Saturday, May 24, 2014

Addicted to you!

Let's talk about my new addiction that has me falling head over heels in love with. Diving! 

'Scuba diving is swimming underwater using SCUBA - Self Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus. Using a cylinder of compressed gas to breathe (usually air, but sometimes other gases), scuba divers can stay underwater much longer than would be possible by just holding their breath - for hours or even days!' (extracted from:

Scuba diving has been on my bucket list for years now.. Since when I was in school? And that was a good 8 years back or so? Hahaha. I have been procrastinating coz it was 1) expensive 2) time away from work 3 days straight and having theory lessons was hard to arrange for 3) I was juz plainly procrastinating. So when I finally made up my mind on this trip. I was planning on doing only 3 things for the 16 days. 1) diving 2) white water rafting 3) surfing. 

What I didn't expect was really to complete the whole Open Water Dive (it cost me S$545 - theory. Confined water waters. 4 dives at Camiguin Action Geckos Dive and Adventure Resort.) and I was totally hooked on it! Arno is a fantastic instructor. He was super patient with me. Especially when I think it was super obvious how much I was panicking on my first confined water and especially during the flooding of mask and clearing it out part. He was calming me down as we were kneeling on the seabed. Don't ask me how he calmed me down. He juz did. And I really did calm down and took my own time to clear that part. I almost wanted to give up actually coz I was so freaked out by the world down under. I am so glad I didn't!

I became a pro setting up after 2 days of continuous practice. Hahaha..

The wetsuit was a killer. I took like 30 mins each time to get it on? Only after a few rounds of putting it on and removing it did I manage to get the hang of it and get in on in less than half the initial time. =)

As the days past. It was no surprise that I was out for dives every single day that it was automatic that I would wake up by 6.30am daily to get breakfast by 7.30am and then to leave by 8.30am or so. 

Of course I won't forget my first dive site. Sunken Cemetery. It was ok. I didn't do much of a tour coz I still had exercises to clear. Ah damn. I wanna go again!

At White Island there was quite a massive dive site know as Kilambing (and spilt into Kilambing South and North). I did 3 dives in the whole place and it was simply amazing. *heartz*

Happy diver - me.

Another amazing dive site at Mantigue island. But pity about its visibility. It wasn't that good. But the sand - *2 thumbz up* and the sea was as amazing.

And here I am at Siargao and juz finished planning my dives for my Advanced! Yes you read right. Advanced Open Water! Before I head over to Maldives next month. Coz Michele did an outstanding job of selling the dive sites in Maldives to me (she has been) and some of them needs AOW due to the depth. Hahaha.

Cheerz to my new found love and I am looking forward to my dives on Monday and Tuesday and Wednesday before a 5 days break and Maldives here I come! And Camiguin. You are not forgotten! I'm coming back for you next year!

Friday, May 23, 2014

My travel burnout..

You may be curious what initiated me to write this post and come on. What has the picture of giving up gotta do with anything? Sadly. It has everything to do with how I am feeling about my travel right now. 

I am dealing with travel burnout now. Yes. You read right. Me. Talking about travel burnout. I know I know. Those who know me are in shocked. With mouths wide opened and eyes staring in disbelief. So what is travel burnout? It's when you have reached a limit of travelling and travelling is no longer top of your mind. Here are some articles describing travel burnout:

Compared to many travellers. My trip is nothing but short for many. But for me. When my longest was to Chengdu/Tibet/Inner Mongolia/Beijing last June (19 days) and with a tour group though I was travelling solo. This is my longest trip so far. And it's to a place that was like home to me. Today is the 10th day into my 16 days trip here.

So when I left Camiguin for Cagayan de Oro. I thought it was juz that familiarity of  Camiguin and the place I was staying at and the people (Camiguin Action Geckos) that made me torn when leaving the place even though I already had plans in Cagayan de Oro.

The stay at Cagayan de Oro was not good. And I juz didn't like the vibes the room gave me. So I decided to get out and stayed out as much as possible. But there really wasn't much to do there except white water rafting and my heart and mind kept wandering back to Camiguin. =/

I was so happy to get away from that place and the almost 10 hours journey from Cagayan de Oro to Surigao was good and gave me some peace and time to think about continuing my trip. Once I got to Surigao (this was meant as an overnight stop before getting over to Siargao). The hotel (the only hotel I am staying at for this whole trip) was calling me. I juz wanted to stay in the room as much as I can and I almost refuse all calls to get out for food even (which explains me blogging now).

Many thoughts started running through my mind. Why did I choose to come here? Why did I have to leave Camiguin (okok.. So coz I booked all my accomodations thereafter and also my flight is back from Siargao to Cebu.) But still. I juz flat out refused to go see the local culture or do any island hopping or any shopping or anything. Like literally. 

I slept till 11am today and went out for postcards and mineral water and brunch (at McDonald's - craving) and I'm back holed up in my room. I juz feel tired moving about. I haven't really cramped my trip this time round with enough days at each place for rest. But it's getting to me. So I guess like what this article mentioned ( I juz wanna do nothing. Or rather do whatever I want: which is to rot in the room and get the day over and done with quickly.

And like what the picture quote says. Now that I kept thinking about giving up. I think back on why I started in the first place. And I guess another thing that will spike my otherwise lethargic mind and body is to look forward to more diving in the next few days. No doubt I can't stay at Kermit Surf and Dive Eco Camp but I plan to stay most of my time there. Why? The word 'dive' explains it all. No? =)

My reservation was with Paglaom Hostel and Michel from Camiguin Action Geckos was the one who suggested staying with Gianni at Kermit Surf and Dive Eco Camp. But coz Paglaom Hostel doesn't provide any food (but with kitchen to cook and all) I have a feeling that will be a place only for me to shower and sleep coz I'll be whiling away at Kermit's instead doing my Advanced Open Water course and probably even learning surfing there. And coz there's free wifi there too where Paglaom doesn't. =)

So I guess my travel burnout has somewhat subsided as today is coming to an end in another 5 hours time or so. I will juz keep myself busy with the internet. And then out for dinner. Back for completion of my last module and tomorrow will be a brand new day at Siargao!

But damn. I'm missing Camiguin so much! I will go back next year for more diving with Arno and Michele! Anyone wanna come along? =)

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Island born of Fire.. I juz love how that sounds! =D

Camiguin. Also known as 'Island born of Fire'. 'Barely 240 square kilometers in land area. Camiguin is the second smallest island of the Philippines in both area and population. ... ... Within this small area lie seven volcanoes.' (extracted from

And so this is the Island that after much reading and flipping from cover to cover of the Lonely Planet Philippines guidebook. I decided to embark on my 16 days and first solo trip of 2014 back home. The main reason that I decided to come here was to pick up the Open Water Diver certification (like finally! =D) and that I wanted to do white water rafting in Cagayan de Oro and surfing in Siargao. So now you know my plans. =)

From Singapore it is no surprise that I took Cebu Pacific - it being a more affordable and budget airline to travel to the Philippines (not to Kalibo though. Tiger Airways does it cheaper. =P) Transiting in Mactan-Cebu International Airport. I changed plane to a propeller one to get into Camiguin.

Love how the plane is silhouetted by the sunrise.

Even though from Cebu it's only a 40 mins flight or so. I was able to fall asleep and I must say Camiguin Airport has one of the shortest airstrip I've ever landed on. The plane landed and had to brake hard and make a turn into this 'roundabout' area before coming to a complete stop. And it was all in like 5 mins or less! 

The 'roundabout' where the plane is.. And the red tentage area? That's our baggage collection area.

After much research and weighing out my budget. I'm currently staying at Camiguin Action Geckos Dive and Adventure Resort. A lovely place that reminds me much of Villa Mamarine in Squijor. I had a wonderful stay of 4 days in Villa Mamarine last year. And the vibe of this place is telling me I'm gonna fall in love with it too. =)

I had the Hibok-Hibok breakfast. Not sure why it's named after one of the volcanoes but ah well! =D Those triangle pieces in the center? Those are seasoned cheese. 2 pieces in pepper and 2 pieces in paprika powder. IF my tastebuds doesn't fail me. =) 

The black volcanic sand right in from of my room. On the beach. It's like freaking hot if you walk on it barefooted. Trust me. I tried. Coz I had to swim in the sea for my assessment to get my diving cert. Ouch!

That's my room right there. It's P2000 a night with attached bathroom. Juz that there isn't any aircon but juz a fan. I can survive it. Good deal and no worries. =)

And when I heard that one of the girls were going to the market. I told her I wanna follow over too. But too bad! I didn't meet her there. But I had a good time juz wandering the streets and popping here and there into the shops that interest me.

Fruits section.

And the seafood. There wasn't much to choose from though. Think the catch was bad today. =/

And I saw this in the supermarket! So I bought one of each. It's P39.50. I'm so gonna try it out when I get home! Or else. When I'm staying in Siargao coz that's a hostel and there's a kitchen. =)

I took a bike (pillion of course! But without helmet as usual..) to the market and that cost me P40 while the habul-habul (I think I got it right) only costs me P10 back.

I had/have to continue my mugging for my license. So here's a sunset to say good night for the time being! =)