Never in my entire existence that I will have my first scuba diving experience. With just 5% of Earth’s ocean have been explored and charted, my anxiety tells me that there could be something out there. The rest of the oceans remains mostly undiscovered and unseen by humans. That is one of the many reasons why I’ve been struggling on wether to try diving or just leave it as a dream.
Truth be told, I have a deep passion for the ocean and underwater world. I want the chance to explore more. With the full support of Dakak Aqua Sports and the expertise of its professional diving instructor, Mr. Elmer Yongco, I was finally able to experience and see the underwater landscape through scuba diving at Aliguay Island, Dapitan City.
Although I think everyone should atleast attempt to try scuba diving, I also know that it isn’t for everyone and that is okay.
My expectations on my first diving experience
I have to be honest that I got really excited after knowing that I would be trying scuba diving for the first time because I think it’s kinda cool. Seeing a lot of breathtaking underwater photos made me think that it’s worth a try and I had to cross it out on my bucket list. What held me back was my fear, overthinking, and bad judgement about scuba diving. Aliguay Island being a beautiful island in Dapitan City helps me ease my anxiety and fears.
I was excited to see fishes, sea turtles, sharks (maybe), coral reefs, and all other water babies we’d probably associate with underwater. Little did I know what I was in for.
I got only excited on the beautiful parts and not the terrifying ones. But hey, don’t get me wrong! I would still recommend you to try scuba diving and see it for yourself.
Learning Scuba Diving gears and skills
Before any first time divers go underwater, there will be of course an orientation and you need to learn first the basic skills of scuba diving. With so many stuff to remember, the only thing that you don’t want to forget is to “NEVER HOLD YOUR BREATHE!”. It’s just crazy how your mind tells you otherwise.
Having a professional PADI instructor who’s very passionate on what he does makes my first scuba diving experience easier to do even during the times when I’m still learning the skill tests. I received good remarks from him and that has somehow encouraged me to pushed it through.
Despite clearing all the tests, I was still terrified and I couldn’t care less about being certified anymore. My anxiety started kicking in and moments before descending, I have been constantly visualizing myself getting drowned and bursting my lungs.
Scuba diving is taught in baby steps. From learning how all dive gear works and familiarize you with safe-dive techniques to diving skill tests. It is important that you put your mind and focus on what the diving instructor will teach you.
Life lessons from diving
This scuba diving experience has taught me a lot about myself and my fears. It’s far beyond my comfort zone and somehow, it has changed my outlook in life. This intro dive has brought numerous lessons and realizations.
Unlike other first timers who hate it the first time around, I am one of the few people who becomes more interested about diving. Not just because of its coolness as a sport, but I love the positivity it has given me. It’s like giving me more power and control as a person.
One of the most beautiful lesson that diving has taught me is that there’s no other way to face your fear except to really face it.
Lesson 1: Go with the flow, but with awareness
During your first scuba diving experience, do not try to control or fight the underwater environment. You’d be expose to a while new different world. Rather, learn how to adapt with it. Enjoy the scenery of fishes and corals. The more tense you are, the more likely you are to panic and mess up. It is normal to forget hand signals, skills and other instructions for the first time around, but please bear in mind about that one thing to never hold your breathe.
Lesson 2: Control your breath, control your mind
When you’re like me who sometimes has uncontrollable thoughts and anxieties, all emotions including fears impact how I breath. Scuba diving is all about breathing and mind game. During my first time diving, I literally forgot how to breathe because my mind told me that I couldn’t breathe underwater. That’s why by being aware and gaining control over it, you can also gain control over your mind.
Lesson 3: There’s no other way to face your fears, except face it
I’m not the best person to say this as I have my own fears that I can’t even face myself. But when on your first scuba diving experience, acknowledge and accept your fears. It’s normal to be scared and to me, one of the things that made me fell in love with diving for the first time is no one judges your fears. You just have to learn to slow things down and dive at your own pace.
Experience scuba diving in Aliguay Island
Aliguay island is a small island in Dapitan City located about an hour boat ride away from Dakak Park and Beach Resort. Since Dakak is the only diving center in Zamboanga del Norte with a certified Professional Association of Diving Instructor (PADI) member, I highly recommend you to take the PADI Discover Scuba Diving Course to get the feel of scuba diving.
Scuba Diving Rates in Dakak Aqua Sports
You don’t need to travel far to get into your first scuba diving experience because in Zamboanga del Norte, there’s a diving centre that offers various scuba diving packages for beginners and licensed divers.
Dakak Aqua Sports is a diving centre in Dakak Park and Beach Resort, Dapitan City that has an in-house professional PADI instructor. Below are the published rates of their scuba diving packages.
The intense anxiety that I went through during my Discover Scuba Diving Course was worth it after receiving my certificate of completion with a PADI stamp given by the best diving instructor of Dakak Aqua Sports. Hey, this certification is not a scuba diving license. If you want to get licensed, you may reach Dakak Aqua Sports on their Facebook Page or you may call them at 0915 318 5238.