Dive Junkie

I couldn’t get out of Angeles fast enough, the final straw was when I witnessed someone with a striking resemblance to Brains from Thunderbirds escorting a young Filipino rent boy out of the hotel, I never knew I could regurgitate a slice of pre-cooked toast from 7/11 so fast…


I’ve mentioned it before but let me briefly explain the term ‘skin tax’. A local person would pay maybe 20 piso for the trip to the bus terminal in a tricycle, a westerner would be expected to pay a lot more than that in most cases. I understand that by Asian standards we are rich compared to many locals, it’s when in places like Angeles, where the drivers are used to charging a ridiculous fare that I get frustrated. It becomes more about the principle than the money, subsequently the five kilometre walk to the bus station, with all our stuff in the baking heat was a sweaty one. Thankfully the 80 pence we saved was enough to buy us a couple of ice creams at the end…

Puerto Galera is Spanish for ‘port of the galleons’. Situated on the island of Mindoro a few hours by bus/boat from Manilla. The area of Sabang, to be exact, doesn’t have a nice beach or many attractions, but we were here for only one reason, scuba diving.


The open water PADI qualification is something that I’d wanted to do for years while travelling, but most of the time just ended up getting drunk instead. Sabang is a drinking town with a diving problem, so I had to make sure the same wasn’t going to happen here…

The PADI open water course took three days and I really can not sum up the awesomeness of diving. Scary, weird, awkward, different and robotic are some of the words I would use to describe the way I felt when I first tried on the diving gear. Once in the water though, it all makes sense and those words become relaxed, beautiful, amazing, floating on the moon, the opening montage of For Your Eyes Only… Finally a certified diver, we loved it so much we decided to stay in Sabang for longer and dive some wrecks, instead of getting wrecked and staring at exotic fish than staring at the sun. Seriously looking forward to doing some more soon. Sadly cameras don’t work underwater, but sometimes it’s best to live for the moment behind a dive mask, other than a viewfinder. From this moment on,fish are friends not food…


This week Like the wheels is approaching a milestone of 2000 views. So to celebrate we’re having a massive giveaway! The first person to comment on this post saying ‘I Like The Wheels’ will receive a special postcard from yours truly, sealed with a kiss…x


Categories: Philippines | 6 Comments

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6 thoughts on “Dive Junkie

  1. Bet you’ll never wanna walk on land again after experiencing the deep blue! 🙂

  2. I understand the frustration with “skin tax” (which I’ve never heard called that way before, interesting). It’s been a fad with tourist spots in the Philippines since, I suppose, someone realized that Boracay’s white sand was second-to-none, and ever since then, others started charging similarly.

    This is why I insist to foreigners, caucasian/western-looking ones, very specifically (typical Filipinos commonly see westerners as being exclusively rich), to travel with a local companion. By the same view that westerners are above even themselves, it wouldn’t be that difficult to look for a travel companion that’s willing to take you around. Filipinos have a culture of being people-pleasers. That’s how this nation as a people feel they can validate themselves, by “looking good” through the eyes of the foreign community, even though it ends up more kiss-assy than actually good. I’m sorry for your experience but it’s something you have to know and adjust to accordingly, in this soil. But more than that, now knowing what I just said, perhaps you can better interact with my countrymen with respect to their low nationalistic-self-esteems and helping them change their undue opinions about themselves and about foreigners.

    Enjoy diving here! 🙂

  3. Tina Dourish

    I Like (LOVE) the Wheels, so there – send the card

  4. Am liking the wheels very much

    Ok may not be the first to reply and wouldn’t expect a postcard

    Just keep the good blog going!

  5. Alla Kazan

    I Like The Wheels

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