📸 —Dauin & Moalboal, Philippines

After diving around Apo Island and hanging out in Dauin, we headed off to Moalboal — famous for its sardines, waterfalls and proximity to Cebu City.

The town was hectic, more so than Bohol.. lots of tourism and not much space to get around. Most of the dive shops were completely full —and one guy told us it was a big holiday, Labour Day… so we would have a hard time finding a shop or accommodations that could take us.

To be honest, we felt pretty lost. Lost on where to go next in the Philippines, and what we should do while we were here. There are so many islands to explore but transit here is not the most reliable or convenient.

So we made a plan to dive with one of the bigger shops here and gave ourself a timeline of 4 days to figure out where we go next.

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in Daun, Toto was our dive resort tryke driver, and we made friends with him and he was awesome at picking us up in a few places. Honest guy, really sweet and plays his music so loud you always know when he is coming.
Another boat ride — the boats are pretty old, but because of all the islands the waves are pretty tame. So although you might be a bit scared stepping on the vessel, the ride is usually pretty smooth.
The month of May is where the locals celebrate Fiesta so everyone is starting to decorate the road and their houses. :)
We took a bus ride to Moalboal and the road was pretty nice!
Maeghan’s favorite place. The mangoes and bananas here are so delicious, we are going to have a hard time adjusting.

During our morning dive, we met a couple that just got engaged at the beginning of their two-week trip around the Philippines. They invited us to hang out and we had a great evening chatting about all sorts of things!

We learned lots about India where Maz was from, Canadian tree conservation from a spaniard who lived in BC, and the life of a New Yorker living in Asia teaching. But the funniest part of the story is that Oscar lost his shoes (a dog took them away at night) and Stef and Maz brought an extra pair of water shoes that they gave to Oscar on a different island… and then this particular night ran into each other again and he was wearing the shoes! #TravelCinderella

Oli found out the bar had craft beer, and all the guys came to see.

Moalboal is famous for their sardine run — a million sardines that live right by the shore. We were on the fence about doing it… but are so happy we did. What a trippy experience!

The sardines swim in crazy formations and try to stay out of your way. But they stay in groups so when they go overhead, it is like a dark cloud that blocks all the light from above…. it even confuses some of the sea creatures as the night critters come out thinking it’s dinner time.

Video we shot on the GoPro. Bad quality brought to you by Giphy.
Swimming with a million sardines… what a trippy experience.
Oli has been really great at picking up garbage from the ocean as we dive. Today he found a paint roller and brought it up to the garbage.
Two buddy nudis
White Eel
After diving — we went for lunch and had some final planning to do. We got some foot and made our way to a coffee shop to figure out where we go next after our advanced certification is complete.
Side note: Left picture is the alcohol section and it is labelled Milk Section. Half that section was booze, the other half was maternal milk. Because you know, that makes sense.
Shot on the GoPro, pretty awesome.

Last year, we got our open water certification and then did a “deep adventure” dive to get the certificate saying that we could dive all the way down to 30m. We were talking to a local dive shop about it and he told us that in fact, our insurance wasn’t valid while diving with just the deep specialty, we needed to get our full advanced certification. Luckily, nothing has happened underwater that would require our insurance… but we decided it was a good idea to get certified for future dives… and timing was good in the sense that our deep dive would have expired 2 weeks later if we didn’t pursue the rest of the advanced certification! The whole advanced certification thing is a bit of a racket in our opinion — a great way for PADI to take another 300$ from you while not really teaching you anything you can’t learn for free on the internet… but hey, we don’t really have a choice, do we.

These are the photos from our last few dives — Maeghan did an underwater photography specialty and was able to use a specialized camera kit underwater.

Fitting that Maeghan’s first pictures of her certification are of a turtle. Chilling in the rocks.
Since Maeghan was in training, Oli took the GoPro for a spin.
A little round nudibranch.
The deeper you go, the less light there is. Coral seem dull but when you get up close the colors are incredible!
Clown fish and saddle fish are the models of the sea. So cute and fun to photograph!
Some nudibranch and sea snakes.
Great colours of the coral popping out with the flash camera.
Maeghan trying some different modes under the water.

One of the dive masters in training joined us for our last dive and took some pictures of Oli and I at the end of our training hanging with a turtle.

He also took some “behind the scenes” shots of Maeghan as she got up close and personal with her turtle friend.

After we finished our certification — we celebrated with McDonalds. Maeghan was happy.
We visited White Beach and there were tons of stray dogs hanging out on the beach following the people to take advantage of their shade from the sun.
We rented a scooter again and went to the famous Kawasan Falls.
Along the way (as in the rest of the islands we’ve visited) they are advertising for elections coming this week! The signs are wide-ranging, as in there is no standard format to how your campaign looks. We saw everything from emoji campaign ads, to fist-pumping, to family/political tree posters!
Doggo riding shotgun.
The water is so clear and freezing. The ocean is much warmer at 27 degrees!
In North America, most people take their kids to a wave pool on weekends, here they bring their children to natural spring water falls. :)
There were people jumping off the various waterfalls… and most took of their helmets when jumping… none of it seemed safe.
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