Saturday, June 23, 2012

Leisure Diving at Anilao

This time, I was able to test my back rolling / disembarking skills as well as the proper method of climbing on-board (before climbing the ladder, surrender to the boat men--yes, we're pretty spoiled in the Philippines--your weight belt, BCD and fins, in that order), as I joined a couple of tourist divers on a diving boat. The waves were a bit choppy, so I paid particular attention to NOT hitting my head on any part of the boat while it was bobbing up and down above me with the waves.

Thanks to Victor Warren (and my cousin, Tonyboy, who called Victor to look for me at Planet Dive), I was able to sneek one onshore entry dive at Twin Rocks (Thursday, June 21) to re-familiarize after a couple of months past my check-out dives. Too bad the visibility was poor.  In any case, I was all set for the boat dive the following day (Friday, June 22).

I had the pleasure of diving with my cousin, Tonyboy "TB" Ongsiaco, Master Diver Extraordinaire, who brought us to Beatrice Rock and Sepok Wall--both beautiful spots with great visibility when we dove. TB lent me a dive computer, which I used mainly to check my depth. The regulator I rented only had a pressure gauge for the tank. We could not figure out how to retrieve the dive logs in my dive computer, so I used the  dive specs of TB (my diving buddy for the day) for our Beatrice and Sepok dives. Like any conscientious diving instructor, Alfie Santos called to check if I was still alive. Maraming salamat Pinsan, Victor and Alfie!

My camera trigger-happy Selina is responsible for all the fun photos below:

Picture Perfect Scenery--No Camera Tricks
Who's that stud?
There were still some good snorkeling spots despite the churning sand
With Victor Warren--the one with the sexy "muro ami" haircut
With Master Diver Extraordinaire Tonyboy Ongsiaco--the sexy one
Pre-dive Preparations
Pre-Dive Briefing
Buddha Diving
Off We Go!
2nd Set of Dive Logs
Here's the best for last.  An underwater video crafted by Victor Warren. Very entertaining!

3rd Set of Dive Logs

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Airborne Again and Visiting My Usual Haunts

My new gasoline tanks were recently completed by a fabricator who knew how to do it right (Thanks Mr. Mata!). At around the same time, the construction and renovation works at Mom's building are winding down. So, I've been on a roll with my trike, flying three consecutive mornings on June 7, 8 and 9 and the following week on June 14, 15 and 16. The rainy season has begun as scheduled this June but the water table has not yet reached its peak (i.e., the airstrip is not yet muddy).  Hence, take-off and landings are not accompanied by swaths of cow dung . . . but not for long. The good news is, because of the regular rainfall brought about by the rainy season, the earth is a bit cooler. This means nearly ideal flying conditions when I fly in the mornings. There is also the matter of low altitude clouds, which I usually like--except when they form a thick and massive blanket over my flying area.

Low Altitude Clouds
(when they are fun)
Low Altitude Clouds
(when they are starting to get nasty)
The locations below are all just a hop and a skip away from Rancho Caridad:

Lake Paitan Early in the Rainy Season
SM Rosales--a shopping mall in the middle of rice fields
WWII Vintage Rosales Airstrip Taken from the East
Rosales Airstrip Taken from the North
Rosales Airstrip Taken from the West
(not exactly landable with all that tall grass)
Vast Farm of Someone Powerful and Untouchable
(mostly sugarcane, a beautiful mango orchard and a pond)
Here's the Mango Orchard
Green rasberrys anyone?
Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union Expressway (TPLEX) Beside Mount Cuyapo
(one of my landing strips today)
Landed on TPLEX; Mount Cuyapo on the Left Background
Rancho Caridad Taken from the West
(boundary in yellow, airstrip in green, TPLEX in blue)
Paniqui Airstrip of Danding Cojuangco
(this one could accommodate twin-prop planes)
Paniqui Airstrip Taken from the South
Paniqui Airstrip Taken from the West
(note the mothballed sugar mill on the right of the airstrip)
Landed on Paniqui Airstrip
(secured the permission of Gibo Teodoro years ago)
Private Compound (with mango orchard)
and Residential Subdivision (with cement roads)
of Miguel "Dors" C. Rivilla (Mayor of Paniqui)
Private Compound (with mango orchard)
and Residential Subdivision (with cement roads)
of Miguel "Dors" C. Rivilla (Mayor of Paniqui)
Anao, Tarlac Interchange (Exit) of TPLEX
(about 3.5 km from Rancho Caridad)
Location of Above Photos