Synergy is a yearly event hosted by HP and Intel and 2010 marked year 13. Back then, it was one of the more innovative types of events as it paved the way for more intimate dialogue with the press. 13 years later, Synergy is still going strong and this year we’re at Club Paradise in Palawan.
Total Dives: 43
Total Time Underwater: 32 hours 30 minutes
Maximum Depth: 117 feet
Wrecks Penetrated: 6
Freshwater Dives: 1
Night Dives: 2
To my friends who follow my endeavors and bear with my underwater stories, this post is as expected. Easily, the highlight of my 2009 was literally beneath the surface. For me, and many others, diving isn’t just a hobby. It’s more of an epiphany that humbles your eyes to things which we aren’t accustomed to seeing.
I finished my open water course in April, advanced course in June and have fallen into the fever of dive addiction, apparent to many who have undergone similar experiences. I completed my gear, logged 43 dives invested in trips around the country, and most importantly opened up to a new circle of dive friends.
Diving in Coron
Paradise exists, and it is in the Philippines. Coron was my first major dive trip of 2009. Straight after completing my AOW course, wreck diving seemed more and more enticing as a break from the underwater flora. Coron’s beauty is ironic. Above the surface, the bay of Coron is a blue carpet that taints itself in a bloody sunset crescendo. Beneath, the remnants of the Japanese occupation remain preserved in the sand. Oil tankers, gunships and frigates are the biggest fish in the sea.
Diving in Puerto Galera
I did two trips to Puerto Galera this year and they’ve both been captured in the two videos that follow. My two trips to The Canyons were the hardest dives of the year as we’d literally be crawling on the ocean floor so as not to be swept away by the current. Puerto Galera is alive with big fish.
Clam Seeding in Anvaya Cove
Just like any endeavor, there comes a point when you want to put add a little more depth and meaning to your actions. The volunteer Clam seeding activity for UN Volunteers Day achieved precisely this — a free dive and directly helping the environment by planting clams around the Anvaya Cove reef. Think of these giant clams as the big oaks of the forest. A few of these will directly tip the point of the reef’s biodiversity, bringing in more fish and more corals. We brought in 79 of these and created a spawning network along the reef.
For 2010 I plan to invest more in quality dives rather than quantity. Hopefully I can find a group that will be doing Palau, Apo Reef, and Tubbataha (tough luck here as you’d have to plan this a year in advance). If you’re a diver (or want to learn how to dive), let’s go!
A short word of thanks
I’d like to extend a special thanks to the guys from Sony Philippines for lending me two Marine Packs and three cameras throughout the year — a T series and two W series for shooting my dives. All the videos above were taken using these two cameras.
I summarized one memorable weekend into 3 minutes. It was hard, but I did it! This was my first time to experience wreck diving in Coron, as well as enjoying the reverse thermocline “spa” inside Barracuda Lake. Good friends, great dives, what more could you ask for the long weekend?!
Credits: “Open Happiness” (www.openhappiness.tv) for the audio. The entire video was shot using a Panasonic Lumix LX3 and a Sony Cybershot W230 w/ marine pack for the underwater shots. Editing done in iMovie ’09.
Our dive weekend itinerary consisted of overnight stay on board the Super Ferry (their chocolate cake is really good!) and 6 dives throughout Saturday and Sunday. We boarded the ferry back to Manila Sunday night and docked into a work-filled Monday 🙁
This was my most memorable local trip, and it would have been at par with my Batanes sojourn but it obviously exceeds that due to our “getting wrecked” in Coron. Our itinerary consisted of three dives for Saturday — the Kogyo Maru, Tangat Wreck, and the Olympia Maru (my best wreck dive!), and Sunday had us inside Barracuda Lake (overall the most entertaining dive for the whole trip), the Akitsushima gunboat (with actual guns!) and finally the Taiei Maru oil tanker.