The Pearl of the Orient: The Philippines

The Philippines in Asia

The Philippines

Facts to ponder: The Philippines is an archipelagic country and is now composed of 7,641 islands. The Philippines does not have Disney Land or Universal Studio or extravagant infrastructures like the Burj Al Arab but tourists are increasingly starting to flood in by the millions. The reason behind this is the pristine beauty of nature in the Philippines that tourists can’t find everywhere at a very affordable price. Its location is known in the world to be a center for marine biodiversity. For this reason, tourists flock to this country and even reach to a total of half a million as of May 2017 while scattered all over the archipelago.

Outstanding Diving Sites

What makes tourists come back to this country are the diving sites which are present on almost every island of the country. Diving gears are also available for rent at very affordable prices whereas diving tutorials are offered as well. A complete set of diving gear rental varies from US$10to US$30 while diving charges for certified ones range from US$50 to US$150 per dive depending on the schedule and location. A boat package will vary as well, based on the number of divers. But the price is most likely negotiable since locals are flexible in their prices. They love to pamper and allow the visitors to get the best experience as much as possible. A boat starts from US$50 depending on the number of passengers. In addition to all the expenses, some diving locations ask for an environmental fee for ongoing conservation and rehabilitation programs. Good thing that many of the international diving spots here use merchant providers both online and offline to facilitate payments smoothly. One of the providers we know and trust is Redfynn Technologies. So far, they’ve served us pretty well during our trip.

Scuba Diving Reservations in the Philippines

They say that a coral reef is equivalent to a forest on land and thus diving is equivalent to camping underwater. Surprising right? Diving can be done even at ports like the Santander province in Cebu Province.

Experience watching sardines swim underwater, gliding with the green sea turtles and diving with the huge whale sharks. These are some of the notable diving experiences tourists could not resist having.

Experiencing its rich history

Moreover, Philippines is located in a very strategic location on the map thus, having a long history in war events. There are a huge number of shipwrecks in the Philippines and some were even during pre-colonial periods. Most were owned by Chinese traders and wrecked while changing goods with the Filipinos before the Spanish colonization. There are also large warships during the World War II which are now covered with corals where diverse marine lives flourish. This gives visitors more exciting views of the sea while discovering history. In addition, some unique and unlikely sites could also be found in the deep seas of the Philippines such as the sunken cemetery in Camiguin Island.

Pearl Diving in the Philippines

So, have you ever been to the Philippines and experience the diving adventure? There are more things to discover while diving in the Philippines. Perhaps, you will be one of the divers to unlock another age-old mystery in this vast marine sanctuary.

Safe Haven Under the Seas

As time unfolds, mankind had done so much makeover on the face of mother earth to sustain their living and even worse, enjoy lavish lifestyles. Infrastructures emerge like mushrooms and we suddenly wake up being trapped in a bottle of polluted air on the ever-rising heat.  This urges most to seek leverage from such secluded place and get a plunge into the deep refreshing paradise of blue water – DIVING!Underwater Diving

Rewards of Diving

Despite the high cost and the hassles of carrying such heavy oxygen tanks into the water, it’s a surprise that scuba diving is still one of the best getaway hobbies a busy bee like myself want. Foreigners flock from one diving site to another dragging all gadgets along just to capture each experience despite the difficulty. One could say it’s a waste of money, but for someone who has been into diving, the experience is priceless. The infinite horizon of the blue water provides calming therapy to a frantic mind. But, this is just the beginning of what diving could offer.

Each descending moment as the journey to the underworld begins is a time to reflect on, when all you can hear is the bubbling air as it rises up after every breath you take and nothing more. Underwater, one can witness the beauty of light as it sways, bends and scatters while making its way down to bring lumen to the diverse world waiting below – like an aurora. There is no need to travel far to witness such an amazing sight because it’s right there underwater. And as long as the sun rises up—there is always an aurora everyday under the sea.

Well, some find scuba diving to be scary and usually takes a leap of faith to do so. But to make the experience imaginable to those who are hesitant to take the risk, scuba diving is like being in the world of Avatar. Not because it is mostly blue underwater but the sight is like being in a different dimension, a whole new world to see. All you need is a filter for your goggles and action cameras and boom, the colors will be so real one can never imagine they are underwater. The corals seem like the forest and the fishes are like birds hovering around you. Everything is fragile and pristine with colors more vibrant and diverse than what a paint store could ever offer. Crustaceans are not even as brilliantly red as what we see when it is placed on a dining plate. The scenes usually come in the best shades of blue to purple and more. It is truly and wonderfully spectacular!

Corals Underwater

How to get there

The limitation of man to breath underwater makes most of the ocean life free from human manipulations and thus maintains the magnificence that our Creator intended it to be. And the prohibitive costs of underwater activity present a barrier to many, limiting, therefore, the number of expeditions underseas despite its alarming growth. However, for those that can afford, what makes it convenient is being able to book online in some PADI- accredited dive shop or otherwise to reserve a slot in their journey nearer to the center of the earth. Merchant services, payment processors and online intermediaries make it even more efficient for busybodies to simply avail of that promo ticket and get to that diving spot they’ve all been dreaming of.

Diving Down Memory Lane On Deep Sea Suits

Many of us know do not know that diving suits came first, way before fireproof, hazmat (hazardous materials) and space suits ever came to be. Underwater expeditions started as early as the latter part of the eighteenth century. And while it is obsolete and bulkyit was just as aesthetically and practically interesting as their modern-day counterparts.

the 1800s -1900

Giant underwater bell

diving bell during the late 1800s

No, it’s not used to make those clanging sounds underwater and spook the sharks and octopuses to death. Its official name is called Halley’s Diving bell.  This bell is sent underseas and filled with weight.  Here, an assistant stays inside to help the diver who is navigating outside it, wearing another smaller bell on his head. There is a tube that connects this individual bell to the main, bigger bell so that the diver can source air from it. Heavy barrels with weights and filled with air is then sent down as well as a resupply point for both bells.

Diver’s Designer Dress

A Frenchman who also served as a Navy Guard (Gardes de la Marine) in Brest, France designed one of the oldest diving apparel used in history. This French aristocrat named Pierre Remy de Beauve invented it around during the early 1700s. A Vegetius-type (since it was featured in a book by the writer Vegetius) diving dress resembling a jacket made of leather and a metal headwear with two windows made of glass was discovered earlier around 1405.  However, its use back then was even more limited.

This diving dress has two hoses, with one of those getting air from the surface while the other one acted as an exhaust for breathed air.

Lethbridge Diver Machine

Its design looks ridiculously simple but the process to make it watertight and durable is no doubt complex. This time, it was an Englishman named Andrew Becker who designed it. It has systems for air inflow and outflow and is mainly used for wreck-hunting underwater.  Treasure hunters, anyone?

Klingert Diving Machine

A Polish guy named Karl Klingert made and used this equipment himself. He tested it in the rivers of his own place in Wroclaw. It seems a bit heavy though with the suit’s head protected by a tin plate and cylinder shaped.  The only advantage is that the person can walk on the seabed or riverbed as the case may be.

Specifically, the parts include a helmet, a jacket, and trousers. It also has an air tank with a turret connected to it. That said, the tank has to be replenished given its limited supply.

Fast forward to the 1900s

Neufeldt-Kunke suit

Neufeldt-Kuhnke diving suit

If you are a fan of Baymax, you would love to see this suit especially when it’s used underwaters. It actually has 3 models with the latest one produced around 1929-1940 with its own breathing system and even a telecom system. It is said that this suit can be used at an astonishing 525 feet below sea level which was a feat back then.

Then there was the inflatable too which also came about the same time.

Cousteau-Gagnan diving wear

Finally, the pioneer automatic and autonomous suit that has its own pressure regulator and made with compressed air containers was invented in 1943. Modern-day designs seem to have taken off from this one already.

Cousteau-Gagnan diving suit in 1943, Techdivers
Cousteau-Gagnan diving suit, 1943

Another suit which is described as atmospheric and can survive at a whopping 1000 ft below sea level, has no need for a long decompression procedure was discovered in 1974.

We are grateful for the leaps and strides in the design and function of these suits made by these inventors and scientists. Surely, we would not have the cozy, comfortable and cost-effective diving suit that we have now without their noble brainchild.

Guide for Scuba Diving Preparation

Scuba diving is an extremely fun sport that can be done anywhere anytime there is water if the basic requirements are met and the proper procedures are learned. The things done during diving is more than just about looking under the water for fish, depending on what you like, you can do it for fun and even make it into a career.

To begin the process, make sure you have learned to swim, you don’t have to be an expert, but it is good to know how to move in the water. Then, an Open Water Diver Certification is required and you only need to be 15 to get it. For younger children, there is a Junior certificate and other special programs that can help them prepare to get certified. Another condition that must be met is to be in good physical health. A medical questionnaire is usually taken to access those who may have a more risky situation but if you are not sure, go to a doctor to find out.

Scuba diving can be a dangerous sport if not done properly, so make sure to find a good school by comparing many different ones and a good instructor you feel comfortable around. Programs depend on you and the amount of time you have. It may take from two weeks to two months, which would mean one lesson a week, to become a diver. It may also cost around $200 and even more if you prefer to purchase your own equipment. Remember to ask questions when you are not sure because this is a great way to know if you are doing it right and good feedback to the instructor if you are confused.

If you do decide to buy your own things, remember that you need, at the very least, a mask, snorkel, fins and a knife. It is also better to buy things at a good price that is new and will be used for a long time rather than things at a cheap price that you may decide to throw away at a later time. This is because choosing something that you will be using for a while and fits you well during classes will help you learn better since these are the things you will want to know about and understand especially how to react safely with it when a bad situation comes up. This can not work with old or cheap equipment, not that some equipment is of a good quality and cheap, that you plan to throw away after class because there are so many risks with taking on a new set of equipment after learning everything with another set.

Comfort is also a factor when considering to buy equipment because if not properly chosen, problems can arise. This can be seen if it has been borrowed from another person because you may not have the same measurements as your friend and you borrow a mask or their fins, the mask may leak or the fins may be a smaller size that will cause cramps. Considering all this can help you learn better and make it safer since it is better to be properly prepared and to know to react when there are problems.