Sharks and surprises: 2013’s first month so far

Don’t we all love a clean slate—

It’s like getting a brand new notebook to write on, a new pair of shoes to trudge with, a spanking new camera to take with you to places.

Sometimes, it’s like getting one of these new plastic cards too:

PADI scuba diving open water diver certificate | Two2Travel
Our ticket to sea turtles and sharks and mantas in the wild.

And this is how our first month’s notebook for this year looks like so far (and no, our handwriting, at least mine, is not this nice):


License to see SHAAAAARKS.

Owen and I got licensed late last year, but we didn’t get our IDs until early this month. This means we can now go on dive trips on our own (but the ID is just a meager part of it; the dive fund—THAT is the big question). Now all we can think of are sharks, sea turtles, manta rays, and how to fund this hobby that’s probably going to strip us bare of cash even before it warms up on our hands.

Free dive trip!

And just like that, the Universe decided to play Santa this early: Thursday this week I received news that I won an online photo contest by a scuba diving website, earning me a three-night stay at El Galleon Resort in Puerto Galera and two fun dives! JACKPOT!!! Thank you Universe! Keep all the good things coming!!! :-)

DSC_8135My photo of Calaguas with those two kids won me a free dive trip this year!

Festival Frenzy.

January is always a great time to travel around the country because of the four big festivals Dinagyang, Sinulog, Ati-Atihan, and the Feast of the Black Nazarene. And since all this traveling preoccupation started with Dinagyang in 2011, we’ve made it a point to attend as many fiestas as we can from then on.

two2travel | Nazareno 2013
Nazarene 2013. Read more here.
And after seeing Sinulog last year and Dinagyang the past two years, we’re finally ticking off the other two: the Feast of the Black Nazarene just this week and Kalibo’s Ati-Atihan next week! Ati-Atihan is the Philippines’ oldest festival and is said to have a very different vibe from Sinulog and Dinagyang. We can’t wait to see it for yourselves!


We decided to forego our Dinagyang plans this year to make room (i.e., save money) for a dive trip to Apo Island in Negros Oriental, where we’re going right after Kalibo (and on that note, Universe, please give us the camera we’ve been wanting to use on this trip but for some reason is out of stock in every freaking camera store in the Philippines).

Apo Island is one of the best dive sites in the Philippines and the world, but frankly I’d be very happy with just a sea turtle. I’ve always wanted to see one but I haven’t been very lucky. Hopefully on this trip, I will (fine, Owen will) manage to take a photo of our big shelled friends in the wild.

That said, do we have any New Year’s Resolutions?

Uh, we’ll cross the bridge when we get there. Hope it’s not some bridge with a hole that can swallow a whole motorcycle though.

Thanks for reading! Hoping you’ll stick with us this year! Add us up on Facebook & Twitter!

This is Two2Travel‘s first entry to the Pinoy Travel Bloggers’ Blog Carnival. The January carnival is hosted by Roj of Adventuroj.

  • Che | BackpackingPilipinas

    Can’t wait to see your Apo Reef photos! Have fun Nikka!!! :)

    • Two2Travel

      Thanks Che! Sana may maiuwi na kaming underwater shots ngayon. First few dives namin wala. Have fun diving too! :)

  • Kara / Travel Up

    Awesome start for the year Nikka. Have always wanted to try diving, but it’s a bit on the expensive side for me. Looking forward to all your photos! :)

    • Two2Travel

      Thanks Kara! Got a bit lucky with the diving last year. And yeah it’s a bit expensive so we don’t dive as often as we want. You should try too! :)

  • killerfillers

    wow naman Apo Reef! Congrats and I’m looking forward to reading more of your adventures this 2013

    • Two2Travel

      Hey thanks! :D I believe Apo Reef though is in Mindoro? We’re going to Apo Island sa Negros. :) But yeah Apo Reef on our bucket list this year too! ;) ~Nikka

  • Claire | Traveling Light

    Wow! Congrats on the license and the free dive trip! Cheers to more diving adventures!

    Becoming a certified diver and seeing thresher sharks and manta rays are part of my bucket list too. But first I have to become confident in water.

    • Two2Travel

      Hi there Claire! I’m definitely not one of those fully comfortable in water either. I can’t swim! But as my dive instructor would love to emphasize (and I hope this encourages you too), you need not know how to swim in order to dive. Hope you get around to doing it this year!!! :) ~Nikka

    • diytrippers

      you inspired me Nikka. I never thought it would be possible for me to go on a scuba diving coz i don’t know how to swim. Thank you! :)

    • Two2Travel

      Glad to hear! Hope you get certified soon :)

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