Wednesday, June 13, 2018

SCUBA Diving in Cebu a Mindfulness in Practice

I am an adventurous person who loves to explore nature, one of God’s precious gifts to us. My passion to travel even made me a blogger. Most of my travels were exploring the beaches, chasing waterfalls, mountain climbing etc. Snorkeling is my favorite part when I am at the beach. I love swimming with the fishes, feeding them or just observing the sea creatures from above. I tried helmet diving but I know scuba diving is too far from it. Scuba diving is in my bucket list; but seems like it is just a dream I thought I can’t fulfill, not until I was able to enroll in an Organizational Development (OD) class where Scuba Diving is one of the options for a reflection paper plus the fact that we had a classmate who happen to be a wife of license diving instructor; so I grabbed the chance. This is my chance to tick off another item from my bucket list.

Our OD Class w/o our prof.

Scuba diving is not as simple as swimming or snorkeling in the water, all it involves a lot of risks. That’s why it requires training from a certified instructor in using the equipment and proper breathing. SCUBA is an acronym for "Self-Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus". Our intro to diving started with a crash course along the shore wherein we were taught to use, wear and operate Scuba equipment, hold our breath, clearing mask, how to equalize pressure and what to do just in case we drop the breathing apparatus underwater.

Basic training with our licensed instructor from PAWIKAN Dive Center. They have certificate, underwater photos and videos for documentation.

I learned that we can use our saliva to clean our mask :D

I also learned from this experience that diving is mindfulness in practice (just what we discussed in our class about mindfulness) it will tests your presence of mind. If you’re unable to relax, you’ll find yourself struggling with buoyancy and unable to descend. In times of trouble underwater, you should focus, relax and remember the lessons/trainings to survive and continue the journey deep down the sea. There was a time when I felt a pang in my ears that I panic and signaled danger. Good thing my diving instructor pushed me up until I relaxed and dive down again. I keep on reminding myself about equalizing and perform it multiple times while we dive down, when I heard a sound in my ears and it reduces the pain, I know I did the equalizing technique right and it was then, I started to enjoy the dive. There was a time wherein we dive down and was about to move to a deeper area but I backed off when I saw the color of the water went dark. My knees trembled out of fear for some reason and I signaled my guide that I’m not going down there. It was one of my regrets I have on that adventure. After that day, the opportunity to go down deeper hunts the adventurous me. I regret that I didn’t conquer my fear and go for it. I should have tested how far or deep I can go. That was one hell of an opportunity I forgone. 

Being underwater excites me and calms my soul. The experience also scares me but that feeling was superseded by the joyful feeling caused by the wonderful scenery that can only be found under the rippling waves of the sea. It helps me forget all the stressors I have in life. Breathing is often used as a mindfulness technique. Deep, deliberate breaths have been proven to reduce stress hormones in the system, and focusing your attention on your breathing helps quiet your mind of thoughts and anxiety. I can only hear my breathing and the sound of bubbles created out of it. Their world underwater is so peaceful and beautiful that I’m afraid to step or touch the corals because I don’t want to destroy their homes. Swimming with colorful fishes under the sea is such a wonderful feeling. I felt like a mermaid for a while in there. The underwater world is mysteriously beautiful, I saw a school of fish swimming steadily and seemed like waiting for something. Then, I remembered the movie “Finding Dory” wherein they have a certain current under the sea that serves as their pathway. My creative mind activated there for a bit that I stayed there for a while and waited, trying to fathom what they’ve been doing or waiting for. The fishes there were not of the same kind but they are living together harmoniously despite their differences. Difference in colors, shapes, sizes, etc. It makes me wonder; what does these animals hear under the sea? Are they communicating to each other too? What are we (humans) to them? Am I disturbing their quiet and beautiful world? Why is it more colorful underwater than in the surface? These were some of the questions I was asking myself while diving and observing different creatures swimming around, crawling with their shells and some just steadily dancing in the water. For a moment there I didn’t think about work or about school, but I think of nature, its beauty and sanctuary. 

While diving I was contemplating of the things us humans been doing that gradually destroys this captivating world. I saw a lot of campaigns/documentaries about saving the environment especially the ocean and now I understand why they have such urge to protect those innocent and defenseless life below. My realization is that, I want to be part of that change too. Unless you experience or see it with your own eyes, it is then you’ll realize, “I don’t want to loss this wonderful gift from God”. That’s why it is hidden below and protected by the sea/ocean, because we humans don’t appreciate beauty that is being laid in front of us; but rather we tend to destroy them. I want my children, grand/great children or the future generations to witness and experience what I had experienced underwater. This was a great awakening experience for me. It opened another level of challenge for me; this time to earn a diving license; if my body and courage would permit me. Hoping for more underwater adventure for me. Scuba diving experience has now been ticked off from Miss Blue's bucket list.

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