The Philippines sits amid the vast ocean with the highest concentration of marine life. In fact, we have here the center of the center of marine biodiversity. That is why it is a great opportunity to explore its underworld which is equally, if not more exciting than what it offers above sea.
I have long been dreaming of exploring the underworld. Learning how to dive, acquiring a PADI license and diving in Tubattaha are in my to-do list. But due to tight work schedule, my plan to enroll in an Open Water Course has been pushed back again and again and again.
Day 1: Samal in a Day
0600H – 0730H: Arrival to Davao City. Check-In at DMSF. Breakfast.
0730H – 0800H: To Sta. Ana Wharf Davao Scuba Dive Center.
0800H: Start of Talikud Island Loop Tour (Sta Ana Wharf > Angel’s Cove > Babu Santa)
1100H: Lunch at Babu Santa Beach.
1300H: Tour (Coral Garden > Isla Reta > Pass by Kaputian Beach, Punta Del Sol > Sta Ana Wharf)
1600H: End of Tour.
1700H – 1800H: Leave Sta Ana Wharf (To DMSF)
1800H – 1900H: Dinner
1900H – 1930H: Back to DMSF Dorm
Day 2: Eden Nature Park
0600H – 0830H: Wake-up call. Check out.
0830H – 0930H: To Matina Town Square (MTS). Breakfast.
0930H – 1030H: MTS to Eden Nature Park
1030H – 1130H: Guided Shuttle Tour
1130H – 1300H: Buffet Lunch.
1300H – 1400H: Rest. Relax. Photo Ops.
1400H – 1530H: SkyRider. Rest. Tour. Photo Ops.
1530H – 1630H: Eden NPR to MTS
1630H – 1800H: Matina Town Square. Eat. Relax. Explore.
1800H: Proceed to Airport.
Scuba diving was not in the itinerary and never in my mind did I set to try even an scuba introduction in my two days in Samal and Davao. But some unexpected things happened. In the end most of the tour joiners availed of the Scuba Introduction course and enjoyed the piece of heaven underneath the sea. I was the most excited.
Our dives cannot be logged as official for we are not yet certified divers. We were limited only to up to 30 feet, yet we were already amazed by what we saw, various colorful corals, fishes and other sea creatures that I only see in movies and documentaries.
My first descend was on Angel’s Cove. A 20 to 30 feet flat bed and reef with mild under water current. There I saw magnificent corals, all in vivid colors, anemone, pupper fish, sea horse and other fishes and sea creatures that I don’t even know by name. I had a hard time equalizing the pressure in and out of my ear but I still managed to enjoy the scenes under.
My second dive was in the Coral Garden. A 30-feet flatbed covered with live corals and with mild underwater current. There I perfected the equalizing technique and mask clearing.
The Introduction to Scuba Diving costs P750.00 for one dive, plus P100.00 for every additional dive. Each dive lasts for 20 – 30 minutes and guided by a licensed diver. All you need to do is breathe, equalize and clear your mask underwater. The rest, which includes navigation, buoyancy control, oxygen and depth monitoring will be done by the guide.
If you like to try Introduction to Scuba Diving and you are in Davao City, there are a lot of scuba diving center in the city near the Sta. Ana Wharf, but the most popular is the Davao Scuba Dive Center at Monteverde St., you may call them at (082)226-2588. They also offer scuba diving courses. Their PADI Open Water Course costs only P8500.00, the cheapest rate I know. They offer the cheapest scuba diving services in Davao (or even in the entire Philippines).