I went scuba diving for the first time on my final full day in the Philippines. It’s something I had been interested in doing for a long time. Lucky for me, the owner of my hostel in Puerto Prencesa happens to be a scuba instructor.

Since this was my last day, I couldn’t do the three day course to get certified. For two dives in one afternoon, I paid 4, 500 pesos, which is about $90 USD.

When we arrived at the beach, my instructor Jonathon taught me about the gear and the hand signals used to communicate under water. Then we put on our scuba gear and went into shallow water to practice breathing and signaling. I was surprised how easy it is to breathe. It’s a strange feeling to find yourself breathing normally for several minutes under water.

Our first dive was about 6 meters deep. I wasn’t expecting for the water pressure to be as painful as it was. It was so painful that I panicked. It was hard to focus because of the pain in my ears. Jonathon signaled to me to equalize by squeezing my nose shut and blowing the pressure out of my ears. I thought I was doing it wrong because I had to do it so many times, but apparently that’s normal.

Once the pain went away I was able to enjoy looking at the colorful coral and the schools of fish swimming around me.

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For our second dive we descended 14 meters. The pain in my ears was immense, and it felt like I couldn’t equalize enough to make it go away. Eventually the pain did subside enough for me to enjoy my beautiful surroundings.

I don’t own any recording device, such as a GoPro, that can function that deep under water, so I have no pictures or videos of what I saw. Some of the fish I remember seeing I was able to find on a Google Image search. Here they are:

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Clown Fish
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Lion Fish
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Trumpet Fish
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Blue Starfish

Being so close to such exotic wildlife in their natural habitat was an amazing experience that I highly recommend.

My next school vacation is in August. I plan on going to Indonesia for a week. If I have enough time and money, I will go scuba diving with a GoPro.

Have you been scuba diving? Where did you go? What did you see?