Is scuba diving on your bucket list? Start with Anilao

Kara Santos

Posted at Feb 02 2018 06:03 PM | Updated as of Feb 03 2018 08:51 AM

Diving in Batangas. Photo by Noel Guevara for FWD

MANILA -- Along with skydiving and bungee jumping, scuba diving is at the top of many people’s bucket lists as it opens up a whole new world of stunning marine life and otherworldly underwater landscapes. 

Last weekend, several lucky travellers finally got to tick off diving from their list.

The Philippines is a top international destination for scuba divers. The country sits at the heart of the Coral Triangle, an area in the Pacific Ocean dubbed as the “center of the center” of marine biodiversity on the planet. 

And right smack in the middle of the Coral Triangle is Anilao, Batangas, the “birthplace of scuba diving in the Philippines” and home to more than half of the country’s documented shore fish species and over 300 species of coral.

Underwater landscape in Batangas. Photo by Noel Guevara for FWD

If you enjoy snorkeling in coral reefs, diving is the next step. 

“Gusto ko matuto mag-dive kasi you only live once, di ba? Siguro part ng pagiging millennial at mahilig mag-travel,” said 26-year old Marielle Oblipias. 

“Usually, more of sa bundok 'yung hilig ko. Gusto ko lang din ma-try underwater naman,” she added. 

Oblipias is one of the three lucky winners picked from the thousands who joined the #FWDBucketlistMoment contest on Facebook and Instagram. 

Newbies take diving lessons at the swimming pool of Casa Escondida. Photo by author

“Sobrang enjoy 'yung pag-dive. First time ko siya ma-try at okay talaga siya kahit wala kang experience,” she added. 

But before the actual dive, all participants were given a PADI Discover Scuba Diving course in a swimming pool to teach participants the basics for a safe and enjoyable dive.

Participants got try on the gear and learned basic diving skills at the Casa Escondida Anilao Resort and Dive Center in Mabini, Batangas. 

Day 2 was D-Day (Diving Day). Participants donned wetsuits and took a quick boat ride to the hat-shaped Sombrero Island, dubbed as the “Coral Garden of Anilao.” 

The dive instructors took participants to a popular dive site called Batok. It was a perfect introductory spot for beginner divers and underwater photographers. After the dive, the boat took the group back to Sombrero Island for lunch and island R&R.

The one-of-a-kind underwater adventure in Anilao was part of life insurance company FWD’s Lifetime of Possibilities social media campaign which aims to challenge the public to “live life to the fullest.”

Sombrero island in Batangas. Photo by author

According to FWD’s head of marketing Roche Vandenberghe, aside from offering life protection and investment funds, FWD wants to empower people to live more passionately. 

“We’re here to change the way people feel about insurance by helping people pursue the life they’ve always wanted and start doing the things that excite them, without a single worry because we’ve got their back,” said Roche.