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Panglao
May 5, 2014
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Panglao

My hotel in Bohol was situated on a little island that one could get to by bridge called Panglao. On day two I had a scuba diving trip planned. Everyone I’ve talked to said that diving in the Philippines was probably one of the best places in the world to do it and just an incredible experience. The diving in Australia was fun but at times a little scary so I wasn’t 100% excited about diving but had to try it out since I was in the Philippines. My hotel set me up with a local company owned by a Swiss couple and the whole experience from start to finish was absolutely amazing. No one else was diving that day so it was like I had a privately guided dive. Since I am new and not certified I have to have a safety lesson before every dive session. We first start by going underwater and I practice taking out my breathing piece and then put it back in. I absolutely hate doing this, it freaks me out everytime! I mean you are a few feet under water and you have to physically take your breathing piece out and then slowly breath out bubbles and then put it back in your mouth and blow hard to get the water out. I hate it, but it’s necessary to know how to do this in case it would happen to fall out when we are 30 feet under water. We then practiced how to empty the goggles underwater in case they get clogged and how to equalize the pressure in the ears since the further down you go the more pressure it is on your ears. When we practiced removing the mouth piece, I got it back in but I just felt like I couldn’t catch my breath, I started to panic and I signaled that I needed to go up. When I was younger, I had “exercised-induced” asthma and thats what I felt was happening. I prayed that it wouldn’t last because I really wanted to do this dive. The instructor was really patient with me and told me to take my time and after a few minutes we went back down. Unfortunately he made me practice removing the mouthpiece again before we continued on. This time it was much better and within minutes we were off. The sea coral were absolutely breath-taking! It put the Great Barrier Reef to shame. There were deep hues of yellows, reds, blues and purples. In fact there was so much purple and yellow down there that I now associate the ocean with those colors and NOT the color blue-strange. I saw gigantic violet-colored star fish and scorpio fish that blended in with the coral, the only reason I knew they were fish is because my guide would point them out to make them move. Little Nemo fish swam up to us and just stared at us (they love people), I saw eels and blow fish, I was like a kid in a candy shop, I couldn’t stop looking around. That day we dived for 58 minutes. 58 minutes underwater! I got to the surface and my first words were, I would like to pay for a second dive! We drove to another coral wall and this time we had to swim through a hole in the coral to get where we wanted me to go. The hole was deep and I had to swim down about 33 feet to get through it. These coral were more beautiful than the last and we swam for another 55 minutes under water. Usually beginner divers only go for 30 minutes or so but my instructor said that I was a natural and looked really comfortable so he decided to make it longer. Since I don’t have my open water diving certification, I will never be allowed to go deeper than 30 feet or so and it’s always more money because I have to go through training lessons before the session. After that day, I think that I have found a new hobby and will probably get certified sometime before my trip ends so that I can go into deeper waters and see bigger fish!

Alona beach, a 2 minute walk from my hotel.

This little boy knew all the words to Wrecking Ball by Miley Cyrus. He doesn’t even look old enough to talk but he was belting out the versus in the water-haha

There was a French guy, Sylvan, that worked at the dive shop and he invited me and Greg, another diver who was staying at my hotel to go to his neighbor’s house for dinner. They have a small restaurant in front of their home (with one table) and they BBQ’d pork and chicken for us. There was the cutest baby there that night named Angel and I could not get enough of her. I kept telling her mom and grandmother that I wanted to take her back to America and they actually got excited about the thought of her going to America. They kept calling me her American mama. Greg was obsessed within baby Angel too!

Beers are huge in the Philippines!

My adoptive Filipino family!

Dumaluan Beach. These kids were having the time of their lives in the water.

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