Anilao is a wonderful tropical paradise. With its lovely sunlit streets, pretty pastel houses, and breathtaking dive sites, this is a haven you will fall instantly in love with. Located just two to three hours from Manila, at the southwestern tip of Luzon, Anilao is easily accessible by car – or by bus, for those who want to have the “Pinoy experience”. Bristling with dive sites and populated with hundreds of dive resorts, Anilao has a well-earned reputation as one of the Philippines’ most popular dive destinations.
In September, I had the privilege of experiencing my first taste of scuba diving, with Anilao as my base. I was to be certified by PADI, the world’s leading scuba diver training organisation, at Casa Escondida, a PADI 5-star Instructor Development Centre (IDC).
In my home country of Singapore, you rarely come across someone who has even been scuba diving, let alone passionate about it. Despite being an island, the people of this bustling city state seem to have a certain detachment from their surrounded waters. It wasn’t until I attended the Philippine Dive Expo (PHIDEX), from September 20 to 22, that I had the opportunity to interact with seasoned divers and listen to their stories, and get to know more about the joys and technicalities of scuba diving.
TAKING THE FIRST PLUNGE
Hearing about the thrill of diving from enthusiastic divers is one thing, but trying it yourself is something else entirely. I have to admit that I began my training with some apprehension, which is probably normal for any new diver. Fortunately, the first few sessions were conducted in a swimming pool, around five metres deep, so my nervousness was tempered by the knowledge that there was a short ascent in case I got into trouble.
After the intensive first day’s training, I was utterly exhausted and slept very well that night.
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Issue 03 - 2019