Thursday, September 20, 2012

A Traveller’s Abyssal Depth Of Azure (SCUBA DIVING)

            Eversince I was a kid, everytime I watch someone doing Scuba Diving on TV, I just can’t help but dream that I was doing it too. Scuba Diving has always been on top of my bucketlist. I love the ocean and its world below so much, "It’s as if I feel that I’m one of the lost sons of Poseidon, the Greek God of the Sea, that I’m a DemiGod who gets his strength and powers from the sea. Every single time I get back to the beach, only one feeling exists in my body and that is the sense of relaxation. The wind massaging my physique, the sand scrubbing my feet like footspa, the ocean bringing me into another world within the Earth, an even better world wherein those creatures living there knows how to value and appreciate what they have, compared to us humans from our world above."

            Finally, another dream has been met, your Pambansang Manlalakbay, Armie “Happy Loner Traveller” Yuson will do scuba diving in Anilao Batangas! Finally, he can visit his friends in the underwater world and broaden his knowledge about them.

            So my friends Davidson Santos and Rachel Villahermosa organized a Scuba Trip for us because it’s their newest hobby. The night before our Scuba, I stayed at their place in BF Homes ParaƱaque reuniting with my other friends for 23 years Jobie Doria who is now residing in the U.S.A and Aurora Del Mundo. After resting for a few hours, at dawn, we already headed in Anilao Batangas to this partially opened new establishment named HALO DIVE RESORT, there I met my cool Scuba Instructor Gage Veridiano and Divemaster & also my Divebuddy Melo Sabitsana. Gage Veridiano briefed me a short course about SCUBA (Self-Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus) and has taught me techniques & sign languages that I would use when I’m in the deep. It’s my 1st Open Water Dive and I would journey to a maximum depth of 67 feet! And the excitement and curiosity is with me. Finally! I could already see it in my own two eyes what I’ve always been hearing from people who have already tried this…

            So our 1st Dive Site is called Dead Palm, I would be at a maximum depth of about 35 to 40 feet and it would take us 45 minutes to check out the corals and fishes of the underwater world. As I entered the gates of the hidden world below, I felt the peacefulness and quietness that their world has to offer. They really welcomed me with open arms. On my 1st ever Open Water Dive, I saw a hunchback Sea Turtle, School of Barracudas and 2 Triggerfishes to name a few. It’s really a perfect escape from the hustle and bustle from our world. If you want to hear the most beautiful music your ears could ever hear which is silence, then better try SCUBA DIVING! So before reaching the surface, we need to have safety stops, 3 minutes for every 15 feet. And we need to rest for about an hour before diving again so that we could let out the accumulated nitrogen in our body.

            I felt so happy on my 1st dive, I can’t believe that I was actually experiencing what I’m just watching on the Television. It’s really one of the “Must do’s” in your life before you die. The best way to explain the feeling is to experience it.

            Our second Dive Site is in the Twin Rocks, here we can see Schools of Jacks (Talakitok in Tagalog) where you will get amazed coz’ you can witness tens of thousands of fishes in just one area. And I will be going to a maximum depth of 67 feet with expected strong currents. So as I was entering inside the territory of the Schools of Jacks, I suddenly had a problem with my breathing pattern, I hyperventilated and felt nauseous and then I panicked, so right away I did the “UP” sign because I already wanted to abort my dive but good thing, Gage Veridiano, my Scuba Instructor, approached me and calmed me down, and so I felt okay again and continued exploring Twin Rocks Dive Site… I saw more species like the Trumpetfish and better views from deep underwater… Another great thing is, my friend Davidson Santos has all of these high technology underwater gadgets where it has allowed me to document all of my adventures in the deep blue sea or Abyssal Depth of Azure as I call it…

            I would like to give my special thanks to my Divemaster & Divebuddy Mr. Melo Sabitsana who owns AGTA BEACH RESORT and my Dive Instructor Mr. Gage Veridiano who owns SCUBANOX STUDIOS and heads the Scubanox Diveteam. Of course, to my friends Davidson Santos and Rachel Villahermosa for making my Scuba Diving dream possible. And thank you to my friends Ms. Jobie Doria and Aurora Del Mundo for paying our hotel room for the evening.

                All in all, Happy Loner Traveller had a tremendous and unforgettable day for he has finally fulfilled his dream of visiting his friends from the underwater world…

- Happy Loner Traveller

Saturday, September 8, 2012

A Traveller’s Primeval Unearthing (Tangadan Falls Of San Gabriel)

            Your Pambansang Manlalakbay, Armie “Happy Loner Traveller” Yuson’s scheme is to always feature “Off-The-Beaten” track destinations, to share to the whole wide world the places less travelled here in the Philippines. But never did he become the 1st Discoverer of a Place up until today…

            It has been 7 months since my very last adventure and my feet were already itchy to experience yet another extreme and thrilling quest through fine sands, rough rivers and rocky hills. And I told myself, it’s about time to reunite myself with nature and explore the Philippines once again.

            So on May 9, 2012 at 4 in the morning, I went to San Juan La Union, not primarily to surf but because I have heard from a friend of mine that there is an unknown place near there that has never been featured on Television by any Network or on the Internet by any Blogger, that even Locals from there has no idea that this specific place existed in their hometown. How unusual is that?

            So right away, I decided to visit San Juan La Union but take note that the place that will make me the 1st Discoverer is not located in San Juan La Union but rather 20 minutes away from its surfing spot and it is in the nearby small town called SAN GABRIEL…

            People from San Gabriel La Union make their living through farming, livestock and agriculture. And they have kept this astonishing asset of Nature away from visitors who only know how to spoil it and yet can’t even help to protect and conserve it.

            So as I have arrived in the outskirts of San Gabriel La Union, Me “Happy Loner Traveller” with my team of Tour Guides (Surfing Instructors) brought me to this “Best Kept Secret” of San Gabriel. Just as I expected, it was the most electrifying and stimulating adventure to date, just like what I have experienced in Mount Pinatubo Zambales but only this time, I am more prepared. Well, you don’t need professional mountaineering gears for this, just have the basic ones like rubbershoes, long shorts, hat and long sleeves just to protect yourself from the harmful rays of the Sun, jagged terrain and sharp bushes of the Forest. So it took us 1 hour to get there because we were fast but an average of 1 hour and 45 minutes would do for non-extremist to get there because your body would require to rest as you will pass through giant rocks and steep hills. Take note that going to this place will be at your own RISK! So make sure to be prepared as there is no near medical facility in the place.

            Now, I have finally seen that “Best Kept Secret” and I Armie “Happy Loner Traveller” Yuson was the very first one to feature the newly unearthed “TANGADAN FALLS”. It is as majestic and unquestionably unvarnished by Mankind. No wonder Locals doesn’t want this place to be discovered because it could only be the last space in the Northern Philippines not yet adulterated by Humans…

            The 1 hour trek and hike was all worth it as I have splashed and refreshed myself in the cold sprinkle of the Falls. I even jumped off a 25 foot Cliff into the deep water to exhilarate myself…

            "This latest Adventure of mine to date is my most cherished one because for the very 1st time in my life, I experienced and felt the feeling of being the only Adventurer to First Feature the Surreal TANGADAN FALLS…"

            Special Thanks to my friend Laken Riel David coz’ through her I found this place and my guides Allan, Freddie, Francis, Chris and kuya Johnny for taking good care of me when I was there.

- Happy Loner Traveller