Friday, October 20, 2006

Encounters of the Third Kind

“Yo, Brotha A to Z! Yo, wussup B! Yo, What time is it? Ha-ha It’s Laundry day! Do-do-do ...” the sound grows louder, echoing across my concrete-walled studio apartment as I slowly gain conciousness. My cellphone’s alarm has been set-off. I’m so used to hearing Jason Mraz’s “Geek in the Pink” that on normal days I would reach out for my cellphone on my side table blindly and set the alarm to snooze. It wouldn’t be a surprise then if I’ll be late for work again (4x this week, not so bad considering that I’ve had perfect weeks! shhhh! (^1^) ). But today was no ordinary day. Today I get to meet aliens!

5:00 am, groggy, I drag myself to my bathroom and force myself to take a bath, careful not to pour cold water on my eyes so as not to make them puffy. My explorer buddies and I are meeting 6:00am in Mactan. It’s a 30-minute drive from where I live. I hurriedly packed by bag and headed for our meeting place in Hadsan Resort. I was happy to know that I wasn’t the last to arrive in the group. While waiting, I amused myself looking at a few of the captured creatures enclosed in a glass container. There was one creature very noticeable from the rest. It used to be blue in color but now it has turned black! How can that be? One of my more experienced buddies enlightened us with this creatures characteristics. She said that this creature changes its color as it matures. Also that it’s a hermaphrodite. It starts of having male organs but then later on transforms into a female. “Wow! What an interesting creature.”, I thought. Hearing this, my anticipation skyrocketed. I couldn’t wait for our adventure to begin.

We boarded “Ichiban”, the vessel that would take us to our destinations. From her name, I bet she’s the best vessel there is. I heard that it would take around 2 hours to reach our first destination so I tried to get some sleep. The sound and vibration coming off Ichiban was hypnotizing and relaxing at first, until the journey became rough and Ichiban started rocking up and down. I woke up to see how my buddies were doing. Some were still sleeping, others were chatting, and some started gearing up. We must be near the site. I prepared myself for the alien world which we were about to enter. I tried to remember all the instructions that my instructor gave me. It has been a month since our last session. I couldn’t remember a thing. If I was going at this alone, I’d be scared to death. Good thing I have my buddies with me. Ichiban then started slowing down and everyone geared up. Minutes later I was on the edge, with my right hand covering my face, and my left hand supporting the back of my head. Took one giant stride followed by a 6-foot fall and I was transported into a new world.

Different shades of blue and green were the only colors to be seen. From above, scarce light illuminates our path. I felt ringing in my ears. I equalized them and continued to descend keeping conscious all through out to never hold my breath (Most important rule!). I can see a cliff below us. We cautiously head for it. The closer we got, the surrounding area slowly transmogrified from the lifeless shade of blue into this colorful world, full of life. Yellow, orange, green, red, pink, blue, violet, orange, purple, silver, black, whatever color you can think of, name it and it’s all there, in one single area. Creatures big and small, inhabit the place. Some, oblivious of our presence, ignored us and went about their business. Some, as if seeing a predator, scurried into the safety in between the cracks. This place is only minutes away from our world and yet it took me 27 years to discover it. I was enjoying the beauty underwater. (^.^)/

October 15, 2006 (Sunday) was the day I graduated and got my certification as an Open Water Diver. I have my pink card to prove it to you! o(^,^o) That day, I saw a lot of first! My first Ghost pipefish, my first Lion fish, my first Porcelain crab, my first Pawikan (Sea turtle), my first purple Jellyfish, and a lot other fish and corals which I yet do not know the names of. Did I see Nemo, you ask? I saw a lot! The Ghost pipefish, I heard, is a rare find. What a thing to see on your first dive right? We only knew about it after we surfaced though. If only I had known earlier I would have looked at it more closely. We dove thrice that day. Once in Cabilao and twice in Balicasag. Both sites are in Bohol. I enjoyed each and every dive. Although this new world is alien to me, I’m looking forward to getting to know it more. After all, it only remains alien when you know nothing about it.

The ribbon eel that changes its color from blue to black and eventually to yellow as it matures.

Ghost pipefish

Lion fish

Porcelain crab

Me and my diving buddies.

Ribbon eel, porcelain crab, lion fish photos courtesy of the scubajuju.
"Me and my diving buddies" courtesy of EC of Aquadive.

Check out these links for more photos of our dive:

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  1. I'm trying out this new thing of posting sequels in my comment page so as you would have to read the comments and hopefully leave one! ^^


    On our way back from Bohol, we rode across stormy seas( a little bit exaggerated maybe)and sort of lost our way for a while. We accidentally passed through a shallow area causing Ichiban's propeller/engine to get stuck in the sand. Cellphones began ringing as relatives back in Cebu began to worry where we were. Luckily, with the crew and everyone's help, we made it safely back to Mactan. (Big thanks to pilot K's navigation skills).


    Speaking of encounters of the third kind, if you have been present in our company's family day last friday, October 13, I'd say with all the hugging, crying, drunkeness, and fighting going around, that was a much closer encounter with the third kind. hehehe ^^ Must be because it's friday the 13th. (^o^)/~~


    Will miss all of you guys!
    Thanks for the memories.


  2. laway ako at certified diver ka na! galing! masaya basahin ang trip mong ito. may pix pa! wooohooo!
    guess who..

  3. wahhh... you finally did it!
    ang galing naman at may licensya ka na. enjoy everything while you still can.. :D

  4. Hello anonymous! Ikaw ba si Rico? ^^ By the way you write I'd say galing kang Manila pero hindi man ata gumagamit ng "laway ako" mga galing Manila. hehehe ^^ Pakilala ka naman ... sabay tayo mag-diving pag andito ka sa Cebu hehehe ^^

    Belated! Musta celebration? ^^
    Yeah! Finally! Salamat sa SRC fund dito hehehe ^^ 50% subsidy ^^ Syempre Bohol pa rin the best! ^^

  5. does this mean something?


    Will miss all of you guys!
    Thanks for the memories.


  6. Anonymous said...
    "does this mean something?"

    Sino ka muna? hehehe ^^

    It only means that I will be missing all my friends here in Cebu if ever I do decide to leave soon ^^

  7. huy! saan ka ba pupunta?
    balik ka na japan! heheh...

    ka-ngiga gud anang imohang giregister na "hobbies and talents" sa epson.. the best talaga ang pipol ng epson! heheh... :D

    ano naman kaya ang bago next year? baka may kukuha na ng skydiving... heheh.. :D

  8. romz! ^^

    thinking of moving on palang wala pang definite plans. ^^ pero parang gusto ko mag singapore, o kaya bum muna hehehe ^^

    si kay, gui, and joseph nag driving lessons. Naay nag holiday spa for 4 months ^^ ga-boxing and wall climbing sila aside from the belly dancing and strip tease workouts hehehe ^^

  9. Grabeha lingawa gud! Gi-fulfill jud nimo imong "Wow Philippines" na target ah.

  10. hi shie!

    mudaghan namo diha kay naa nasab mangapas ninyo ^^

    Wow Philippines jud! ana jud! una ang own country. hehehe ^^ Pero murag d jud ko makaadto ug cagayan and camiguin. mau nalang kuwang. ^^ sayang kaayo kay duul nalang from cebu niya wala man gud ko kauban kay mostly nakaadto naman tanan. huhuhu :( Camotes sab diay dapat maadtuan ^^

  11. great pix!
    what camera did you use? :)

  12. Hi superzero!

    The pictures are not mine but from my diving buddies. Most of then use canon ixus 750 and 800. They just buy the underwater casing. They also have underwter strobes (flash). Meron din gumagamit ng sony cybershot ^^ pero I think mas gusto nila ang output ng canon. ^^

    As for my photo exhibit at I use the Canon 350D, also known as the Rebel XT ^^

    thanks! reunion tayo! ^^

  13. Uy, hindi ako si anonymous ah... feeling mo! Hehehe.

  14. hahaha ^^
    parang ikaw na parang hindi ^^
    sino pala yun?

  15. wow... dami fans ang canon :)
    ganda rin ng pics mo from your other blog.

    kelan ka punta SG? give me a holler pag dating mo :)

  16. superzero
    - are you in SG? what company? refer mo naman ako. hehehe ^^
    pero want to try a different kind of programming na. yun nga lang wala ako experience on other fields hehehe ^^

  17. paalis pa lang :) i'll be working at siemens..

    pareho tayo, naghanap ako ng change of pace/environment, kaya try ko automotive electronics. hehe!

    sure thing! penge resume, forward ko dun sa mga inapply-an ko. ganbatte!

  18. thanks superzero!

    sige, I'll contact you pag andun kana. ^^ don't wanna apply as of now hehehe ^^ gusto ko dito mag christmas sa pilipinas ^^ kailan alis mo?


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