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Philippine Connection - July 20, 2002 Saturday

Dive!!! Day 2

Last hurrah for a dive before we head for home. The same dive spot collected a huge amount of plastic refuse - shopping bags, cellophane packages, etc. It's a shame people would deposit litter in the oceans totally oblivious to the damage they cause to the marine life and eco-system. It was high tide and we barely had enough air to make it down to the coral level and still make it back with sufficient air. Fortunately, there was a protruding rock coming through the surface where we can get some rest between dives.

The highlight of the morning dive was the abyss. We were warned that the area with the buoy was deep and treacherous - that's all we needed to get fired up. While venturing closer, the water remained at 15 biggie, so what's the fuss? However, upon reaching the buoy anchor, the depth plunged to an immediate vertical drop. It was pitch black at the bottom....not that I actually saw the bottom. Juxtaposing the corals at 15 feet to a pitch-black depth within a foot of the other was just creepy. The side of the drop-off however, offered a tempting curiosity. The coral life along this vertical slide was teeming with abundant marine life with screaming colors. I was tempted to thread the edge and partake of the visual feast but looking down and not seeing anything beneath me but total darkness was just scary shit.

We left Vista Mar and had breakfast at Jollibee, a local hamburger chain that enjoys a bigger market share than its chief rival, McDonald's. While McDonald's has steadfastly stuck with its North American offerings, Jollibee modified its food offering in line with the Filipino taste. With McDonald's recent introduction of fried chicken, it seems like they're learning to adapt to local ways.

We also stopped by Taal wet market to get some fresh catch. I also took the chance to drink fresh coconut juice off the fruit. We passed by 2 historical landmarks - the Taal Church, site of the xxxxxx and the monument of xxxx Agoncillo.

We headed back to Manila while the rain poured mercilessly causing bumper-to-bumper traffic for miles on end.


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