To swim with the ‘Pawikans‘ has been hanging on in our bucketlist for quite a while and we’ve been mulling over the idea for months now. Finally, we were able to tick it off last October 2015(we could’ve done it earlier if life didn’t keep getting in the way lol) and we all end up asking ourselves ‘what the hell took us that long?’
Our squad have been to the low-key city that is Dumaguete before. But it was just a pit stop along the way and all we did was lavishly eat (chocolate) silvanas at the San Rival Bistro before hopping on our slapdash boat ride en route to Siquijor. That’s why this time we decided to make it our first stop so we can explore it with immense clout.
As soon as we stepped out of the plane, we hit the ground running and made our way to Apo Island, one of the Philippines’ top dive spots! (Note: Don’t confuse it with the equally stunning Apo Reef—that one’s in Mindoro.) We all just coudln’t contain our excitement.
From where our big-ass boat would stop you have to swim, probably a kilometer or two, to get up close and swim and—of course—take pictures with the Turtles. Unfortunately, we didn’t get the shots that we always dreamed of. It just dawned on us that it’s hard to chase turtles; they either swim so fast or swim farther once they feel you are near and posing beside them. Our weak swimming endurance got the better of us, plus the fact that we are too tired and too thirsty when got there. So yeah, we didn’t end up ‘that’ cool on our Instagram posts. But we are more than happy with what we got because it took us extreme dehydration(we forgot to bring drinking water on the boat) and muscle pains all through out our body. If my muscles could speak it would definitely blurt out profanities.
Lessons learned: focus on endurance exercises and bring seagypsea photography along with us next time. Haha!
This is us trying to get a good group shot. But you see..the struggle is real.
Okay, this will do (we’re so effin’ tired ughh).
taking it all in..
Just before dinner time we are already back to our hotel and we decided to roam around the city to just chill and eat street foods—namely Tempura for only 4Php per stick. We walked along Rizal Boulevard to breathe some fresh but humid air and stop at a cozy looking restobar whenever. Yup, it’s an understatement to say that we had a blast on the first day of our week-long trip around Central Visayas.
Tip: When in Dumaguete City, stay in Harold’s Mansion. It’s cheap but decent—perfect for travelers on a shoestring budget—and walking distance from the city sites. We booked it in advance here and let them arrange our whole day trip to Apo Island. Your group can have the boat to yourselves if you’re lucky enough, like us. They also picked us up in the airport for free. (Note:This is not a paid advertisement but I just really loved my stay there so bad.
P.S. I used Go Pro, iPhone and DSLR for the photos on this blog post(in case you want to tell which is which).
Watch our travel video around Central Visayas here.