Cue the music: "Under the sea, under the sea!" Here's how my first freediving experience in Bohol, Philippines went.
Despite enjoying our island hopping adventure, I couldn’t have left Bohol without getting to tick this item off my bucket list. About 4 hours before my flight back to Manila, we headed to Panglao Kalikasan Dive Resort to do freediving in the sea!
Nature is calling: It’s time to dive
As you can tell by its name, diving is the main attraction at Panglao Kalikasan Dive Resort. Even if you don’t stay here, with a certain entrance fee, you will still be allowed to dive. Because I had limited time, I only did the “fun dive” which is basically an hour activity for beginners at the foot of the island’s cliff. Also, conveniently, they have a store where you can buy or rent diving gears in case you have not brought your own.
But wait, can I really do it?
First thing first, can I stay afloat? I had some swimming lessons back in my university days, but I never really considered myself as someone who could actually swim. Frankly, I was quite nervous to embark on this challenge because I didn’t have a lifevest on. But naturally, I did because the sea is salty! Saltwater gives more buoyancy than freshwater because of its higher density. #Science
After overcoming the first obstacle, the next question is can I dive freely? With the guidance of our very patient diving instructor, we learned the proper form and the correct breathing technique pretty quickly. After multiple tries, it felt so natural. In addition to our diving gear, we had also rented a life buoy which we held on to in case we wanted to rest.
So cool with a school of sardines
As if unlocking two skills in such a short span of time wasn’t great enough, the true highlight of my first freediving was the “sardine run” at snorkelling depth. It was quite eerie, but at the same time beyond specatular to be so up close to a large number of fish. Because I’m just a beginner, I probably was only 1-2 meters deep. Nevertheless, it was still a great experience overall. I would definitely love to do this for longer next time. One hour just felt so freaking short! And as the vast sea has always intrigued me, it would also be cool to go deeper the next time.
Fears conquered, an item off my bucket list
Concluding my Bohol trip with freediving was pretty epic. I’m so glad I was able to conquer some of my fears and get to tick this activity off my bucket list! Shout out to my friend Giselle for organising this whole trip, and of course to her family for the fun bonding time in the Philippines.
If you haven’t tried freediving, then this is your sign to do so!