The Apo Reef excursion
The Apo Reef excursion
Diving in Mabul and Sipadan was a great experience, but I had to continue and start my way back to Cebu, where I had my flight back home.
Back in Semporna It was easy enough to find money changer (its funny that these money changers know when you are tight and have no time to argue about their change rate) and a ride to Kota Kinabalu the capital city of Sabah and known as KK.
The city lies to the north, on the west coast of Sabah and is a cosy beach city and has a nice fish/food market in the evening.
I was waiting for my flight back to Manila and didn’t feel wasting my time in shopping (Philippines is cheaper), so I went to watch the star wars movie, excellent time killer…
Back in Manila looking for a way to run away from the city, I took the bus to Batangas city (lots of different ferrie locations from there) I, took the one to Abra de Ilog and from there a bus to Sablayan, my plan was to dive in Apo reef and I found contact with a resort on Pandan Island for the trip to Apo.
On my way there I found out the trip was canceled. No problem… The first thing I did was finding a place to stay (Emily Hotel & Restaurant). Very simple backpacker hotel, but clean and comfortable with very friendly and helpful owners.
Thanks to Sablayan tourism office, I got contact with Pentagon Dive Centre. Alberto Lontoc the owner contacted me later and informed I can join with their group but its for two nights. I couldn’t believe it, even been better than what I planned (and much cheaper). Emily kept my bags and I was free to take only my dive equipment and backpack for the trip.
So, early morning with the new group on the boat and away to Apo. The group was nice but as with every group first we needed some time to know each other (the trip is long enough to start the process).
we had our three dives and were NOT happy we had to swim about 500m to reach the shore since the waves were too high for the boat (felt like a commando mission). anyway, we got to take a “great” Philippino shower (Cold Salty water using a bucket. get use to it, it’s the same for the toilet). Apo is a camp site, a small hotel is being built there but I don’t know when it will be done, till then everyone sleeps in a hummock or a tent.
The Apo trip was well organised, all meals and drinks (Purified water) included, as well as Emperador for the evening.
I supplied the music with my phone and boombox and we had fun time joking around little tipsy.
Apo was a nice surprise, sleeping in a hummock and taking a shower in sea water was worth it. I met nice people made some good friends and gained an unforgettable adventure.
On the return way the sea was rough and we were wet all the way back to Sablayan.
I booked a couple of nights on Pandan Island hoping it will be with a good shower. I was wrong! although the dive I did there was good with lots of macros, the Island was beautiful and the resort relaxing and friendly, the toilet was still with a bucket and the shower salty but a real shower, no bucket.
At the end of my stay there I faced a dilemma. should I follow the plan and island hop all the way to Cebu, continue with the same routine of diving and dragging my heavy equipment bag with me, or I just do something unique and unplanned, leave everything in Manila apart from a backpack and follow the road from Manila up north to Bontoc and then higher on mountains by foot to the Kalinga tribe.
Guess what i’ve decided.
Want to make this amazing and unique dive trip to Apo reef? I can help you make it come true: Contact me