“As you keep your mind and heart focused in the right direction, approaching each day with faith and gratitude, I believe you will be empowered to live life to the fullest and enjoy the abundant life He has promised you.”
Scuba diving is one of my bucket list since I was young. I always wanted to experience the excitement of discovering marine life and conquer my fear of the deep. However, scuba diving is a bit expensive and I do not have all the equipment as well.
On my way to Manila from Calayan island, it came to my mind that what if I do scuba diving this weekend. I started looking for some deals online and got a notification from DIY Travel Philippines about a cheap introduction dive under Scuba Buddies in San Luis, Batangas.
I sent a private message to Mr. Vincent Cornel, the owner of Scuba Buddies. They were running a promotion for only php2,000 which includes van transport (back & forth from Manila to Batangas, lunch, diving equipment, dive master fee and diving lessons. I was excited but still worried because I may not be able to continue because of my fear in the deep.
How to get to San Luis, Batangas
If you have a private car, from Manila you will need to drive going to Lipa, Batangas through South Luzon Express Way (SLEX). From Lipa toll exit, head towards right going to Alitagtag, Batangas. There are street signs along the way to Alitagtag or Lemery. When you reach the end of point of Alitagtag, you need to turn right before Sta. Teresita entry then from you are in San Luis. Waze can also be a help.
Since part of the package is the van transport from Manila to San Luis and back, then its much more convenient instead of going there with a private car or through public transport. San Luis is only 27KM away from Lipa. So, its not really that far.
Welcome to San Luis, Batangas
San Luis is a fourth class municipality in the province of Batangas, Philippines.
Aside from Anilao, San Luis is also a favorite place for divers because of the unexploited coral reefs and home of different specifies of fishes.
Dambana ng Pagkabuhay
This structure is located at Brgy. Locloc, San Luis Batangas. It was constructed to honor the resurrection of Christ through the help of Daches constructed by Engr. Valentino S. Malabanan assisted by Mr. Jose Rene L. Gasioco. This is like the Rio De Janeiro of Brazil.From the town proper, you will need to trek uphill for about 2-3 km going to the statue. You can also ride a motorcycle going to the church for php20. The statue is situated at the top most portion of the hill. It is said that during holy week, there are a lot of people who visit to do pilgrimage because of the station of the cross. It a religious journey to search for moral and spiritual significance.
The structure is about 200 feet high including then statue of Christ and from the top view deck, you can see entire municipality. The place is still under still under construction and I suggest to at least give some donations since there is no entrance fee. Any amount would be appreciated to help the locals for the improvement of their church.
As a traveller, I guess you would rather feel tired and satisfied than spend more but not happy. I was also challenged on the uphill road towards the statue. So, I walked from the town proper going to the statue. It was bit difficult because if was full uphill and was so hot. However, on way towards the church, you can hear the sound of the bamboo trees bumping at each other, tweeting of the birds and smell the fresh air.
I was able to talked to some locals and according to them, holy week is the busiest week due to most of the people visit statue to do pilgrimage. You can also buy souvenir shirts for only php180.
Scuba Diving (Independence Dive)
Scuba diving is a mode of underwater diving in which a scuba diver uses a self-contained underwater breathing apparatus (scuba) to breathe underwater.
Seasport Park and Dive Resort
This is the host resort for the dive academy where being managed by Mr. Allan S. Lao.
The resort offers the following
- Scuba Diving
- Fish Feeding
- There is also restaurant at the resort where you can ask them to cook food. The prices are very affordable.
Scuba Buddies and Alao Dive Academy
The dive academy is own and managed by Mr. Allan S. Lao. He is a CMAS/PADI (World Underwater Federation) Master Scuba Diver trainer and a ERF (Emergency First Response) Instructor.
Below are the dive instructors from Alao Dive Academy.
- Allan Lao (Master Scuba Diver)
- Ricky Lao
- Vincent Cornel
- Kevin Asturias
- Onie Potipot
- Dandy Quirao
They also offer diving license to those who wanted to have certification in scuba diving.
- Allan S. Lao
- Operations Manager
- Sea Sports Park and Dive Resort
My dive instructor was Mr. Vincent Cornel, he a dive master of Alao Dive Academy and founder/owner of Scuba Buddies.
- CMAS 3 star dive master
- Alao Dive Academy Dive master
- Philippine Association of Underwater Activities
- President (UP Divers Association)
- Instructor (PNP Special Action Force)
- Safety Diver (Sec. Alcala of Dept of Agriculture at Dive and Trek Resort and Marine Sanctuary)
- Vincent Cornel
- Scuba Buddies
Introduction to Scuba Diving is a program which students can experience the beauty of scuba diving even without holding a certification card. This was during the Dive Orientation by Sir Vincent Cornel, the founder of Scuba Buddies.
- Persons ages of 10 and above can avail the course as long as physically and mentally stable.
- Students cannot enroll if he/she has serious illness or operations. They needed to submit medical certificate from their doctors to allow them scuba dive.
- Students who has severe cold and fever are not allowed to take the program.
- Students who has ear infections or ear illnesses are likewise forbidden to enroll.
- We encourage also to students to have proper rest and do regular exercise prior to the day of the event.
- Don’t panic!! Listen to your instructor at all times.
- Don’t assume! Even if you are a swimmer, it does not guarantee.
- Presence of mind is important.
- Remember the drills during the pre-dive session.
- Practice to breath using your mouth.
- Breath slowly when your under water.
- Make sure that you are heavy enough in order to submerge under water
- Remember all the hand language.
- Immediately inform your dive master when you feel uncomfortable.
- Enjoy!! Enjoy!! Enjoy!!😉🤗🙂
At the end of the day. Everything went well and I really enjoyed the diving experience. Thank you to Sir Vincent Cornel of Scuba Buddies for giving the opportunity to meet my friends under water.