... There's still next year ��

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  2. I have been never been diving, even though I would like to try it. Reading this has made me more nervous than ever ahahha. But the pictures in between do calm me back down. My friend who is a fishvet always corrects me when I call it Nemo, its a clownfish hahaha. By the way what camera did you use?

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    1. Hey Ben! Hahaha I hope it didn't change your mind. The first dive is always nerve wrecking but you'll feel so accomplished once you've overcome it �� I don't recall the exact model of the camera though as I had borrowed it from my dad's friend but I do know it was a Canon powershot �� I think your friend will say the same thing to me. I just call it Nemo too! ��

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  3. Omg, so beautiful! These images are just amazing! And I also wish I´d see Malin and Nemo, haha ;)! For the panic part: I totally know how you felt, I had the same problem with my first dive at the Great Barrier Reef, but the awesome views make everything better! <3 All the best, Ella (Ella Happylicious)

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    1. Hi Ella! Thanks for the great support �� This is in fact my first shoot underwater so I kinda had mixed feelings about my photos at first. I wanted to see the Great Barrier Reef! I'm sure to find crush and squirt the two turtles there ��

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  4. So awesome! I love that you were able to put fear and lack of swim ability aside in order to take the plunge! The underwater world is so spectacular, and your images are gorgeous!

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    1. Hey Amy! Yes thanks so much! 🙏🏼 I know it was like full on panic mode then relieved 😂 I plan to keep diving to many places in the future.

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  5. the pictures are gorgeous, they are soothing to the eyes and makes me want to plunge in for a dive immediately

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    1. Hi Charly! Thank you so much! I'm so happy to hear this from you 😊

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  6. Kudos on conquering your fears and getting in the water. I have similar phobias and I'm not sure I would have been so brave. The photos you captured though just go to prove it was all worth it though and that starfish is particularly incredible. Beautiful stuff!

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    1. Thanks Gareth! I know I was relieved that I finally got to scratch this out from my bucket list. I once saw a blue starfish with 6 legs instead of 5 😆

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  7. I know the feeling of doing this for the first time. The initial trepidation giving way to the total exhilaration. Do check out what we did off the coast of Florida Keys http://saltandsandals.com/lovers-seas-key-west-florida-usa/

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    1. Hi Sudipto, yes true and it's also sort of addicting to keep going back to the sea to see more fishes. I will check your website for sure 😊

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  8. "Dive" is a Nirvana song. "Diver Down" is a Van Halen cd. Now I know of another place in the Philippines besides Manila!

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    1. Yes and yes! You should definitely go back! Manila's such a crowded place to go to. I recommend going to provinces where all the beaches are 😊 Anilao's just nearby 😊

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  9. OMG that’s amazing - and such beautiful pictures! I went diving for the very first time this summer in Sardinia and I loved it (there weren’t as many fish though!). Can’t wait to do it again :) x

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    1. Hooray! Wasn't it so much fun? Diving's like this one thing you can enjoy doing and you won't get tired of it 😆😊

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  10. Diving is such a sublime experience. Deep under the water, when you see the colourful and fascinating world, you feel humbled and awed. This is such a wonderful diving site, the pictures are really stunning and bring alive the vibrancy and colour of life beneath the water.

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    1. Thank you so much! Yes it is such a sublime experience. It was like a whole new world and I feel like everyone should try to dive at least for once their entire life ��

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  11. Have experienced diving in Panglao, Bohol, but was to nervous to enjoy the actual experience. Good thing for you that you were able to stay underwater enough to take photos. Must've been really an awesome experience.

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    1. Hi Carla! I also went to Panglao but just tried snorkeling. They said there were turtles there. My brothers were lucky to see one while they went deep sea diving. Maybe the second time you go diving, you won't be that nervous anymore 😊

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  12. Whoa! Heavenly sights! I never had such an experience and these look like an out of the world experience to me. Good thing the owner gave you the camera and other stuffs.

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    1. Hello Indrani! Yes it was so heavenly. I also just found out that he does underwater photography himself 😊

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  13. I'm Pinay so reading this is a treat. I have not known much about batangas. It's not far from Manila so next time I will look into diving for sure, thanks to you for the tip.

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    1. Hello there! I'm glad to hear that from you. Batangas is a really cool go-to place if you like to do a little off road adventure. It is so near too! There's even nice waterfalls to swim in 😊

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  14. What an amazing world is out there, underwater! I would probably feel the same as you, as I usually get all of the side effects and my ears don't pressurize correctly. But I would definitely try it out. The corals and the underwater landscapes are stunning!

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    1. Hi Joanna! It is so hard to equalize haha but thankfully I did. Yes those corals are really pretty I hope it doesn't get ruined soon with all the bleaching and the gobal warming 😢

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  15. My friends love Anilao coz they also love scuba diving. Even friends from MY and SG thats their go to place.
    Ive never been to Anilao. Amazing creatures down below.

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    1. Hi Lee! True haha I also met a korean friend who goes to Anilao like every weekend to dive. He really loves it there 😊 I guess Anilao's pretty popular abroad 😊 you should go one time.

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  16. Wow! You pictures are just out of the world. Your experience sounds like you were on a treasure hunt looking for someone rare and unique :) Scuba Diving is one dream yet to be fulfilled. Hope we make to it soon.

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    1. Hi Rashmi and Chalukya! Thank you so much for the kind words 🙏 I wish you guys the best of luck with scuba diving! I'm sure you guys will love it 😊

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  17. I can't swim either but it is great to see that you still tried it. No matter how good the instructors and guides are, it takes courage if you can't swim. And the underwtaer pics are great too.

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    1. Hi Jitaditya! Thank you! Hahaha I know right? I could've sworn I fainted before I went in the water 😂 I'm just so happy to have faced my fears! 😊

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  18. Wow that blue starfish doesn't even seem real! Love the untouched beauty you found underwater, I need to get certified asap!

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    1. Hi Shane! He is just the cutest starfish! I found another one a few corals after but he looked a little scary I thought it was an octopus haha but no. I hope you do! It's so fun 😊

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    2. Hi Shane! He is just the cutest starfish! I found another one a few corals after but he looked a little scary I thought it was an octopus haha but no. I hope you do! It's so fun 😊

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