Now that I’m back in Pennsylvania, bundling up against the autumn chill, white sand beaches and sea turtles are a distant memory. The days of shorts, humid weather, and dive boats are replaced with orange-red leaves and crisp blue skies without a cloud in sight. So when PADI scuba certification send me an e-mail, I was jolted back to my summertime diving experiences and had to restrain myself from jumping on kayak.com and buying a ticket to Manila.
With amazing levels of biodiversity, an UNESCO World Heritage Site, and multiple ship wreck dive spots, it’s hard not to view the Philippines as anything but an underwater paradise. Check it out! Philippines Scuba Diving
My Filipina friend Anna told me she went to Cancun for the Climate Conference and managed to schedule one or two dives in-between meetings and nights exploring Mexico. The dive master asked where everyone was from and when Anna said the Philippines, he shook his head and told her not to be disappointed. Cancun’s underwater life just couldn’t compare to her home country.
I was speaking with a friend at school and the subject of diving came up. “Are you a diver too?” Beth asked. “Oh my god. I love it. My dad’s been diving for years.” The unspoken attachment I feel upon meeting another diver surprises me. It’s a recreational activity like a number of others and yet there is something different. Something more. Because sinking beneath the surface into an underwater world is like opening the doors of the wardrobe and entering Narnia. Everything you knew about physics, magic, and beauty is redefined. And like Narnia, we cannot exist in that world forever. We buckle up, deflate, are weighed down, and breathe deep just to glimpse the realm of the fish and corals beneath flippers suspended in blue abyss. Time seems to slow and stop completely but the bubbles escaping from our masks serve as reminders that we do not belong in this new and vibrant paradise. Our home floats feet above our heads but for many divers, heaven lies below.