Since I was off to Tacloban, Leyte, I thought, “Why not dive in Sogod Bay? It’s in the area anyway.”
Well, here’s how close I was to Sogod Bay, Southern Leyte.
4am – I wake up, excited to get on the road. Mom wakes up my cousin Zara, who just slept for an hour after a telephone marathon. My other cousin Katrina arrives at 4.30ish. We hire a tricycle to take us to the New Terminal.
5am – At the new terminal, yay! First in line to ride the V-Hire (vans) bound for the municipality of Sogod, set to arrive at 6am.
6.30am – Still no sign of the V-hire. Cousins decide to take the ordinary, non-air conditioned bus to Sogod (Php 100 each). Me running with all my dive equipment in tow.
9am – Crossed Agas-Agasan Bridge, said to be the tallest bridge in the region. But were we there yet? No.
10.30am – Finally reached Sogod. Asked for directions going to Sogod Bay Scuba Resort. Took yet another non-air conditioned bus (Php 40 each). Felt my jaw drop when I was told that it would take another hour to get to Barangay Lungsuodan in Padre Burgos, where the resort was.
11.30am – Finally here!
After a heavy lunch (a burger layered with a pineapple slice, fried egg, ham, bacon and vegetables, with chips on the side), it was time to dive.
Buddied up with Stanley, former Manila boy-slash-driver-slash-messenger whose current incarnation as a dive guide he enjoys the most; and 50-something Aussie Scott, whose off to catch some waves and hang ten in Samar after a five-week dive vacation to Sogod.
Us three had Kermit Gamay (the boat) all to ourselves.
First Dive: Tangkaan Point – 15 minutes away by boat. A wall dive, where we reached a depth of 21.2 meters. The current was strong, so we had to drift most of the time. The corals were pristine, and there were a lot – from table corals to staghorn and fan corals. Huge barrel sponges were everywhere as well. No big fish action going on, but there were a lot of colorful reef fish (sweet lips and clown fish, among others) to keep any diver interested. Stanley signaled for me to stay within the 10-12 meter range, as there were trigger fish somewhere below that depth. Oops. A school of silver Bolinao (what do you call these in English?) hovered above my head and all I could think of was “Ulam! Kinilaw! (Meal! Meal!)”
Second Dive: Santa Sophia – Still a wall dive, with a maximum depth of 26 meters. The current and visibility were much, much better. There was a swordfish swimming by its lonesome, along with abundant reef life. A turtle with hitchhiking remora fish cruised along, completing my dive – and my day.
My only regret was that I allotted just a day for this trip. Scott said it was the tail end of the whale shark season and they were able to spot one at Limasawa Island a few days before I arrived. Right in front of the resort was a marine sanctuary. And Padre Burgos Jetty, he said, was perfect for a night dive, with mandarin fish, eels and seahorses in residence.
Sa mga naniningil sa akin ng night dive diyan, I would happily do it here.
Oh well, there’s always a next time. And I hope I could take you all along with me.
Sogod Bay Scuba Resort
Peter’s Dive Resort (Trying this next time)