TheLoneRider
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Goodbye Apo Island Apr 23, 2017

Goodbye Apo Island

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

FAKP (Future Apo Kids Program)
My coming to Apo Island was to provide yoga classes to the 16 local students who were training for their dive certification (Advanced Diver, Emergency First Response, Freediver, Dive Master) through Mario Pascobello's FAKP (Future Apo Kids Program). The French non-profit dive group, the indefatigable Plongeurs du Monde provided dive training and certification. It was challenging for both trainors and students as the 2 weeks were full of everyday activities that usually started from sun-up. Everybody passed and earned their PADI certification. The climax was the graduation ceremony where people in high places came all the way to Apo Island to grace the momentous occassion. There were food and drinks and a whole lechon! The school girls gave a performance number and so did Karl Marx and his flairing group. The evening was a fun-filled validation of what the 16 students went through and achieved.

Goodbye Apo Island
sunset on Apo Island

Peoplescape
Everyone I met was fascinating. From Mario-Mila and their family, the staff, the Plongeurs du Monde and passing dive guests. Two people left an indelible impression on me though.

Saki KakegawaSaki
Saki was one of the dive guests - Japanese, beautiful, young and smart. I thought I would just have a passing conversation with her, but we found a lot of things in common. We became activity partners in scuba diving and free diving. We'd hang-out together, eat together or just take walks on the beach. I looked after her while freediving and she looked after me as my scuba diving buddy. We even talked about teaching each other - she teaches me Japanese and I teach her English. The horizon loomed promising. But at the end of Apo Island, she went back to Cebu while I was drawn to Dumaguete. I meet many people during my travels but synergy like that with Saki doesn't happen everyday.

Jean-Jacques GautierJean-Jacques Gautier
Jean-Jacques or JJ was a member of Plongeurs du Monde and was my Freediving instructor. But he became more than that to me. I would default to join him in his table whenever I hang-out. He's the silent type...calm demeanor with carefully chosen words - wise words reflecting his values about life and the pursuit of happiness. His friends refer to him as Master Yoga - for good reason. With the prospect of coming back to the Philippines to teach diving, I look forward to working with him again.

Ending Thoughts
My 2-week stay in Apo Island came to an end. It went by fast and it was intense - everyday yoga, everyday diving and everyday interacting with staff, the Plongeurs du Monde and dive guests. After the climactic celebration for the 16 students who passed their certification training, it was time to leave. It felt like a mini-life. Now I pack-up again and see where the wind takes me. Maybe I find myself straying into Dumaguete or perhaps go back to Cebu City. But upon arriving at the mainland, the decision has been made for me. For everything that was Apo Island, I am grateful.

Thank you Mario for making me a part of this glorious event.

--- TheLoneRider

Next stop: Dumaguete



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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