Diving in Panglao: Balicasag, Pamilacan, and local dives


Day 4, Tuesday, 17 May

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Report: CLEAR SKIES! (= ANNNND WE’RE OFF TO BALICASAG! 

We dived with seaquest on alona beach, a short five min walk from our accommodation, captain’s lodge. If you’re there, speak to Ben! Great guy.

There are five dive sites there, I think it’ll be perfect if you can go on two days, provided the dive shop loves you and is willing to let you visit all five sites, depending on conditions too. I really enjoyed this site. Heaps of nudis, frogfishes… really good for photog.
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IMG_3001Lil one hiding among anemone. Spotted porcelain crab.

IMG_3013Miller’s Nambrotha

IMG_3017Crested Nembrotha

IMG_3044Kubaryana’s Nembrotha.
This creature stunned me. firey neon red outlines, oh my goodness. My camera couldn’t capture its beauty in its entirety for sure.
IMG_3094Tiger Mantis shrimp. I’ve begun understanding how to look out for it. Just find a  hole that sticks out of the ground, (like a protruding donut) and then sprinkle some sand above it. Wait for 30secs or so, and the tiger shrimp will come creeping out!

IMG_3104Not sure what this is… But pretty nevertheless. Neon green and pink.

And that was it for the first dive! (=

Dive two soon followed…IMG_3109Crazy phenomenon of bubbles rising from beneath the sand/rocks. 

IMG_3124Nakamoto Okenia

IMG_3127Orangutan crab

IMG_3151Gorgeous gorgeous clownfish!

IMG_3159And a red frogfish!

 

Came up for a breather. I thank God that the boat had a bathroom where I could… have some female time in. Lunch time! Sandwiches for all the angmohs, and instant noodles for me lol!IMG_3160

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IMG_3174Dive buddy.

Look at this bottle. Looks normal, but there’s a hilarious story behind it.IMG_3995

F: you want some sunblock?
Me: okie. -F gives some to me and I use it- Hey wait the texture is funny. Let me see the bottle.. It doesn’t feel sticky at all… FABRICE WHAT DID YOU BUY??
F: sun block! It’s SPF30
Me: -looks at bottle- oh boy you’re gonna kill yourself. THIS. WHITENING.BODY.LOTION. FOR.THE.LADIES.
F: No but it says SPF30!!
Me: FABRICE. JUST COS IT SAYS SPF DOESNT MEAN IT IS SUN BLOCK. THIS IS EXTRA WHITE FIRMING BODY LOTION THAT JUST HAS SOME SUNBLOCK PROPERITES
F: it’s not the same?
Me: wow you need a woman in your life bruh.

Dive three soon followed!IMG_3182Savarasti anemone shrimp

IMG_3224This this is a hawksbill turtle. With F in my shot. To be fair I was also in his. And I refused to budge. lol.

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And, my fav of the lot (in fact, fav photo of the trip, I honestly thought. waseh, NAT GEO U WANNA HIRE ME ANOT? LOL)IMG_3266Blue Harlequin shrimp! Yea, the front part a bit overexposed. but wasehhh, some serious photoshop skills can save the photo.

I also saw a pink harlequin shrimp!IMG_3236

Dinner was at a korean place, and just beside it was a superman mart! (the korean mart where I got my tampons from.) Cute paintings. couldn’t resist.IMG_3278

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Day 5, Wednesday, 18 May

Day trip to Pamilacan island. It’s further than Balicasag, but I’d rather go back to Balicasag. More things to see.  No photos worth seeing on dive one and two, spotted all animals that were seen on previous dives.

Pamilacan is beautiful though! And on our way there, I spotted dolphins!!! :D:D No photos, but woahhh. they were just jumping out of the water like crazy. and our boat got real close to them.

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Remember the tampon story?
IT GOT WORSE.
I was sitting at the Bow of the boat, when Fabrice came to sit beside me.

Me: I want water, you want?
F: ok
me: -stands up to get water-
F: CHAR. CHAR. COME BACK HERE.
me: -walks back-  [thinking: DID MY PERIOD LEAK DOWN MY LEGS?? I SWEAR I JUST CHANGED MY TAMPON] what?
F: -whispers but i swear it felt like he shouted it- THE ROPE. THE ROPE. I CAN SEE THE ROPE
me: -realises he’s talkin about the tampon string- FUCKKKK
F: go to bathroom now! I go take water..
me: noooo I can’t!! -proceeds to sit down and somehow magically tucks the string back into my bikini bottom

seriously wanted to die on the spot…. As my sis said.. “This is how you friendzone the entire world”

T_T y liddis. suay max… HAIZ.
I really think Fabrice has seen the worst. Well, except period staining on the bed, or my poop. He’s already seen me when I wake up (not a pretty sight). Not sure if I can surprise/shock him with anything else…

Anyway, I got over wanting to die lah. sort of. thinking about it still makes me wanna bang my head on the wall.
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IMG_3371Proof that I can’t be a model.

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Obviously F and I got really close after all the shit that happened. SIGH. cannot la cannot.

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Forcing the room mate to piggy back me hehe.

After our second dive, we took a small speedboat to the island, and had a bbq lunch. Spotted a goat and….

IMG_3391MUST TAKE SELFIE.

Got mocked by F, cos all asians take selfies wtf. But hey how often do you see a goat that’s so tame, and derp lookin?

Dive three fared slightly better in the photo department.

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Blue Velvet Headshield slug

IMG_3451Spot the cuttlefish!

IMG_3482Saying hi to Patrick

IMG_3499Not sure what this is, but equally stunning. And probably poisonous. lol.

I think it was this night where I felt really lazy to go out.. So F and Nico went for dinner while I stayed back to clear my photos (and admire them haha). They tapao-ed some soya chicken, lady’s fingers and egg plant with rice for me. Er not a fan of lady’s fingers. But hey, cheap meal! Think it was 100P! (SGD3). Didn’t finish it though…

Day 6, Thursday, 19 May

Local dives today. Three day dives and one night dive for me! Not keen on night dives but I’ll get over my fear (or preference).

Went to seahorse garden lol.
IMG_3540Spiny seahorse.

IMG_3601Flatfish, but notice the three skulls on its body!

IMG_3660 More tiger mantis photos. Found and irritated by yours truely.

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IMG_3768F towing me back to the boat because I was lazy a tired diver. And he had to prac his skills.

IMG_3788SUPER CUTE BABY CUTTLEFISH OMGGGG.  It was 1/3 of my pinky, super chubby!! IT WAS NEON YELLOW, AND FLOATING AROUND AND I THOUGHT IT WAS A PIECE OF RUBBISH.. neon yellow on the sand bed, hello. And then it realised I was following it. Think it panicked BECAUSE IT TURNED PURPLE LOL. On a yellow mossy rock.

IMG_3805Here’s the adorable munchkin slinging onto a baby hermit for its life. This little square patch in the sand had more than 10 hermit crabs!! I lay on the sand just watching and playing with them for five mins. And everyone left wtf. THANKS FOR LEAVING ME ALONG YOU GUYS. panicked slightly but soon found my group.

IMG_3845Hermit!

Had just over an hour before my night dive, so I went back to shower and nap for like, 15mins. F wasn’t diving cos his flight was the next day. Borrowed his top to stay warm.
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The night dive was incredible. I saw so many huge nudibranches, and CRABS. I don’t even know what kind of crabs they are, but they were everywhere. My DM was amazing, pointing everything out to us like a pro.
IMG_3942This is apparently a nudi that’s 2x the size of my face.

IMG_3887Juvenile harlqeuin sweetlips to the right of the coral. I love it!! MY FAV FISH EVER. It looks like it’s having a perpetual seizure.

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IMG_3983And a sponge crab. Have never seen one in my life.

IMG_3993Dinner at T2 restaurant. Food portions are HUGE. That’s my dinner. Chicken in mystry sauce, buttered vegs, and fries. Finished 1/3 of it and called it quits.

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I absolutely loved this dish, I had this for FOUR days our of the six I was there wtf. Fried noodle cream something. Basically, some pasta, cream sauce, mashed together and fried. AMAZING.

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Since F took such good care of me, I decided to return the favour. Gave him a face mask. But I think Asian faces really damn different. This couldn’t stick to his face and he ended up looking like a burn victim. T_T Or murderer. Can’t decide.

Day 7, Friday, 20 May

My last day of diving! Did just one morning dive because F was leaving and I wanted to say bye. He had been really lovely to me throughout the week, I could do with one less dive I suppose.
IMG_4002Super cute shrimp. Not sure of the name..

IMG_4082Spotted my siblings and me! Left to right: Me, andrea(she likes being fair lol) and isaac!

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Can’t remember when this was, but Nico took a pic of an absolutely gorgeous mandarin fish!!! By the time he was done, he scared it away, so all I have is the pic he sent me. T_T

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Day 8, Saturday, 21 May

Woke up at about 10am, not bad! Considering I slept at 10pm LOL. Took the time to pack my clothes, ensure that my equipment was dry, then I went to the beach!

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Beautiful flowering tree outside my accommodation. (= Five min walk to the beach, and there are lots of people around so it’s really safe.

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Thailand hasn’t a thing on Philly’s beautiful waters.

After ‘tanning’ for a bit, I explored alona beach. It’s about 200m long. Saw The Buzz ice cream (there are two shops in Alona!) and I had to try it! They use honey from the Bohol Bee Farm!IMG_3421

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Got myself salted honey ice cream, which tasted more like a cheese ice cream. weird, but it grew on me! Not a fan of the ice cream cone though…

Packed up and tito (the same man who picked me from the airport and started my journey on a beautiful note, carried my luggage for me, and drove F and I around Bohol) drove me back to the airport.IMG_3439

Mixed feelings. The holiday was a good one. Long enough for me to go ‘yea i’m ready to head home’. But I had lots of unsettled emotions. Mostly doing self reflections, how I think I’m being selfless, but in actual fact, I’m being selfish, and I don’t realise it.

And more importantly, how similar people and I can be. I may not condone their actions, but in retrospect, I’m not much different from them.

Travelling with F really taught me a lot about how humans work. We crave social acceptance, we make mistakes, we don’t understand our actions at times… We’d like to think of ourselves as good. We sometimes don’t realise how our actions in the past may hurt others in the future, even if it has nothing to do with them. And how jokes may be taken out of context.

Ah, that’s for another entry. Thanks Bohol, you were amazing. xxIMG_3448

Slightly tanned me ending the trip on a good note. And yes, I had my fried cream noodles (tapao-ed lol) while waiting for my flight to Manila.

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