After the initial shock The Philippines left me in, it was now time for adventure. Starting with the sardine run in Moalboal. We took a bus and a trike from Cebu to Panagsama Beach. My friend sent me a picture of a person swimming in a loop of at least 1000 sardines. I thought that must have been a lucky shot. However, two minutes after entering the water, we were surrounded by sardines.
The school really stuck together, and sometimes one would catch a glimpse of sunlight, and light up within the group. I had never seen this many fish in my life. With every sudden movement close to them, they would divide in two groups and mirror away from each other, creating a gap. They all seemed to know where their others were going, and as in a dance performance they perfectly aligned.
Later a little boy yelled ‘turtle’, pointing in the water. We ended up seeing three large turtles, and amazingly one of them didn’t seem bothered to have company at all. It repeatedly swam up to the surface to catch a quick breath, and would land down again to eat corals and not even look at me twice as I totally invaded its personal space.
So much rubbish in the water, and partially we had to wade through the plastic. I knew plastics in the ocean are a problem, but I had never seen it at this confronting level. The fish were swimming through it, and the corals were waving underneath it. The more boats there were, the more dense the collection of garbage was. The boats also provided a shiny layer of oil on top of the water.
As if that wasn’t enough, some divers there went under water and sat down on the corals. These beautiful reefs and fish are being destroyed as you’re watching it. It makes me feel powerless that the destruction is in full process and only getting worse.
Open Water Diving
With some studying and training, we managed to get our Open Water license on Maribago Beach. Our instructors were amazing and well trained. They had a good understanding of teaching, and made the underwater world a great, relaxing experience. The assistant instructor had some bread for the fish, and gave us some to feed. An incredible amount of fish was surrounding us, nibbling at our fingers viciously to get a hold of the food. We saw quite a few clownfish, a lot of black fish, and some rainbow coloured fish.
Watch our diving video with Dive Funatics
Being part of the underwater world is a whole new experience. You can look up and see the sunlight refracting through the surface, relax in the water and just breathe. No need to worry about running out of breath and ascending shortly, like with snorkeling.
While staying in Cebu, we experienced the Jeepney once more. I am astounded by how the chauffeurs aren’t crashing their vehicles in this traffic. Considered that they are being paid while driving, and hand back your change. The notes are braided through their fingers, whereas the coins lay stalled in a drawer next to the steer wheel. Some jeepneys have a money collecting person in the back, and in our case this was a woman, openly breastfeeding her baby.
It seems to be the way to chase jeepneys while they already pull up, try your luck and get a hand clamped around the metal railing on the back. Once you’re in, hopefully some people will move aside so you can squeeze your butt in. You hold on to the railing, try to not sit on somebody and try to not hit your head, as these vehicles aren’t made for tall Europeans.
Only a week left in this beautiful country, before heading to Vietnam.