Monday, September 1, 2008

Aug27 Ep - Apo Island




Note: Apo Island is in Visayas, south of Dumaguete, not to be confused with 'Apo Reef' w/c is in the west of Mindoro mainland, Luzon. Mt. Apo is a mountain hehe, not an island, and is in Mindanao. Apo Reef is known for sea turtles and small reef sharks (as in ang dami ko nakita dati, every dive).






I've been diving for quite a considerable time, but this was the first time that I got a chance to visit the dive sites around Apo Island. And as a pleasant surprise, I had a few 'firsts' on this trip. Unang-una: i've never (ever) seen a Potato Cod in the wild. I've seen a few in the Seaworld ocenarium in Indonesia (I think that was Indo) and another oceanarium in Osaka Japan. But seeing them in the wild, diving in a reef - that was a first. Malaki siya, probably 3ft in length, and 1ft thick at least. See sample photo borrowed from flickr.com/photos/claudioangelini.


Of course sea turtles are also common in the area. I had a few minutes of 'bonding moment' with a hawksbill sea turtle, swimming with this elegant creature just 1-2 feet away. Amazing!

Another first for me was to see a monstrous lone Jackfish (talakitok), it is at least 3/4 of my total body size, maybe even more. I momentarily froze by the glimpse of it, unfortunately - it swam behind me, just a mere 2 meter away, so I only saw it briefly. But the size is really something for the books!

Corals abound in different shapes, sizes and colors - a truly awesome underwater paradise. Mabini/ Anilao is already spectacular - and Apo Island is probably an equal rival.

One message from this trip; the local community worked hard (and still working hard) to preserved their marine treasures. They've worked together to stop unsustainable fishing methods (ex. dynamite w/c destroys the coral reef), educated their community on conservation work - and after years of patience, they are finally earning their pay. A healthier reef gave them more bountiful fish catch. On top, eco-tourism (divers) frequent the place and hence, provide more profits for the community.

"Save the reef and save our future."

1 comment:

Patring said...

romi ha, faithful blogger ka pala. lagot, ililink ko ito sa Born to be Wild fansite sa igma.tv. Marami kang fans doon matutuwa sila.