Being in the travel community and specifically dumbfounded by beaches and seas, freediving has always been making us curious and elated. Snorkeling surely is an amusement, but a closer look to underwater wonders is I think a different kind of delight. You’ll get too see them more closely, not to mention you will also gain a special life-skill! Since our friends live in the south, freediving in Batangas was the first one we considered in terms of accessibility and beautiful marine life.
It was last November when we finally had the chance to try it (late post as I’ve been in a 6-month obligatory blogging hiatus due to hectic sched at work for a major project). Our friends brought us to Ocean Limits PH in Batangas to take the intro to freediving course. It’s a 2-day course allotting day 1 for the training, and day 2 for fun dive.
You can watch our freediving video here:
Our first Batangas freediving experience
We availed the Introduction to Freediving Package from Ocean Limits PH for 1,995 php. It includes 1 hour classroom theory, 2-hour open water training, practice dive, gear rentals, and free photo and video documentation (accommodation not included).
The classroom theory was very informative and fun! We were given a brief background about freediving and explained its importance not just as a recreational activity but as a life-skill as well. They taught us some techniques on how to hold our breath longer (we basically relearned how to breathe properly!). There were also some lectures on how to equalize ear pressure using the method they call valsalva which is very important to learn before going under the water.
After the classroom theory, we headed to the open water for line training. We held on to a buoy attached to a rope with 10-meter mark underwater and our coach did a demo on how to descend properly with the rope. So glad we successfully reached the knot on first try! Together with our diving buddies, we took turns in descending.
This is the actual application of everything we learned from the classroom theory. From proper breathing techniques to equalization, and even relaxation before every descent. I can’t remember how many times our coach reminded us that relaxation is a requirement to dive properly.
Our coach assessed our line training performance then we proceeded to the next lesson — duck diving. This is another important part of the open water training session, as essential as proper breathing and equalizing. You wouldn’t be able to go under the water without learning how to duck dive. You know, we simply can’t hold onto a rope forever.
Here, you really need an upper body strength which I lack that’s why I struggled. I tend to float easily. Our friend said there really are floaters and sinkers. I guess sinkers are those who have a strong upper body.
During our duck dive training I experienced a few cramps since my body was still coping with everything we’re doing, especially finning! This is another crucial part because there will be no successful duck dive without proper finning. And here, timing is everything! I can’t count how many times I tried to duck dive with delayed finning, resulting to failed dives.
Despite the struggle, we made sure to have at least 2-3 successful dives as we don’t want to leave the training empty handed. Gladly, after a lot of duck dive attempts, I did it twice and Jec did it 3 times. Yey!
The whole open water training lasted approximately 4 hours (we exceeded for about an hour). After the training, we went straight to a nearby eatery to have our lunch. Then we rewarded our dog-tired bodies with a relaxing shower followed by a power nap. Dinner time, we headed to Casa Azul just a few minute drive from our accommodation in Ocean Limits Ph.
After dinner, we went back to our accommodation and had a little bonding while browsing our diving photos before calling it a day. By the way, we booked our accommodations from Ocean Limits Ph. We stayed in 2 of their ac rooms both with ensuite bathrooms. The rooms are spacious and minimalist and can accommodate up to 3 guests each. I highly recommend this place if you plan to try freediving in Batangas!
Day 2 – Fun dive
Now it’s time to practice everything we’ve learned from yesterday’s trainings! No more lectures and instructions, but our coaches still went with us to guide us and took photos and videos for documentation of our freediving experience.
From the shore, we swum to a dive spot with lots of corals where sea turtles reside. This time, we chased sea turtles with nothing but fins on our feet! A couple of months ago, we went pawikan chasing in Moalboal, Cebu as we snorkeled on the water surface wearing life jackets. It’s such a nice experience to be able to get closer to them (without bothering them of course!).
From the pawikan site, there’s a another dive spot nearby with some wreckage of boats and even toilets! Let me share you a few more snaps from our fun dive.
Our freediving skills still have so much room for improvement. Of course, one time experience isn’t enough so we need to practice more. But we’re more thankful for another life-skill we gained.
Up until now, I still can’t believe that we stayed in the open water for HOURS without life jackets. Because of this experience, we gained confidence in the water which is not just cool, but helpful as well especially during emergencies. Having confidence in the water means being able to stay calm thus avoiding panic!
I still don’t know when is our next freediving expedition, all I know for sure is that there’s always next time!
Watch our Batangas freediving experience!
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