Underwater with an INON Strobe


Months ago I brought a Sony Cybershot W230 underwater with its appropriate casing. This weekend, I was able to borrow an INON strobe light courtesy of Jan. Since the Achilles’ heel of Sony cameras is the inability to customize your white balance underwater (it only has 3 presets), shooting with a strobe really changes the game.

Read on below for sample photos.


6 Months of Diving the Philippines

I celebrated my 6th month of diving over the long weekend. Since April, I finished both my open water and advanced courses, logged 31 dives, six of which were wrecks, one a freshwater lake, and conquered the Canyons in Puerto Galera. I’ve made new friends and we put up our very own underwater travel blog titled Let’s Dive. Apparently this niche has not yet been taken and it’s quite easy to understand why — the amount of time and gear you invest is tremendous. The site is open to all divers from the Philippines who wish to contribute their stories, photos and reviews.


Others: My asthma and breathing have improved. My skin is smoother. My tan is nicer. And I will never run out of stories for my friends. Diving the reefs can really add a bit of depth (haha!) to how we see the country. There’s so much beauty hidden beneath the surface that foreigners really save money to come here to dive. In the same way that we always dream to go to Europe and the States to see the sights, Westerners love to come here to explore the reefs. We have paradise in our backyard — let’s take advantage of it! Case in point: over the weekend, Jan introduced me to Verde Island in Puerto Galera, which is apparently the “center of the center” of marine biodiversity in the world:

“This area can be considered the marine counterpart to the Amazon River basin,” said Kent Carpenter of the World Conservation Union, co-author of the study which put the passage at the peak of the “Coral Triangle” that spans the Sulawesi and the Sulu Seas in the southern Philippines and nearby Indonesia.

I say it now — this is a good time to learn to dive. Gear and lessons are cheaper, the reefs are beautiful, and conservation efforts are finally paying off (just look at Anilao!). Sharing the same passion with like-minded individuals opens up wider circles and helps build a nation through tourism. I kid not.



I’d also like to thank Sony Philippines for being really cool about lending me four of their cameras to use for my trips. Photography and videography adds a whole new dimension to dives and my Facebook page just got more interesting whenever I’d upload my underwater videos.

Photos above by my instructor Jan Acosta.


Where it is Humanly Possible


The term “Humanly Possible” is a redundancy.

At 60 feet underwater, there is, what my colleague Prof. Richard Cruz calls a deep feeling in your gut sparked by sheer amazement with what you are experiencing. He describes it as something you feel when you see fireworks – it comes from the clenching of your gut and is in no way cerebral.


Open Water Dive Certification Week I: Dive and Trek, Anilao

Henderson Gold Core

What a weekend! I’m in the process of completing my open water diving certification under PADI (yay a blog!). I’ve always wanted to launch into the deep, so now that I have the time and a little more savings, I decided to invest slowly in dives. I dragged Juned into taking lessons under Jan Acosta thanks to MJ, a friend I’ve known since college. Here are three reasons why I made the choice to go dive: