Thursday, April 27, 2006

Dive Cebu

Mandarin Fish Cebu is an island, a province & a city. Cebu City, the "Queen City of the South", is the oldest & second-busiest metropolis in the Philippines after Manila. The combination of fine sandy beaches, nightlife and easy access to Mactan-Cebu International Airport has made Cebu the most highly developed resort areas in the country. Cebu is also home to world class dive sites and my ultimate goal is to explore all the underwater treasures of Cebu... my home!
Here's my Top 3 Dive Jewels:
Pescador Island (Moalboal) - The island that provide almost everything in a very small area is in fact a large pinnacle rising out or 35m of open water to 6m above the surface. Around the island is a healthy coral ledge that drops to a vertical wall with overhangs and crevices. Must visit the famous Pescador Cathedral, an open-top funnel that bottoms out at 34m. I've seen shoals of jacks, barracudas, Napoleon wrasse, turtles, eagle rays, whitetip and greyreef sharks. Some have seen Hammerhead Sharks, Whale Sharks and Manta Rays.
Monad Shoal (Malapascua) - A sunken island with a flat top at 12m and steep walls sloping down to approximately 200m. The main reason for diving here (as early as 5am) is to see the deep-sea dweller Thresher Sharks and Manta Rays that regularly visit the area as their cleaning station. If you like to see Thresher Sharks but find Malapascua Island too far, you can also get that rare encounter at Tingo Point of Olango Island. I've seen two 3m sharks there.
Marigondon Cave (Mactan) - This dive site is in front of Plantation Bay Resort. The reason for diving here is to visit the cave. The cave in the wall has its entrance at 30-38m where you can see on the right side the four tombstones of Japanese & Filipino divers. Once inside, the penetration of the cave is approximately 40m with pitch black darkness towards the end. There are several grottoes on the right side that contains shoals of enchanting Flashlight Fish. Looking out of the cave entrance is eerie yet spectacular. I've seen two huge Eagle Rays pass by... some have seen Whale Sharks!

And my Precious Jewels are those dive sites where you can find my favorite fish at dusk - the Mandarin Fish! (Kontiki of Mactan Island, Lighthouse of Malapascua Island and Tongo Point of Moalboal)

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Camiguin Island

Camiguin Action Geckos
I've been to this volcanic island several times already and we always stay at Paras Beach Resort... they have the best pizza in town!
Nudibranch City and Canyons, with its superb underwater topography are my favorite sites. I dive with the guys from Camiguin Action Geckos
My Camiguin adventure is never complete without the sunset trip to White Island... the best area to relax and marvel the beauty of this amazing island born of fire!

Friday, April 21, 2006

Boracay Island

My first really close encounter with Silky Shark & Great Hammerhead Shark was in Yapak Wall... circa 1996.
I also had a rare chance to be at the center of a huge school of jacks that whirlpool like a tornado... which i never experienced again!
I had great diving memories in Boracay & i will never get tired of coming back to this beautiful island.
Last December, i had my pre La Union trip there in some sort of a family reunion getaway at Tirol & Tirol Beach Resort. This time i decided not to do anything but relax in the country's top tourist attraction. Well, i did explore the island's nightlife... a bit of food tripping... a little salsa dancing... some shopping...

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Holy Week in Siargao

Photo by Cheyenne Morrison
Just got back from a great Holy Week adventure in Siargao Island but the tide is pulling me again to be there once more.
The trip going there was very long, so i decided to just chill out my first night in Cabuntog Lodge and Cottages with my room mates, Kage and Zeny. Woke up really early and had my first surfing session in Cloud 9 and Jacking Horses. Afternoon was again chill time at Cabuntog beach talking about the Gospel of Judas... but night time was crazy... i was so drunk, i can't remember so many things i did that night!
Anyways, after a hang-over penitence, we had our Good Friday lunch at Guyam Island. Stayed there the whole afternoon and practice zipping while enjoying the breathtaking view of the paradise called Siargao.
I had an early trip the next day back to Cebu.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

My Mares... Just Add Water!

I don't understand why I'm so fascinated with Mares diving equipment & accessories. I just couldn't stop buying the latest gadget from this Italian company.
Here are some of the Mares equipment i use for my dive activities:
Vector 1000 BC Vest / V16 Proton Metal Regulator / Proton Octopus / Mission 1 Compact SPG / NEMO Titanium Computer / X-Vision Black Mask / Samoa 1.5mm Wetsuit / SeaBoot / Short Sleeves Rash Guard / Plana Avanti Quattro Fins / Volo Fins / Volo Power Fins / Technomad 125 Dive Bag / Technomad 100 Dive Bag / Urban Dive Bag

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Holy Week in Palau

Palau is one place you've got to see before you die... being considered as the Mount Everest of Micronesia diving and has been called one of the Seven Underwater Wonders of the World. "Sharks, rays, walls, caves, wrecks, drifts, - Palau has it all"
I was there a year ago to spend my Holy Week with some friends but the memory of Rock Islands still lingers.
We made 22 dives and I got hooked in Blue Corner and New Drop Off. I also had a stranger-than-fiction diving at Jellyfish Lake and Mandarin Fish Lake. But the best part is swimming with the wild dolphins near the Blue Holes.
We stayed at Palau Pacific Resort and we dove with Fisn 'N Fins diveshop where my dive buddy - Alain Rabor, work as a dive instructor.
This year, i'll be spending my Holy Week with new-found friends in another wonderful place called Siargao.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Memorial Dive

Last March 20 was one of the most emotional day of my life as i organize a memorial dive for my Japanese dive buddy - ANRI.
Shown here with me having breakfast at Hilton Cebu Resort & Spa... few days before he died in Japan.
One of his wish is to sleep forever in Marigondon Cave of Mactan Island. His close friends in Japan grouped together and traveled to Cebu to join the dive.
Your wish is granted Sir Anri... No Problem!

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Luke Landrigan

Meg Magazine 2006
Here's a photo of Luke Landrigan... the most famous surfer in the country today! He's won prestigious surfing competitions like the 2005 Lanuza International Longboard Invitational and the La Union Long Board Open. Half-Filipino, half-Australian, Luke is also a crowd favorite when he gets on his board and showcases his talent. Visit his Billabong San Juan Surf School in La Union if you want to learn how to surf.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Baler, Aurora

photo by Kage Gozun
I went to Baler two months ago to watch the 10th Aurora Surfing Cup. I traveled with Boeing and Zeny. Meet up with Kage who took my Year of the Dog Moment photo!
Baler is windy, rainy and cold at that time but i find the place very romantic...
I stayed at Bay's Inn where i met Dane Boberg & Jocelyn Formento from San Mateo, California. We decided to travel together with Boeing to the other side of Luzon... from the Pacific side to the South China Sea side.
I guess La Union has a magnet that keeps pulling me to be there... always!

San Juan, La Union

I was in La Union last December 2005 and stayed at San Juan Surf Resort to watch the Rimat Ti Amianan: Treasure of the North surf competition. Already thinking of taking some surfing lessons... but the waves are too big for a beginner like me. So i just hang out with Mhay, Zeny & Kage at the Monaliza Point to watch the best surfers of the country in action.
We also went to visit Bacnotan Cement Factory and watch my friends (Boeing Paras, Boom Labrusca, Lui Villaruz & Paolo Soler) surf till sunset... the place is beautiful and the sunset is magical!

Surf Lanuza

My first time to watch a real surfing competition was in Lanuza, Surigao del Sur last November 2005 during their 3rd Lanuza Surfing Festival. I met there for the first time Mhay, Zeny, Kage, Kathy and the rest of of the PSF Almost Famous Tour crew. I got starstruck to finally see Luke Landrigan in person... i had my shirt autographed right away!
I was supposed to check the dive sites of Lanuza as part of my itinerary with the group of Mike Ross and Yvette Lee... but the waves are soooo huge... we decided to just hang out at the Mayor's Bar and party with the country's top surfers.

Welcome To My Blog

I decided to create this blog to show you some of my underwater explorations as a divemaster as well as my surf trips. I'm a surfer wannabe and i want you to join my adventures to different exotic locations as i try to catch waves. Is it hard to surf? I guess so, but the thrill of finally riding your board is something you will never forget.
I would like to thank Lemon Dines of La Union Surf Club & Luke Landrigan of Billabong San Juan Surf School for helping me with my first step to the wonderful world of surfing.