Grandaddy Of Negros

Auf wiedersehen Zucker beach, hello to the other side of Negros Island, Negros Oriental. Filipino bus rides can be quite entertaining at times, on this one in particular I was lucky enough to witness what might have been a world record for the most passengers on one tricycle, and had an interesting conversation with a local about toilets. In the Philippines a toilet is also known as a comfort room, I explained that where I come from we sometimes call a toilet a ‘bog’. The word ‘bog’ is a strange word for a Filipino tongue to pronounce, ‘bo…borg…b-hog’ the guy couldn’t get his head around it…

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We spent a night in the provincial capital Dumaguete before heading down the coast to the small town of Dauin, pronounced the same but not to be confussed with Darwin in Australia of course. The purpose for coming to this place was to dive.

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Apo island is just off Negros and is said to have some of the best diving in the Philippines, although the guide books say that about pretty much every dive site, even though their so called travel writers don’t dive or even check out some places they write about. Apo means Grandfather in Tagalog so I’m hoping this island is going to be the Grandaddy of diving, lets wait and see.

The underwater real estate around the island was exceptional, in three dives around Apo, we saw many extra large turtles, pretty hideous frog fish and some black and white super poisonous sea snakes. We also swam through some volcanic water coming from the sea bed and encountered new breed of underwater creature called ‘the Korean diver’. We came across the large school of Koreans at the start of the first dive and I was not surprised that all they seem interested in doing was what they do best, taking photos of each other doing the peace sign underwater, with a camera which looked like a robot. All the gear, no idea…

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Ready to dive Apo?

When not swimming with the fish, we spent our time riding into the highlands to visit Casaroro falls around the area of Valencia and the hot springs. The hot springs were a nice place to spend a few hours, that is if you like sitting in a pool of scolding hot water reeking of rotten eggs…

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Eggy Water

The final dive of our stay here in Dauin was the ‘car wreck’. I’d like to say there was a cool story behind how the car got there, such as the Mitchell brothers of Dumaguete drove it into the azure after an argument got out of hand when one found out the other was having it away with his missus. But no, the car was just put there for divers 25 years ago. The wreck at 25 metres deep, barley resembled a car, but now serves as a meeting place for the local Lion fish.

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Car Wreck Briefing

For anyone heading into the area to dive, I recommend organising it through Bongo Bongo divers in Dauin. A new place with a relaxed home stay atmosphere. They do trips to Apo and excellent home-made sausages for BBQ nights! What more can you want! Check out their Facebook page here

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