After having gone to most of the beautiful beaches in the country and having snorkeled in them (although I still have to return to many of the beaches I’ve been to before in order to get photos from a digital camera, so that they could be uploaded in this blog), I realized that the challenge for me now was to go deeper into the sea. This means I had to get an open water diving course from a certified PADI instructor. Trying to look into the many possibilities where to get the certificate, I decided that it will be in Dumaguete. The main reason for the decision was that for a long time I have been wanting to go to
Apo Island since it was being touted as one of the best diving and snorkeling site in the . Hence when I made arrangements with the instructor I made the condition that one of the dives should be in Philippines Apo. I did not regret that decision. My second concern was to look for a buddy who would also be willing to join me in this course. Since this was already May and barrio fiestas were already being celebrated, I knew it would be difficult to get a fellow priest to come with me. However, it proved to be no problem at all, when I called up my computer man Ronnie Ramirez who is also a beach bum like me. He right away accepted the invitation.
The first day of the diving course was done in the pool in the Antulang Beach Resort in Siaton,
To get to
The special boat trip to Malatapay costs 2,800. There are only two resorts found in Apo: the Liberty’s which is perched high above the beach and the village and the Apo Island Beach Resort which sits on a cove with its own white sand beach just near the village itself. It is secluded yet near enough the village. The sea is clear and the beach is made of small white pebbles which are pleasant to the feet. To get to this resort from the village one has to wade through the waters especially during high tides. Room rates at the Apo Island Beach Resort range from 1,350 to 1,950 but they have a dormitory which costs only 450. For reservations and inquiries, one can call
One of the distinctive sights of the Apo Island Beach Resort. A huge boulder sits precariously on top.