TheLoneRider
a nomad in search of...
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Revisiting Apo Island Apr 10, 2017

Revisiting Apo Island

GPS waypoint: 09°04'40.08"N 123°16'09.19"E
Location: Apo Island, Dauin (municipality), Negros Oriental (province), Philippines

Apo Island on the Cross Hair
Having my respite in Camotes Islands and Cebu City, I was off to one of my favorite dive spots in the country - Apo Island. The invite by Mario Pascobello to teach yoga to a group of local youth in Apo Island as part of his annual community outreach program (FAKP - Future Apo Kids Program) was an offer I could not refuse. I'd share my yoga to these youth, scuba dive and hike around Apo Island for the next 2 weeks.

Dumaguete
Passing through Dumaguete from Cebu has it perks - sikwate (hot native cocoa drink P10), puto maya and budbud cabog (sticky millet rolled into a cigar shape with banana leaves, P14/pc) at the Painitan in the market. I have my favorite Manangs at Sison's Painitan where I get thick sikwate and the best budbud cabog in town. Of all the places I'd been to in the country, Davao and Dumaguete serve the best sikwate.

Night Boat Ride
I arrived Dumaguete 10:45am but it was not until 7pm that we boarded the boat that would take us to Apo Island. I was standing on a cargo pumpboat (not for passengers) traveling to Apo Island at night on a full moon. It had the feeling of adventure all over it.

Revisiting Apo Island
morning walk on Apo Island's beach front

Plongeurs du Monde
Mario was able to get the assistance of a French non-profit dive group (Plongeurs du Monde) to provide free certification training to 16 of Apo's youth - Advance Diver, EFR (Emergency First Response), Rescue and Dive Master Certification. This is huge! Without this free program, it would not be economically viable to these kids to get this kind of certification that would open doors to a career in diving.

I've interacted with members of the group and found them knowledgeable, friendly, giving and impassioned by what they do. Heading the dive master training group was Roger, aka The Legend, an amiable and senior diver with over 50 years experience. Another member of the group I developed a fondness to was Jean-Jacques Gautier (JJ for short), scuba diving and freediving instructor. I would later join JJ's freediving classes in the coming days and would default to him for the most part of my stay.

Mario's Homestay and Dive Facility
Mario's dive shop and homestay has expanded considerably - more rooms and consequently, more divers. The place was full - Plongeurs du Monde, 16 participating youth, the regular guests and me! It was fertile ground for social interaction and dive sharing. The overall energy was high and people got along well.

Ending Thoughts
I will be staying 2 weeks on the island. The only thing I know is that I conduct morning yoga to the participants - anything on top of that is gravy. I look forward to all wonderful possibilities that are about to take place.

--- TheLoneRider

Next stop: Hiking in Apo Island



Mario's Scuba Diving and Homestay

Mario's Scuba Diving and Homestay

  • Contact: Mario or Mila Pascobello
    Email: marspascobello@hotmail.com
    Mobile: 0906.361.7254 / 0915.819.3607
    Dive Services: fun dive, PADI diving courses, advanced OWD, rescue, EFR, dive master
    Homestay: rooms with private veranda, private toilet with shower

Google Map Apo Island, Dauin, Philippines

diving spots in Apo Island dive spots
  • Coconut in Apo Island Coconut - drift dive, school of Trevali, big fish
  • Cogon in Apo Island Cogon - drift dive
  • Mamsa in Apo Island Mamsa
  • Boluarte in Apo Island Boluarte
  • Largahan in Apo Island Largahan
  • Chapel in Apo Island Chapel - wall dive
  • Katipanan in Apo Island Katipanan
  • Rock Point in Apo Island Rock Point
hotels in Apo Island homestay / dive shop in Apo Island dive shop

Apo Island FYI / Tips

Apo Island Cost Index

(US$1 = Php 45.26 as of July 7, 2015)

How to get there from Dumaguete:

Apo Island Blogs:

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