Tag Archives: Batangas

Quick video of our first dive!

Believe it or not, the dives got a LOT more exciting after this! 

Why should you watch this video?  My head looks like a cone with the lycra hoodie I got to keep my hair from tangling on my mask (yes, make fun of me, nothing like finding out you looked ridiculous after the fact), and the tropical fish are adorable!  Wish their colors would translate better in video, as they are amazing in person!

Feeding the fish at Dive & Trek in Batangas, Philippines

(The videos I’ve posted have been showing up tiny in google reader, not sure what’s the issue, but if it looks that way, just click on it to watch it on the blog. Oh, and if anyone knows of a solution for the google reader issue, please tell!)

Editing to say: nothing like complaining about something and having it show up just fine on the reader…  No idea why the other ones looked weird!

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Filed under Diving, Travel

Diving: My biggest fear came true

If you’ve been paying attention to my endless rambling, you know that this weekend Karl and I went to Batangas to get our diving certification.

I have always wanted to scuba dive, but Karl wasn’t very excited about it, but said “fine” to make me happy.  My BIGGEST fear about diving was one I made very clear pre-trip:  that I would LOVE it, and want to do it again and again and again and again.  Why was that my fear?  Well, it is not a cheap hobby…

So after a lot of not so exciting classes, and a long night at the pool (which still didn’t have me convinced I was going to like this diving thing), we were up at 4am on Saturday, Karl filled up the cup he got at our goodbye party with coffee, and we made the long 2.5 hour drive over to Dive & Trek in Batangas.

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Once we got there and parked the car, it was another 10 minutes on a boat over to the resort (also note this was Karl’s FIRST ever picture showing off his braces!).

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And we finally arrived!

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(Yes, it rained a bit during our weekend – but mostly we were under water and had no clue!)

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I got a ton of pictures of us taken while diving – but I didn’t bring a USB drive, so I’ll have to get copies of it and post them later.  I can’t wait to show you how dorky we looked!

But how was diving? 

A.M.A.Z.I.N.G.  I mean, seriously, it way beyond my expectations.  It’s a whole different world out there…  It wasn’t just pretty tropical fish (though they’re incredible!), but corals, plants in every different shade and color (and OMG, they’re HUGE!), giant 3 feet long clams, blue starfish, bubbly marshmallow-like starfish, sea cucumbers, and a bunch of other things that I don’t even know what they are (it’s not like you can ask questions underwater…).  It’s incredible to think all that we miss by just hanging out on top of the water! 

My only disappointment?  I really wanted to see a turtle, but that didn’t happen.  Hopefully next time!

We needed 4 dives for our certification, but we ended up doing 6 dives!  We even took a boat out to Ligpo Island to see the rest of the corals. INCREDIBLE!  Basically everything around the island is this giant coral mountain with amazing corals and plants. 

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I mean, I’m talking about things I never even knew existed.  You know Finding Nemo and all that colorful environment of the cartoon?  TOTALLY real.  And to think it’s all alive!   (I know I must sound like an idiot for those of you reading this who have been diving for a while, but it’s one thing to see pictures of it or see it in small fish tanks or aquariums, and another to see it in person in their native environment.  It’s not like I didn’t know it was real before, but it’s a whole other experience seeing it for myself and being part of it!)

So yeah, we’re hooked.

And this weekend?  We’re back in Batangas, this time for our advanced certification, because it seems like for the wrecks in Coron, it’s best if you can go deeper.

We were exhausted at the end of our last dive on Sunday, but took a few pictures during lunch.  (Yes, Karl shirt says “100% Grouchy” and yes, I bought it for him, and yes it suits him!)

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Seriously it’s hard to beat this view…  Dive & Trek was very barebones when it came to our accommodations (single beds pressed together, no hot shower, not enough light in the room to read…) but the place was SO relaxing…  Plus, you didn’t have to travel to experience the sea life, all you had to do was get in the water and it was all there!

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You can see the clouds approaching on our boat ride back, we basically just made it in time to get to the car before the storm hit us.  Perfect timing!

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And the drive back was interesting to say the least.  Miles and miles on this street and the flags would never end!

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And after being stuck in traffic in Tagaytay (we took the scenic way back – and we MUST go back to see the lake), we had to buy a snack off a road side vendor.

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We’re back in Batangas this Saturday, and on my list of things to buy?  An underwater casing for my camera.  Because I want to be able to show you all how amazing it all really is!

(I honestly think that the Philippines is one of those secret travel spots that no one really knows about.  This country is incredible!)

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Filed under Diving, Philippines, Travel

Trips! Trips! Trips!

One of the great things about living in Manila is that we can take pretty affordable trips around the area!  Since we only have two years to explore, we plan on making the most of it!

We already went to Bohol, Hong Kong and Macau

This weekend, we’re off on a short weekend trip to Batangas to do this for the first time:

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(Classes start today!)

At the end of the month we have booked a trip to Cebu…

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And since we have labor day weekend coming up, we also booked a trip to Coron, in the middle of nowhere, where we’ll eat the food that was fished that day and take boat trips around the islands and go wreck diving…

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For my birthday a couple of weeks later, we agree that I don’t need anything now, and decided to have an experience instead…  So we’re off to Subic to this place, so I can do this…

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We’re making a weekend out of it, which might include ziplining or another diving experience.

October will not be outdone!  We’re off to Korea to visit both Seoul (where Karl lived for 4 years during his Army days) and Busan!

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For November, Veterans Day weekend in the US means another holiday for us, and thanks to cheap tickets ($185 total for round trip tickets for the TWO of us!) we’re off to a 2-night stay in Taipei, Taiwan!

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No trips (yet!) scheduled for December, but I already mentioned that January we’ll be busy with my parents visit, where we’ll go to Thailand to see Bangkok and Chiang Mai, we’re off to Siem Reap in Cambodia, and we even added a last minute addition (as our plane was stopping there anyway):  Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam!

Have you traveled much around in Southeast Asia or the Philippines?  Any place else you believe we MUST see? 

For future trips in the PI, we have Tagaytay, El Nido, Puerto Princesa, Boracay and Donsol on our list, just haven’t planned it yet!  We’re also hoping to hit Singapore at some point, and if we can find good flights, go over to Bali as well!

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Filed under Philippines, Travel, Traveling in Asia