Oct 5, 2011
Free Diving at Mainit Marine Reserve
A Wednesday Thing
It's a Wednesday! And in Dumaguete, Wednesday is a full day of R&R to me. Others have their weekends, I give myself a Wednesday day-off. What's the big deal? Here's the plan. Wednesday is Malatapay Market. From there, I'm only a short jeep ride from the array of marine reserves dotting the Dauin coastline. Free diving! After, I head straight for Robinsons Place where they change the movie every Wednesday. After the movie, I can chillout for an afternoon coffee and pastry at Sans Rival, do some people watching as they parade on the mall grounds. Later, I can go for a Wednesday discount for a foot massage at RM Guest House. Later at night, it's either Harolds Mansion Wednesday Grill Night followed by Hayahay Wednesday Reggae Night. I don't necessary do all of that, but hey, the option is there. I love Wednesdays in Dumaguete.
Given all the errands I had to do, it was already close to 11 by the time I was ready for Malatapay Market. It was too late. My lechon and tuba will have to wait. Next best thing? Budbud and native coffee blended with tablea chocolate drink at the Painitan at the Dumaguete Market - perfect breakfast!
Mainit Marine Reserve
I set out for Dauin, not decided yet on where to dive. I figure when I see the marine reserve signs, I'll know which one calls out. And Mainit Marine Reserve it is! Instead of my usual find-a-shade-and-dive, I stopped by the newest dive resort in Dauin - Liquid Dumaguete. They are my clients as well and I'm acquainted with owners Zoe and Tim. Construction is over and the place looks impeccable. Beer at P35! I couldn't resist.
The last time I went to dive at Mainit, I didn't stay long - visibility was poor. I was told it could be the water run-off from the mountain as it rained the day before. Now, visibility is a little better but not that great, specially in the shallows. But for the first time, I saw what was underneath the water - the corals were just great, specially the big balmys. I was impressed. I would put Mainit as a top 3 in Dauin (if you don't factor-in the visibility).
I also noticed something pleasant - I wasn't getting cold from the dive. The water was warm, even mildly hot in the shallows. It felt like getting the best of two worlds - a dive in a reef and a soak in a hot spring. If you haven't experienced that, you have to. Just beside Liquid is an old house. I recognized it as the same house I took a hot water rinse from their well. Cool! I certainly helped myself - fetching the hot water from the well and pouring it on me...very satisfying.
Contagion - the Movie
Good things don't last. I left Mainit and enjoyed the short hot walk back to the highway. Not long after, I was watching Contagion, the movie, at Robinsons Place. I was slightly disappointed given the all-star cast. I found it a bit slow and dragging. Funny thing is, I was seething mad the entire movie time, thinking the projector guy started the movie in mid-stream. I was ready to talk to management and complain. Then I realized at the end of the movie that it was how the movie was made. Oh well. Showed me how my mind works.
I was too tired for Hayahay, too broke for the massage, too sleepy for Harolds...but that was one good Wednesday for me.
From Cebu's South Bus Terminal you can take either:
- take a pedicab and ask to be dropped-off to the Dauin jeep bay (or Zamboanguita, or Siaton, as they all pass by Mainit Marine Reserve) 5 mins, P9
- board the jeep and ask to be dropped-off at the Mainit Marine Rserve. If the driver is not familiar, tell him it's just after the Bacong - Dauin boundary. Same entry point as Liquid Dumaguete. 30 mins, ~P15
- from the highway, walk towards the beach. 5 mins.
- Cebu to Dumaguete via Bato - this is farther and takes more time but more convenient specially if you carry baggage. It's only one ride which includes a ferry crossing from Bato (Cebu) to Tampi (Negros) and you get off at the Ceres Bus Terminal in Dumaguete. P270 including barge fee, 6 hours
- Cebu via Liloan - this is quicker but involves 3 separate rides: bus ride from Cebu to Liloan, ferry ride across Tanon Strait, then a jeep/bus ride from Sibulan to Dumaguete. If you don't have luggage, this route is recommended
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