The ocean beckoned once again, and I heeded its call.
This time it took me a south to Dumaguete in Negros Oriental.
Dumaguete offers awesome scuba diving and is known for two prime locations: Dauin and Apo Island.
Underwater photographers would love Dauin for its abundance of critters.
Clockwise from bottom left: Ghost Pipefish, Flamboyant Cuttlefish, Warty Frogfish and a really small nudibranch.
More than taking their photographs, 75% of the thrill, at least for me, was searching for these creatures underwater. They would be camouflaged on the sand bed or clinging on to ropes where corals have started to thrive.
Lest one think that Dauin could be boring for the non-photographer, there are reefs teeming with life and other things of interest.
A house wreck.
An artificial reef made of rubber tires.
A wandering ray.
A 40-minute boat ride from Dauin, Apo Island is the highlight of every scuba diver’s trip to Dumaguete, and with good reason reason. It has the perfect combination of smooth drifts, excellent visibility and diverse marine life (turtles, jacks, parrot fish, sea snakes are a common sight). My pictures don’t do it justice.
Old-timers have been saying that what I saw was nothing compared to what Apo Island used to be before it was ravaged by typhoons a couple of years ago. And with climate change and ocean acidification a reality, the reefs may bounce back, or it may not.
I choose to put my faith in nature’s resilience. And in raising awareness to nurture and strengthen that resilience. That in sharing pictures and stories such as this, readers who swing by this blog appreciate whatever resources we have. After all, we can only protect what we know and love.
We dove with Bongo Bongo Divers.
More on Dumaguete here.
P.S. The food in Dumaguete is awesome. But that deserves another blog post.