Diving in Anilao!

anthias at mainit point
Juvenile anthias at Mainit Point

I was just too eager to visit one of the country’s most dived destination and it’s been on my list for some time. Time has changed perhaps for me, my goal is that there must be at least one dive trip in a month. So, this September just in time for the international clean-up day and with a long weekend we arranged for an Anilao get-away! It was just perfect to refresh a full week at work…

Again, I wanted just to sneak away from town and be transported with less fuss but as always someone would just came up just as surprised as you are, I found myself talking to my officemate but gratefully sans work issues. The flight was smooth but as we hover over the metro preparing to descend I could see the smog covering all over, although there was sun but it was shady. It felt disappointing seeing the sight, in few minutes I’ll be subjecting myself to health hazards – that’s the city!

Getting a taxi up at the pre-departure area, I went straight to LRT-Buendia to meet up Angel, and after taking our early lunch, got into a Batangas bound aircon bus. It was bit a long trip due to traffic jams, picking up and dropping passengers. The rain poured when we got to Bauan on a jeepney, with jams again have to find another route. When we reached the town square, we got into a trike dropping us at another trike terminal going to Pier Uno. It was still raining and we are soaked already, alas it was steep going down to the resort so we have to walk our way on that abrupt walkway – the trike simply can’t manage it! Descending the path, carrying our bags, rain pouring and trying to manage we wont slip off – ah, this is traveling is all about! We arrived late already and it was getting dark. We failed to participate in the clean up activity!

Pier Uno

The resort is a secluded place with few low buildings that houses the rooms, a dining hall with on-going works, a modest pool, dive shop, and a small deck at the water front. We got into the Red Rock – a dainty pink room suited for girls :), feeling relieved to have a warm place for refuge. I got a dive guide book from Angel 🙂 which I keep on poring now and then during our stay. DM Peen & company – Angels’ contact – came to meet us for some pleasantries but was sorry we missed the cleanup. After some rest we got down into the dining hall for dinner, we are bit earlier as there wasn’t much guests yet which is better I think. We’re bit famished after the trip and the warm food was just enough to refreshed us. Later, we got down again taking a peek at the party, meeting up with other divers – they said there’s a raffle, that’s what we’re interested about!  But alas, almost everybody got a prize but Angel and I didn’t.

Mainit Point & Apples

lionfish 3
colorful lionfish

Wake up early the next morning to set up the underwater casing for the cam and to put on my contacts – some preparatory procedures before diving. About 7am we got down to have our breakfast, and by chance joined Rodel who’s talking that he wanted to have a shore dive early morning since he’s leaving for the city. We waited for the group thinking it could be sooner, just too excited to be in the waters! It was too long we decided to snorkel near the resort’s front. Finally, we left past 11am cruising to Mainit Point, ourfirst site. Our DM said the current could be tricky, so we need to follow a path away from the current – we are all six with only one DM – how absurd! We descend and truly amazed of the colorful paradise, so rich with micros – Angel and I feasted with many sightings, there was much photos to take! In between, our DM signaled to me for Angel, his tank almost gotten off from its band. We ascend after 47 mins and my air down to 40 bars. We descend for our second dive at Apples after our surface interval, just nearby Mainit. There was such abundant marine life – colorful corals, basket sponges, gorgonians, crinoids, cucumber, anemones, and more. The colorful frogfish caught our fancy! Angel took all the photos he want until the battery went dead! We ascend after 53 mins with my air down to 80 bars. Angel and I wanted for third dive but itwas late already. We cruised back to the resort riding on the waves, smiling of the rich encounters we just had.

At Apples for a pose...

As soon as we got our things in the room, we got into the dining area for our too late lunch and too early dinner. We savored our food slowly wanting to fill our hunger – we’re so famished and tired! As always I went last at the bath so I could take time for rinsing the gears. Time to pack and settle things, as Angel was at the front desk I went up to him so we could settle the bills and inform for our too early check out the next morning. I started to read again the dive guide while Angel was poring on his notebook. We viewed the underwater photos, trying to identify the fishes from the book – so wonderful to just view the amazing creatures we encountered. We were amused that  we don’t even took the time to open and watch the tv.  We got down again to the dining area for hot drinks, I needed one before dozing off.

Getting Back

I slowly arise when my alarm went off at 430am the next morning, after my prayer and bath routine, I packed finally – so much stuff to arrange and pack. Why do women got lot of things to pack? And guys don’t – Angel is still on bed while I spent about 30 minutes packing my gears and stuff! We finally went out to check out after having our hot drinks – it would still be a long way to the metro. It was still dark and we’re fortunate that the resort’s transpo was available to bring us to the town, we got into the aircon bus hoping there wasn’t much jams on the road. Indeed, we arrived early at the metro at 830am, we took the jeep going to IPO – our meeting place- (Jen & Raquel’s Office). We’re having brunch with them including Ruthie .

It was good to see them again especially Ruthie who haven’t joined in the trips for more than a year already. We shared stories, laughter and the yummy food at Buddy’s, we talked about our next trips for the group which is definitely next year. After the byes we ended the meeting and left for the airport early with Jen. I was for more surprise when I got to the airport – I sighted Eduard of BAI who was too surprised to see me! Then later after I checked in and on my way for the terminal fee, I sighted Ms. Sol (MRDP) who was as surprised as I am . We talked about work again…  But it’s good, because we can relate our concerns for MRDP, of course there’s laughter too and of course trips, they’re scheduling for Turtle Islands!  Can I come ? I want to watch the little tortoise’s crawling on the white beach…

The flight back to CdO was smooth and we touched down on the wet runway, a heavy downpour just stopped before the arrival. It feels good to be back home after a wonderful weekend at Anilao with Angel. Oh well, our next month’s trip is set already – back to Calamianes to dive the wrecks!  I can always count the Lord’s goodness in every end of my trip, He always arranged things for me in perfect order – always!

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