Anna Santos


It's been a year since my first dive into the Davao's Deep. My first ocean plunge, I did out of curiosity, but my second leap, I did out of bravery.

Honestly, I don’t know how to swim. So I am not supposed to be called a diver, right? But yet, scuba diving has become one of my greatest challenges wrapped up in my own adventures.

My dad has loads of stories of my misfortunes since the time I learned to walk. My mini adventures and the peculiarity attached to each mess, like falling from a tree, tripping over to a filthy canal, crashing my bicycle, and even my hairpin electrocution continued to amuse me as my dad used to jokingly unearth the memories. 

I love the beach when I was a kid, and I couldn’t count the times I almost drowned, turtle-turned by the waves as it brushed the shoreline. And my dad, who spent half his lifetime traveling the sea, was my first knight in shining swimsuit that saved me off my first taste of E.coli-infested, unsterilized, undrinkable salt water. Yet I never dared to learn swimming beyond the capacity and the height of my undersize legs. I hated the tan acquired from swimming as I was already dark in the first place. Hence not even a formal swimming class could convince me from learning.

Except for the backstroke I discovered I am capable of, I grew up swimming only till up to my neck and never over my head. I only have guts. Yes, guts! So as daring as the daring duck, I dive through my first journey underneath the earth’s ocean. After all, if you have the scuba gear (Self-Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus), who needs swimming huh? I can breathe. I thought smugly.
Unluckily, I learned my first underwater lesson the hard way. I let my mouthpiece fall off after a big wave hit on us! I was in the state of shock and drowning myself with questions. How am I going to breathe?! That’s my life line, right? How am I going to put that mouthpiece back in my mouth without the water? 

I was already at 20 feet below sea level. I don’t know how to swim back to the top without breathing. In that very brief seconds of holding my breath, questions came as fast as the strokes of waves. My oxygen-deprived brain couldn’t even help me figure out the hand signal for “problem”. So I struggled like I’d die for my life. My expert diving partner, sensing the urgency, hurriedly ascended me to the top just one push-button from my gear. Rescued from my misery, I gasped for air and breathe the ocean breeze. I was so embarrassed and panicked stricken that I noticed my diver looked like my ex who was a swimmer; or was it because I still do not have enough oxygen to feed my brain. I must have drunk seawater that pollutes the mind and got intoxicated. I blushed and whisked it off!

I almost got drowned but I didn’t give up that easily. After a short chat and a quick reminder from my diver, I repeated the whole diving process again like recovering from a fall. This time I had done it successfully, graced the underwater beautifully, until 35 feet. Awkward as it may sound though; I had to hold my diving partner’s hand, as I'd bit my mouthpiece like a line between life and death.

When I did my second dive this year, I’d like to say that good things come out from bad experiences. This time, no more falling mouthpiece, and no more holding hands. I still don’t know how to swim though, but I was more confident. I played with the clown fish, watched the sea snake, and posed for the underwater camera, and enjoyed the wonderful scenery my eyes could lavish. I had a diver with me, still, as “never dive alone” is the general rule. But at least he didn't looked like the ex ex-swimmer of my past as I assured myself no more oxygen-deprived brain that could play tricks on me.

When I fell from the tree, I may had scratched a knee, but I brushed it off and walked through pain, till the pain's gone. I may had made a false move and tripped myself into the canal, but I rose from shame and washed it off. 

Diving can be pretty scary if you don’t know how to swim. Yet it must not stop there. Nothing has to hold you back from exploring your wildest wishes and aspirations, to open your heart to the possibilities and discover who you are, what you want, and what you can do. I’m afraid that life will pass me by if I don’t dare. I will remain at this point forever and I might never get a chance to see the other side of the world had I given up. 

Life is full of possibilities, and nothing is impossible. If it meant climbing a mountain’s peek or doing a Bungee jump to fulfill your heart’s desire and exist for one moment then let it be. Your limitations is all yours to break. 

Go,  dare life!


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17 Responses
  1. Yup! you are right petit! Sometimes, we already limit ourselves even if we haven't tried one yet... but those who take risks have more chances of winning... naks! parang raffle entry... jejejjejejeje...

  2. Petit Says:

    wahaha. ginawa mo ng contest. kaya go na lang tayo ng go.

  3. Luke Says:

    You're a diver pala. That means you're adventurous. Careful lang sa ibang mga sea creatures, some of them could be dangerous, I heard. Also, ingat din sa DCS wag bigla akyat. :)

  4. Mom of Four Says:

    You are one brave little gal. I want to congratulate you for a job well done. But, hehehe, tawasin mo man ako, no underwater adventure for me. I was already drowning just reading your story. I can't swim and I never had the guts to learn. I don't want to do anything that makes me wet or I will die on the spot. Swimming with my kids on a 3- ft pool with be acceptable, but deeper than that, you will come to my funeral, hahaha!

    Thanks for visiting me, and sharing opinions with mom like me is great. I will follow you as well..

  5. Petit Says:

    @ Luke - tinumbok mo. Adventurista daw talaga ako, paminsan wala raw sa lugar sabi ng iba. hayaan na nga natin sila.
    there are a lot of friendly sea creatures but if you are ignorant of their capacity think twice before touching. the small picture i posted at the center is the actual sea snake I'd seen, I never dared go near it. my partner took the picture up close.
    thanks kuya sa advise sa DCS, 20-35 feet lang naman ako at pa 30 -30 minutes lang.hay naku, forever intro-course ako dito. you should try scuba diving too pag nasa Davao kayo ni Dee, don't worry we have hyperbaric oxygen therapy na rin set up in one of our local tertiary hospital kapag nagka DCS (decompression sickness).

  6. Petit Says:

    @ mommy Liz - nakakatamad talagang mag swimming lesson. ewan ko ba, at first di ko naman na imagine yung sumisid, ngayon, ginanahan na. anyway, mas marami akong swimming with my kids just like you basta hanggang matungkad lang ng aking hamak na maliliit na paa.

  7. Dee Says:

    Hi Petit!:D

    So glad you're back! We miss you, you know!:)

    So happy to see you're having fun! Ay, scuba-diving is really nice! But I'm afraid of it. Feeling ko di ko talaga siya kaya! But you are so brave! Galing, galing! I'm so impressed with you! Keep it up! Will look forward to more news about that. :)

  8. zorlone Says:

    Hello Petit,

    I had my discovery dive in Anilao, Batangas! I learned a lot and enjoyed it. The best ang diving. A bit expensive, but worth every centavo.


  9. Petit Says:

    @ Dee - its just guts, guts and bravery. but it's worth the experience.
    @ doc Z - next time dr why don't you try davao. i think Batangas is much expensive.

  10. zorlone Says:


    Thanks, I might just do that! hehehe

    You'd be my dive master?


  11. Petit Says:

    @ Z,

    Are you kidding me? baka matuluyan na ako nyan. hahaha. try PCP midyear if Davao will be chosen once again. Better if group of doctors kasama mo, at least, everybody knows CPR. hehehe. just kidding too.

  12. great blog keep up the good work

  13. Petit Says:

    thanks for checking out my post V2E!

  14. zorlone Says:


    I hope there would be a PCP in Davao. Para naman matuloy na ang zipline ko. Last time I was there, there were too many people who were queued, so my friends and I didn't make it. Sayang.

    BTW, I have tagalog poems too. Will post one for you.


  15. tumbleweed Says:

    nice blog with wisdom words :)

  16. tumbleweed Says:

    thanks for dropping by Petit :)
    I'll link you to my site now.
    have a g'd day!



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