I was given the privilege to attend one of the gatherings of Sangkalikasan Reefbuddies last April. I tell you, I experienced a whole lot more. I finished a scuba-diving course and saw the amazing natural resources of the island like the waterfalls, hot and cold springs, and even the nearby islands. Read more of that in my Secret Cove Spot!
Sangkalikasan, which means “one nature”, promotes protection of the ecosystem of the sea through various projects like the coral restoration program. As a Climate Change Reality leader, I was invited to present the effects of climate change especially to the sea. It was a bit nerve-racking considering that the audience were from the local government, Department of Science and Technology, divers, teachers, and even scientists! I’m thankful for the experience because it opened me to a whole new exciting world. I met people who share the same advocacy as mine. I learned more about corals, fish, ocean currents (I must have skipped this in my high school or college science subject!) and how all are interconnected – what you do on land affects the sea and vice-versa.
But the highlight will definitely be my last dive, we saw a THRESHER SHARK! I wasn’t able to take a photo but that’s okay until now, I can still remember how it looked like.
Here are some “tips” for first time scuba-divers:
- Make sure you read the manuals and practice the skills. I promise you repeating it a few times will really help you once you’re doing the open water dive. I had a hard time removing and placing back my weights. Haha!
- Breathing exercises do help.
- It’s a bit of a mind exercise as well. When you don’t know how to relax yourself especially when you are panicking, it won’t be as fun. You can’t just shoot up out of the water, you have to deal with it and calm yourself.
- Equalize. Learn it, it’s going to be your bestfriend.
- Be open and enjoy it! When you stay put and focus, you’ll see more – more small fishes, more corals hiding somewhere or camouflaging.
Here are the photos I’ve gathered from my Scuba Trip and a video compilation as well. I was so afraid at first because I might hit the corals and disturb the fish. There’s a whole lot more to explore under the sea and a whole lot to protect as well.
If you know what the corals are called do let me know!
Thank you to these two awesome gentlemen for the intro dive as well – Thirdy and Janjan!
If you want to get involved and learn more about climate change visit the Climate Reality Project!