Biliran will soon now be a diving spot. Crossing my fingers. Sambawan Island in the town of Maripipi of Biliran Province offers a world class diving area, I heard the SeaKnights (www.seaknights.com) saying that. I went one time to Moalboal in Cebu and found corals of many kinds, of many colors, and I thought that was my end. I’ve seen the wonders of the world under. When I got this opportunity to join the team of divers in Sambawan, I was expecting to see the same. But I didn’t see the colors. For one, I couldn’t dive facing the south china sea, that was scary. Second, Sambawan offers not the corals I look for but unique and awesome various structures under water. Rock formations. Gorge. Rock walls. Sunken garden. Species of many kinds.
I was in town for an official business when I heard that a group of divers from SeaKnights who are based in Cebu and goodhearted enough to offer their technical services to explore diving potentials in Sambawan for the love of it were coming. The move is to promote tourism in the locality. While their intention was only to install markers of the diving sites, the LGU took advantage of their presence to hit two birds with one stone and requested them if they could offer diving lessons to 6 local dive guides for tourists. And I also took advantage of the opportunity. Richie Penaflor, a colleague in the organization and now really is my very good friend, is the brainchild for this tourism boost in this once unknown town of Maripipi. I requested him if I could join, er, actually pressured him to let me in. Before he could say he was busy, I was already listening to instructions from the dive instructor. Special we were, I could say. There was only us in the class.
I have always been a believer that the land and the sea are God-given gifts to man. I don’t own it. I am only a steward. After that diving experience, with some painful lessons learned from the past illegal fishing practices that destroyed most life underwater, I am now saying that I would be one best steward in the world. So help me God.