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Three Reasons Why You Should Start Diving Now

There is something about the ocean that will make you hold your breath and just be lost in its beauty and the reverie. The rays of sunlight piercing through the surface reveal the colors of the enthralling whole new world beneath. These very rays are hypnotic as it dance and shine though the surface to what seemed like a bottomless chasm. These were more than enough for me to keep me coming back to the ocean, enough to keep me diving into it. I don’t know if these are enough for you so I’m giving you three more reasons as to why you should also let the ocean cast its spell on you, too.

1. To know how and why you should protect the ocean

I have loved the ocean even before I started diving. I mean, the sound of waves, the bloody sunset by the beach with my feet buried in the sand is quite an amazing feeling. The beach sets everything right; it keeps everything in me aligned. I would go for a swim but would not stay long in the waters. During those times, I would occasionally find a plastic or two floating or some trash at the beach. The impulse? Of course I’d pick it up and put it where it should be – at the bin. However, diving has opened my eyes to the sad and alarming reality. What you see on the television or on social media are indeed heartbreaking but it’s different when you see it with your own eyes. What I have seen at the beach are just few of the many trash that destroys the life beneath that I did not dare check on before. The moment I held my breath and descended for the first time, I saw how corals bleached from the shallowest part, how people stepped on them as if they were rocks, how plastic and other trash got stuck in it, how some marine animals died because of ingesting these. Not that I did not care about it. It’s just that I did not know until I saw it with my own eyes and I felt the need to do something about it.

Finally got a chance to meet the resident turtle of Binukbok!
Freediving gear from Decathlon Philippines. Get yours here.

More than a great provider of serenity and fascination, the ocean plays a vital role in our lives and to the earth. First, a lot of people depend into it as it is their source of living. It is also one of our sources of food. In a bigger picture, the ocean has been providing more than half of the earth’s oxygen and of great significance to the regulation of the climate. We’d be losing something essential if we would continue with our ways that would negatively impact the ocean without us knowing.

The clean ups are nothing but a band-aid solution to our problems with  the tons of trash in the ocean. The landfills, sadly, are not enough to hold the world’s litter that the ocean has become an extension of the dumps. One way to solve this problem is through shifting into a zero-waste lifestyle.

Read more about being eco-friendly with style: Don’t Panic, it’s Organic! Be Eco-Friendly with Style 

Exploring Pagkilatan, Batangas’ reef
Fins from Aquamundo Sports

There are lots of things I also learned that I should not do and should be aware of when diving where I could at least contribute to saving the ocean. Among those are the following:
1. Don’t swim too close to the corals as the fins may hit and damage them.
2. Do not touch the corals nor the other living marine creatures. Don’t even lift them out of the ocean. Be careful as well with the ones that may harm you big time. Be just a spectator of the wild but maintain distance.
3. Do not feed the fish.
4. Do not patronize activities where you can have an encounter with the domesticated marine creatures that are supposedly living in the wild. In relation to number 4, this makes them dependent to the humans who are feeding them just so they could stay in place and people could swim and watch them closely as if they are on a circus. It is risky in their part as they would not learn how to hunt which is extremely necessary for their survival. There is nothing more fulfilling than an unexpected encounter and seeing these creatures live freely and undisturbed in the wild.

I admit, I’ve done it once in Oslob, Cebu where whale shark watching is quite a thing. I was rooting for it when I was new to traveling. But after the experience, I have sworn to myself and the heavens that I will never do it again. The whale sharks have become so dependent on the humans feeding them and that their fins and tails have cuts, too, perhaps from the numbers of boats surrounding them everyday
5. Do not stir the sand or sediments if there are corals nearby. This may cause the faster growth of algae on the corals which would lead into its bleaching or its death. This may look great on photos and videos but remember it would kill the corals.
6. When bathing or diving at the ocean, reef-friendly sunscreen should be used.
7. Every dive is a clean up dive.

Ascent! Exploring the reef at Pagkilatan, Batangas
Fins from Aquamundo Sports

2. To explore the larger portion of this blue planet

It is known to everyone that the earth is composed of 30% land and 70% water. You might have crossed out countries, cities, summits in your list; seen the other great things at the earth’s surface but still, a lot of wonders remained unexplored beneath the vast ocean. Thousands or even millions of great yet undiscovered things lie beneath the surface. 
Found this awesome coral garden somewhere in Anilao, Mabini, Batangas!
Freediving gear from Decathlon Philippines. Get yours here.
I love the surprises that the ocean has in store for us in each dive. The coral reefs may be there for the longest time, yes, but the sea creatures that we get to encounter each dive are just something that keep us coming back for more. It’s not everyday that we’ll get to swim with sea creatures of different species including turtles, dolphins, a school of fish, rays and more! There’s nothing more fulfilling than seeing them thrive and swim around in the wild. Screw the aquariums and see how great they do in the open water!

3. To experience freedom and tranquility in silence and weightlessness

We are now living in a fast-paced world. Everything is made ready in an instant, everyone is on a rush and the noise is everywhere not to mention the eat-sleep-work or school-repeat routine. These things often make us stressed and agitated. It drains our energy that we feel heavy, sluggish and extremely tired at the end of the day. I work to earn a living but I also realized that it is taking the life away from me. That’s when I resorted to diving.

The silence that will wrap your whole being as you dive into the ocean brings about tranquility. There’s no Monday morning rush, honking nor road rage, no rants  nor complaints. Even the noise of the motor boats at the surface and your movements per se only make the slightest sound. The silence is not empty, though. You’d hear weird crisps but that’s mainly it. One of the best feelings I always have when diving is that of being weightless that comes with the sense of freedom in movement. I can do anything and go anywhere as if I’m as light as a feather. The heaviness  that I feel brought about by stress and agitation vanishes.

Start Exploring the Ocean!

The reef at Pagkilatan, Batangas City
Location: Danke Laia
These three shows the beauty in diving. There are actually more reasons out there as to why you should start diving. The ocean itself and the life it envelopes is enough to make you do it. You can actually dive and explore the ocean through SCUBA Diving, Freediving and Skin Diving. Learn about their differences, pros, cons and risks here. Looking for interesting and accessible diving spots near the metro? Click here!

Anne Elizabeth Gumiran, also known as Queenie, is a 20-something, full-time public school teacher, a part-time travel blogger and a freediver. She started putting her stories of adventures and misadventures into words and pictures in 2017 and continues to do so as she shares her advocacy, Sustainable Traveling.

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