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Dive Now or Never | A Bauan Weekend Story

Holla! Please welcome me back! It’s been a while since the last time I updated this blog and I apologize for that. Anyway, I have this feeling that this is a start that I will be staying in front my computer to give you an update while I still can. So here you go.

Just like any of you, I also pray to spend a little time away from the usual cycle of things we do in our everyday life. Back in the city, even if I am currently unoccupied, the thought of being bum stresses me out, wanting to divert my attention away from the four corners of my room.

I had the privilege to receive an invitation from a dear friend Dale, a SCUBA instructor from Camp Raya in Bauan, Batangas, and I eventually did not hesitate to join the group for a weekend staycation.

I have been to some parts of Batangas doing field works back in college and it’s just felt so common among hardcore travelers and adventure-seekers to visit Batangas since a lot of places and activities had been covered already.

Yes, it’s true that the places in Batangas are quite tiring for some, but that is if you are doing the same things over and over again. But there is another trip that most of you have not accomplished yet and could have only wished to tick it off from your bucket list and that is SCUBA diving. So, I think it's time to do it now and I suggest for you to keep reading more below.

Bauan is somewhat not so familiar from the urban dwellers especially if you are not yet introduced to the world of diving. Lucky for me I had been a fan of this recreational sport before I left Mindanao in 2013.

Here in Batangas, if you speak of SCUBA diving, the first thing that comes into your mind is the resort-crowded coast of Anilao in Mabini. I have tried staying in the two of the luxury dive resorts in the area, but I guess the cost of stay is not for everyone to afford if you are in a very tight budget.

There is no sandy beach in this part of Batangas, instead the coast is filled with cobbled stones and the waves are “moody” from calm to ragingly angry depending on how the wind whispers from the west. I got curious watching from afar when divers from other resorts in Anilao come and visit the front “beach” of Binukbok Point. It got me excited to know what lies beneath of the unpredictable waves.

Lucky for me, I had already my open water license after my Surigao diving stint courtesy of Jake Miranda of Punta Bilar Dive Resort in Surigao City, that it took me awhile to refresh my mind of the do’s and don’t’s of SCUBA diving. The resort is strategically located beside Binukbok Point and the resort provides  diving equipment that are affordably available for rent.

The best part of diving is meeting new friends

Hurray for me that a small wet suit was available fitting me perfectly. The moment I got “armored”, together with our dive master, we set for a shore dive. It wasn’t easy for me after having a long break doing SCUBA diving and  equalizing as we go down was still giving me a hard time, pulling me slow to go deeper.

Just a peek of what to expect beneath the water: A school of Jack Fish (Photo courtesy of Brigette Cawaling)

The short dive justified the name of the resort after we saw the different species of big fishes. For the first time I have seen the swarming Jacks that spread a silver stream of highway above the coral reef and forming a tornado-like vortex as a form of defense from its predators.

It was an exciting moment to witness first hand the expensive (Class A) fish that I used to see and buy in the supermarket. What an exhilarating experience also to spot some of the out of this world nudibranchs and a ray of diverse corals breaking the water above. Thanks to my dive buddies  Dale, Jeff, Stan and Nic that I was able to enjoy  once again the rainforest of the ocean.

Experienced and first time divers enjoying the reef of Bauan, Batangas under the guidance of Dale Robin Mendoza (photo credit to Nic Amboy and Brigette Cawaling)

For me, the underground “terrain” of Bauan is suitable for first time divers as it offers few challenges from easy to tricky corridor. I would really suggest to book in this resort for practicality reasons: One, you don’t have to rent a boat to take you to the dive site since the coral reef fronting the resort is already over flowing with diverse marine creatures, and that 2 or 3 dives  are not enough to cover the area. Two, the diversity of the underwater species are just as spectacular compared with the other diving sites in the Philippines; and three, the accommodation is relatively cheaper compared to the neighboring resorts.

You don’t have to worry about the food here  as they cater a set of simple yet satisfying home-cooked dishes that we now seldom experience because of our busy schedule (guilty fast food addict here). Mongo, Adobo and Sotanghon are my favorites. It is nice that from time to time we set our standards a little lower to avoid complications in life. Trust me, it works big time for me.

And if you are lonely and feeling nostalgic, try to enjoy the beautiful sunset in the company of Kumi, Max and Cookie (friendly guard dogs). They are just around to cheer you up.

Diving is more fun when you share this wonderful experience with friends.

But if you are not yet ready to dive, you can still do snorkeling and witness the colorful fishes swimming few meters below. Just bring a pack of bread or biscuit and spread it over the water to let the fish come to you. But to fully enjoy the God’s precious gift to this earth, I really recommend for you to try SCUBA diving and tick off this not-so-common adventure in your life.

Regret is the word that you will utter in the future not doing this while you still can. I really suggest for you to do it now while the rich resource is still around and you are still capable to step into the ocean.

                “For there is no tomorrow if you have lived TODAY”

Side trip

If you wish to extend your adventure, you can do trekking starting from the Highest Peak of Bauan Point where you can see the local version of Christ the Redeemer. The view deck was established in 2015 with a 180 degree panoramic view of the bay.

The local version of Christ the Redeemer and the amazing view at the trail going to Bus Stop.

From there, you can trek the established trail going back to the resort. You will have a peek of the bay from above. It was an easy trail but I guess it will be difficult during rainy days. The walk will last for less than two (2) hours, just perfect for a little sweat and exercise. You will be greeted by agro-forest type of vegetation, composed of fruit trees like Atis (Annona squamosa), lush bamboos and pineapples. A guide can be requested from the resort. This activity is truly rewarding if you set a little challenge to yourself.

How to get there?

In Cubao or Buendia, just take a bus bound for Lemery, Batangas, fare is roughly Php160.00 and travel time is around 3-4 hours (depending on traffic situation) . From the bus terminal in Lemery, take a tricycle and tell the driver to take you to the pier of Summer Cruise Parking Lot in San Pablo Bauan, fare is Php150/3pax and travel time is less than 30 minutes. From the parking lot you will take a boat going to the resort. Be sure to contact the resort first to inform them so they can send a boat for you.

For more information and inquiries on rates on SCUBA Diving, certification and accommodation don't hesitate to contact the numbers below:

Dive Instructor/ Resort Manager (Camp Raya Resort and Adventure)
Mobile number: +63 9338594803

 or if he is unattended you can alternatively  contact me:
 Mobile number: 09273270344

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