Back to school: First day SCUBA diving musings

Today we went back to school. Our classroom was about 20 feet deep, our tools heavy and bulky and very complicated. Screw this, pull that, inflate this, release that. Right now, our muscles are aching from all the finning and kneeling we had to do. Our minds are reeling from all the jargon and the exercises we had to master. But we are thrilled more than anything.

We’re thrilled to know how this would change the way we live from now on—individually, and of course, together. We can’t wait to lay down plans to finally see the Philippines underneath its beautiful vistas and pristine beaches, because as many would attest, our country’s true treasures lie beneath the surface.

So why are we doing this again?

Why take up such a heart-wrenchingly expensive activity that would most likely leave us with no long-term life plans whatsoever, only till-the-next-dive goals because we could only afford as much?

We want to experience the same thrill that photography gives us whenever we snap a good picture. For us, random encounters—this time under the sea—are definitely worth the fuss. The extra effort. The thinner pockets.

But SCUBA diving wasn’t something we thought would even be possible for us both. It remained that way until we decided to care a bit more. A bit of research here and there, and a couple of friends who provided encouragement, and now we’re here gushing about it all.

When we went to Coron earlier this year and saw the most fascinating marine life we have seen yet (and this remains even after seeing a few more places afterward), we somehow knew we could not rely on neon orange floatation devices for long. We wanted to step up the game. We wanted to see more. Diving would be the inevitable answer, and we’re glad we finally took that one step further.

A diver we met during that Coron trip egged us on, saying it was very addictive. Another friend who just got her Open Water license gushed about finally breathing underwater (this is after getting to Tubbataha, the Philippines’ dame of all dive spots). Suddenly the prospect seemed much more doable—that something as far-fetched as diving can actually happen to us. We blame our big dreams.

For now, we’re nursing aching muscles, marveling at the mere act of breathing, and waiting for our next real dive in the open seas.

(We’ll be diving in Anilao Thursday and Friday. Wish us luck!!! :D)