Hidden gems : An Underwater exploratory dive in Sambawan Island

Mission : to see the Coral Cat Shark in Sambawan Island.

Our preference when scuba diving : Simple, uncrowded places, semi remote-remote area (because in most case these places are unspoiled),friendly locals, simple accommodation no luxury and awesome deal for dive packages.Plus cute critters (were macrophotography lovers) but we love Sharks and pelagics too 😉 ))

What’s more exciting than planning a dive trip for your Christmas holidays. Once upon a time sometime in June 2015 I saw a very beautiful landscape picture online, it was called Sambawan Island- a literal Paradise 🙂 a crescent shaped and skinny island just next to Volcanic Maripipi.

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When we found out that diving is possible in the island and there is one dive Centre available, with no hesitation, Sambawan become our top choice.We negotiate and book a dive package with Sir Nestor Macorol owner and developer of Sambawan Dive and Camp Resort  and as usual by the power of my dive buddy’s lucky charm we got a good deal, Yay !!!

Getting to Sambawan Island :

First we took the night boat to Naval via Roble Shipping Lines departing Cebu @830pm and arriving Naval 130-2am.From Naval town we will have to take a 2hr van to the place where we take the boat to Sambawan island. There are two options getting there. First is via maripipi island, atleast 3public boats are available going there or head to Kawayan port where private boat for rent is available-this is best for groupsof 6-10people since boat rental is pricey.We choose option 2 and hop in the small cab going to Kawayan port (1hr).

We are lucky since our dear friend Sir Patrick brings his lucky charm with him and he found another group of young travelers who can share with us with boat rental.

sambawan

Approaching the island feeling the excitement already with the Maripipi view which look like a volcano with clouds kissing its summit.

maripipi

We arrive at Sambawan island around 2pm and greeted by their staff with warmth smiles and bright disposition.They look so happy to have us, the Dive team immediately introduce themselves and ask us what we want for lunch, sounds a good question. ”We want rice, we proclaimed” rice and veggies.While the Kitchen staff prepared our lunch, our dive guide bring us to our hut where we will be staying for 3nights, we put our bags, test the bed , savour the freshest air and wander around.

simple hut

The island has no supply for fresh water so resort staff fetch it everyday in a nearby Maripipi island (15mins via small boat). Electricity source is from a solar panel located on the top roof of one of the huts and runs from 6pm-5am the following morning. The dive team are friendly locals from Maripipi headed by Kuya Rodel. When he knows I am from Cebu he immediately knows we will have lengthy discussion and exchange of stories, later I found out from him that the people that help them set up the Dive Centre is a Filipino instructor from Cebu, they were the ones who trained them to be dive master and good dive guides.

Diving in sambawan is not crowded hence the remoteness of the place. There are occasional divers from Malapascua which do excursion dives  after Kalanggaman island in Leyte and another groups could be from mainland Maripipi which has atlas 2-3diveshops.

We spent the rest of the afternoon snorkeling and planning for a night dive at 530pm. The night dive is in quest for the Coral Cat Shark, however we didn’t find her.But we find some cute nocturnal critters, cute gobies and smiling crabs.

The next dive days are filled with different topographic seascape, from boulders to boulders as in huge  of them inhabited with endless nudibranches from smallest to the tiniest of them. Sunken City is the prime dive site in the area it is a beautiful reef garden filled with colours, schools of fusiliers, sweetlips being nibbled by cleaner wrasse a couple of hefty golden trevally zooming around in the midst of it all and thousand of Anthias are enveloping the whole scene.

Another dive site is called Black forest, I know what you are thinking, must be creepy down there , and dark, but opposite to how it is called , the black forest in Sambawan island is a dive site sloping to huge boulders from the shallow 5meters to a sandy slope to 30meters. Down there is a forest of soft corals in white that you felt like wading in between snow or cotton covered bushes.

Sorry no photos for those mentioned, my dive buddy has macro lense at the moment and no chance for wide angle shots.

On last day in the island is a rest day. we went walking around the island and the small islets interconnected to each other. The north view is Biliran while south is Maripipi. Maripipi looks inviting , we ask the Kuya Rodel if it is possible to climb up to the summit of Maripipi he said he never have done it yet only to almost halfway since the water source and a reservoir that supplies the island is there.

All in all this trip is like a dream come true, all preferences is achieved except seeing the Coral Cat Shark :p :p :p yet another reason to be back 🙂

For more info just click the Link : http://tourism.biliranisland.com/sambawanisland.php

Photo credits to his highness 😉 Mr Uwe ”awesome” Michaelis (UnderWaterExplorer)

Other photos are from the gecko babe too 😉

 

 

 

 

 

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Sleepy Surfer Award

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Lemme start this blog with the awesome view above. My accomodation for 3N/4D surf trip in Mati Davao-Nov26-29.

So whats up with the title ? Care to explain 😀

Well, its my most prestigious award from a recent surf trip in Mati Davao Oriental- Dahican Beach.This is how it goes:

A friend of mine knowing my addiction to the saline water ask me to join an organized event called ”Ripples goes to Dahican”. With no hesitation, I said yes, that was like 3 months before the scheduled surf trip (Nov.26-29). I paid down payment of 3000 pesos to secure the slot and as down payment also , total package fee is P8500 which can be paid in installment before the event, package covers our accommodation for 3N/4D, food, van transfers, surf instructor/guide and surf board rentals.

But things went wrong with my schedules and the event is getting closer, I’m slowly drifting away, sad , mad, upset all negative vibes engulf me, so I decided to cancel my slot 2 times and then 3rd time.But hold on, do you believe in miracles ? … miracles do happen. Few days before the event I got the money to pay for the remaining balance of the package plus my work leave was approved, so this is it pancit !!! Happy gecko is jumping with joy and immediately pack my bags and ready to go. Alas we touched down Davao city in the morning of Nov.26, 2015-thursday.

Our first day was spent on a side trip in Samal Island, first stop is the Hagimit Waterfalls, series of 1-1.5m drops of curtain like water.Second stop was funny, hahahaa everyone in the group knows why so I just say thank you for the ”Johnny’s Ride ” makes a huge difference on our trip 😀 😀 😀 and ohhh theres more, that addicting water slide that ends you falling into the sea, finally what makes this side trip special is our illegal trip underwater without the lifebelt(which is extremely prohibited by the lifeguard) just to have our mermaid photos taken, sorry for that but we can be kids too,.. sometimes.

After the Side trip in Samal we’re off for the real purpose- the ”waves”. Arriving in Mati is a relief for all of us, although it’s dark already we can already feel the roaring waves splashing into the sand. We have our welcome dinner which is a hot Sinigang soup and barbecue (yohooooo just right for hungry tummy).After dinner we had a quick orientation for the entire surfing program and we got to be introduce with other campers.The following day, everyone woke up early (alams na bakit  🙂 – its our first day of surfing, so everyone was on their boardshorts , bikini and surfing attires.First, the instructor and head guide Mac do the demonstration for basic of surfing , then we grab our boards and paddle towards the line up.I was able to catch some small waves, small but really good enough for me already and was more than happy just to be in the waters again. Sometimes just even staying flat on the board pushed by white waves is like an orgasm for a life time-oooops sorry for the word, but you will know it once you tried surfing. The next day we surf again in a secret spot known to locals, only 2-3 houses present nearby. Waves are just everywhere, its like a playground full of lego blocks, and palm trees and blowing winds, what more can you ask for ? ahahaha another pair of bikini maybe 🙂 , after morning surf we head back to the resort to grab our late breakfast and relax a bit, some of the campers went to surf in Dahican beach but I was too tired from the morning session and of course you know already where to find me, in the hammock dreaming mode. Afternoon program is the glider thingy, I was actually dispensing cash before arriving to Mati just to try riding this toy in Mati. But wait , where am I again the last time you saw me? mmmmm of course in my hammock. So when I wake up there is no one in the resort, campers were gone gliding 😦

But someone came back to pick me up yohooooo so I was able to glide too 🙂

glider

Our last day of surfing is everyone’s favorite place -the secret spot.After surfing almost an hr I lend the long board that I use to another camper,then I was cheering other beginners like me when they can catch waves, shouting them ”awesome, great yohoooo”. Then I assisted fellow camper too, pushing him when waves are closer. Ten mins after ,one of the Local community leader Kuya Jun ask me to try on his short board, of course at first I’m hesitant because his short board is for the pro and I’m quite not good in balancing yet so in my mind I cant handle short boards yet, but there’s no harm in trying anyways, for fun you know,hehe. So first I got lessons from Kuya Jun about surfing, then he told me the advantage of being small and having a short board.He also emphasize to me the correct way of paddling(for me this is very useful).I actually was dreaming to learn surfing with short board since its lighter and easy to maneuver and I’m crazily dreaming of doing surf stunts hahaha (5yrs from now) that’s my long term plan.So back to the lesson from Kuya Jun ,first few waves he tried to push me and see if I can stand on the board, of course I failed 3x 😦 then came the next 2 waves where I perfectly stand on the board and was able to catch it omaygasssssssssssshhhhhh it was just the best time of my life my life.Then I was hooked and don’t wanna stop, I tried paddling in my own and yes I catch another 2 waves -something to celebrate, only lacking is the lenses that captures it. But anyways next time will be ready for documentation, I promise.

 

To cap it all, it was super awesome 4days, best food, you wake up everyday with smell of coffee followed by sumptous meal, then the sexy waves calling you out, its something you will wish will be your life everyday. You got to discover also some places in the locality , like waterfalls , museums and eat the local popular fruit buongon- ang maliit na lemonsito awww, d diay reverse lemonsito ang maliit na buongon 😀 😀 😀 super sweet buongon don’t know the english term.

But  you know whats more awesome on this trip, the people around you are just equally crazy and  happy people from different walks of life in all ages we were drawn to a single passion- surfing. Started as strangers to each other but left as friends who shares happy moments, laugh trips and many groupies 🙂 🙂 🙂 see, life is awesome bruh, Live it ,it to the fullest please 🙂

But wait going back to the title, why why why I was awarded as Sleepy Surfer when they dont have evidences 🙂

See this : caught in the act !

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But I am truly the awardee,I admit , you can also ask the organizer and fellow campers why 😉 I am a small gecko , so no one caught me sleeping, but i did in many times. Almost miss the glider, the food , the surfing just because moments that I can SLEEP , I immediately do 😉

I wanna grab this opportunity to thank you for RIPPLES the event organizer Mac Co Senora, Cielo, Stacey, Aldrin, Jah and Walter – because you impress me then you did a good job!!! Thank you sponsors for nice surfprising gits 😉 Thanks also everyone for the laugh trips hahahaa..you know who you ares, my new set of friends!

See more pics here

xoxo until the next surf trip )))

What I cant forget about this trip.

  1. The waves
  2. ukelele peoples (darn they’re so talented)I’m impressed.
  3. the laugh trips
  4. #movenpick  😀 😀 😀 ooops its not the hotel you know, ask Stacey :p
  5. nice sleeps

How it started ? – my motorcycle diary

Meet Rockstar !!!

2015-12-08

 

He’s a 150CC off road Kawasaki motorbike. Few months ago I had my first ride with him.Felt something new , something that Iv’e been longing to feel years back.But first I need to tell you how I got hooked to this crazy hobby of driving off road bikes.

I learn to drive motorbike when I was 12yrs old, yes 12yrs old I was in 6th grade by the time I first have my wounds, exhaust burns and bruises from so many crashes, but didn’t bother me at all, the pain is nothing compared to the bragging feeling specially when you see everyone is staring at you enviously or an awe expression because no one can almost believe that at such young age a little woman is capable of driving a huge and heavy motorbike – a Honda TMX 155 which weighs almost 240lbs, it is the most popular motorbike used in the mountain Barangays in Cebu during middle 1990’s when roads are mostly rough and difficult. It is my elder brother’s motorbike, he’s my first mentor in learning the dos’ and donts’ in driving a 2 wheel vehicle.My first owned motorbike in 2008 is very unfortunate – it was stolen in just about 6months in my possesion, as to how , I don’t wanna recall because it gave me trauma. The next 4 years I distant myself into driving after losing my very first bike.Moments go by , the dreams to own another bike haunts me as I sleep, I still watch videos of motocross series locally and internationally, I guess because the passion for driving motorbikes and loving the speed with adrenaline is running into my veins ever since. Moreover, driving teaches me valuable lessons such as, being focus- because if not accident can happen, it also teaches me discipline and being careful. I use to have no fear in driving , now I consider it as a fools philosophy, I value life , I value Rockstar and most importantly I learn that driving is not just about the transportation, not just about destination but its about many things-from the Physics of your surroundings unto the mechanics of the machine you are riding and the physical mindset you have.

So fast forward, currently I have Rockstar now, a very powerful friend who transport me from the city where I work to my hometown for about 30kms travel in 30mins time.Above all, he always fulfill my desire to fly up higher, each obstacles we overcome and getting through rough roads along the way , Rockstar never let me down 🙂

Rockstar shall be my partner in reaching places, unknown or off the beaten path.

practice day : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DG8emAO-Jas

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