Saturday, 29 July 2017

Monday, 24 July 2017

Day 6 - 7 #Ride&Dive : Anilao > Manila : Leaving A Diver's Paradise With A Lasting Taste of The Ocean

Can't believe the last 24 hours passed just like that! As we are nearing the end of my Ride & Dive mini adventure. But, no trip is ever completed without first getting back home safely!

Gave ourselves a little more time to sleep in today before we checked out just past 11:00am in the morning and seeing our bikes are ready to roll.

Rode out of the dive resort to a nearby food stall to grab some authentic local food to fuel up our day.

That's the best part about traveling with locals heheh. They know exactly where to take you that'll give you a real taste of what locals live and eat like.

Just like Arlie has done for us! :D

While Arlie ordered more dishes, we wasted no time gobbling up that delicious food on the table that I forgot to take pictures of the rest of the side dishes.

From here, it was time to bid Arlie and Anilao goodbye, as we headed back for Manila.
Thank you Arlie for being such a patient and awesome dive instructor. I'll definitely be back for more diving with you!

The weather was much kinder to us today compared to yesterday, with a temperature of 28 degrees over partial cloudy skies.

Back on the roads, back on two wheels, but inside that helmet is my mind still reminiscing the magical moments floating weightlessly in the pristine waters and vibrant marine life of Anilao's dive spots.

I'm sure both Maynard and Nico feel the same way too!

The 150km back to Manila felt shorter than the ride to Anilao yesterday, and it's back to being embraced by the hustle and bustle life of the Capital of Philippines!

Got back to the city safely, returned the bike, hopped onto the plane and I'm on my way back to Singapore. This first visit of mine to Manila has definitely been a very fruitful one and it could not have been possible without the following peeps!

Special thanks to Metzeler Philippines Motoworld Philippines for the exclusive invite to the IR Bike Festival where I witnessed Philippines' lively biking community and gained valuable insights to the local bike scene.

Many thanks to the team from C!Magazine that provided such a fantastic support to my #RideandDive trip! Maynard for arranging the bikes specially from BMW Philippines and Ducati Philippines. Jerel for those awesome photography captured, Nico and Randy for the fun company!

4 Hours back to Singapore, I can't wait to get home and share this marvellous trip with friends and family!

Till next time, Philippines!

[Singapore.Manila.Tanay.Manila.Anilao Batangas.Manila.Singapore]
[Mileage Clocked: 536KM]
[Weather/Temperature: 28°C/Cloudy]

Sunday, 23 July 2017

Day 5 #Ride&Dive : Manila > Anilao : Riding To One of The World's Top Dive Spots & Jumping Right Into The Underwater World

Haven't dived since I got my Advanced Open Water Dive Cert (which was a few years ago), I'm surprised I still know what a BCD is, and how to blow out water from the goggles while underwater.... Hahaha.

Ok so today, we're gonna ride about 150km from Manila city to Anilao Batangas where the gorgeous underwater world awaits!

Starting the day refreshed at 07:00am, we got out of the city before getting caught up in the peak hour morning jam where everyone's in a mad rush to work. Thankfully too, we've got Randy's four wheel drive here, where we loaded our bags in and kept our bikes light.

Wooot! McDonald's breakfast to kickstart the awesome day!

Nico enjoying the new BMW S1000XR
Then, clear blue skies and wide open free roads, off we go!

Getting from Manila to Batangas was pretty straightforward as it was almost highway for majority of the journey, passing just one to two tolls.

Maynard having fun on the Ducati Scramber
It's just past 9:30am and the weather's looking beautiful so far!

After a short 2.5 hour ride, we exited the highway and entered into Batangas province where the roads narrowed down to a two way traffic through the little town.

It was pretty easy navigating to Anilao with Randy leading the way.

Though it wasn't noon yet, the sun was already heating up the grounds.. and us.

Diving right into the clear waters at Anilao would certainly be perfect right now..

And that's exactly what we're gonna do! As we've finally arrived at the dive resort and ready to switch into those diving gears!

Before we jump into the waters, here are some interesting points to note about Diving in Anilao, Batangas:

PC: uwphotographyguide

Anilao is the best spot for underwater macro photography in Philippines. Where compared to the rest of the world, it is ranked 3rd for Muck Diving, with Lembeh Strait (Indonesia) and Mabul Island (Malaysia) taking the top two positions respectively.

PC: divewet
There are about 40 dive sites here, where you'll find a wide variety of colorful Nudibranchs, Cuttlefish, Hairy Frogfish, Blue-Ringed Octopus and more.

The more famous sites are Sombrero Island, Cathedral and Maricaban Island. Don't miss out The Pier, Twin Rocks and Secret Bay where night dives there are exhilarating.

Anilao Best Diving Seasons

You could dive here all year round but the best times are during November/December, April/May.
Visibility can be as good as 50ft.

July to September is the monsoon season where waters are usually choppy with poor visibility.

Average Water Temperatures

26 Degrees. Diving in a wet suit is highly recommended.

As you were reading the above noted, I quietly slipped into my wet suit and stretching up for the 4 dives today!

Ride & Dive, my way!

As our boatman got ready whatever that's needed onboard, we got our necessary gears ready.

Time check, it's Dive O' Clock!

Hopped on the boat and off we go, out to sea!

Getting to most of the dive sites here takes just a short 15 - 20 minutes boat ride from the resort.

With the winds on your skin and nothing but the vast ocean all around you, the boat ride itself is relaxing enough.

Having not dived in a while, I was initially a little nervous.. but knowing that I've got one of the best dive instructor Arlie guiding me (his students include star Zac Efron)..

I know I'm in good hands :)

Arrived at the dive spot, geared up, and let's roll back into a splashin' good time!!!

Wheeeee! Down we go!

Within minutes, I found myself in the company of different school of fishes everywhere, with their tails slapping in ma faceeee hahaha!

Gradually equalized those ears as we descended up to 25 metres below sea level with superb visibility.

From swimming among a wide diversity of fishes to sea turtles, I was constantly amazed by the rich marine life and beauty of the underwater world here. Its no wonder Anilao Batangas is one of the world's popular dive spots.

From left: Jerel, Myself, Maynard, Randy, with Nico & Arlie snapping this shot for us

Diving around was made more fun with the guys from C! Magazine!

Times flies when you're having fun, not realizing it when we were into our last dive for the day.

It's so quiet and calm in the water, a far cry from how hasty things can be in my usual motorcycling adventures and honestly, what an amazing feeling it is to be able to enjoy both in a single trip.

Wrapped up the dive with a gorgeous sunset as we took a slow boat ride back to shore.

As with all sports, from motorcycling to diving, there are risks involved.. But one of the most dangerous risk of all, is the risk of spending your life not doing what you want on the bet that you can buy yourself the freedom to do it later.

Well at least for me, Life's too short to wait. So let's just live it up!

Ditching the wet suit and taking a dip in the waters to wind down the Ride & Dive episode today.

As our bikes took a rest, so did we. But not before filling our tummies with food cuz all of us are just starving! Wonder why we get so extra hungry after a swim or a dive..

Apart from diving, there are not many other activities to do here in Anilao; no nightclubs and very few restaurants around, but Arlie took us to Johanna's Grille where they're known for pretty neat steaks!

And this was how the wonderful day and mouth-watering night ended! ;)

[Singapore.Manila.Tanay.Manila.Anilao Batangas.]
[Mileage Clocked: 382KM]
[Weather/Temperature: 34°C/Hot]

Next stop: Manila