This picture alone contains several sachets, from Head & Shoulders to Great Taste and Starbucks coffee to Knorr Sinigang Mix, clear plastics that can easily be mistaken as jellyfishes, Jellyace, Marlboro cigarette butts, a bottle cap, hardcase foam, plastic cups, straws (the usual), and guess what, two (TWO!) old lighters. As divers, how can we continue to ignore this? Before @theplasticsolution, I could only shake my head and feel my heart break everytime I see a beautiful beach littered with trash. Today, my heart still breaks but #thestuffitchallenge has opened my eyes that WE CAN DO our part in keeping these harmful plastics away from our beloved Ocean. It’s not enough just to love her, we have to bear the responsibility in keeping her and her critters safe.
I’m calling out to other divers out there to walk the talk and for the love of the Ocean, join the #stuffitchallenge. Turn your plastics into #ecobricks by stuffing all your plastic trash tightly into a plastic bottle beginning today. It’s that easy! Let’s fight plastic pollution together and be real ambassadors of the great beauty that is the Ocean. #oneworldoneocean #badfortheoceanbadforus #diveagainstthedebris #dontletyourdivesgotowaste #thestuffitchallenge #theplasticsolution #ecobrickchallenge #packyouplastic #pledgefortheplanet #thecirclehostel #divefunatics #mermaidshateplastics
Don’t get me wrong, the place I went to is amazing. The resort itself is somewhat carved to the face of a cliff. And what with the picturesque islands on the horizon, sitting on the lovely deck, the sparkling blue waters seemed to call out to me to explore her and dive despite the advise to stay away because of the aftershocks. The owner had also been very kind and gave us a safe place to stay in case of another major earthquake. We did not dive and I heard the dive resort is closed up for the week to ensure utmost safety.
In hindsight, I guess this should have been obvious to us right when we started seeing people on the streets. At 1am, Batangas was pretty wide awake. Those who weren’t awake, slept on the streets. Some of them had their belongings with them, pots and all. Some slept in vans, cars, and tricycles, and some tents were camped by the roadside. There was also a boulder on the road and far ahead, some rubbles that I can only assume came with the earthquake. Lying in bed, I stopped counting after ten tremors, some of which were a bit stronger than your regular aftershocks. I actually thought we were still diving despite the apparent danger (I wouldn’t have said no, you know). I felt excited-scared because god knows what happens underwater when an earthquake hits, right? I never thought about it until yesterday, but apparently it’s not unheard of.
Those who have experienced it described loud rumblings, and some saw corals swaying like mad, others, sand pouring out of corals, and even sea floors cracking up, sucking down sand as the rumble lasted. Some actually believe that the safest place to be during earthquakes is underwater. But hold your regs, don’t take my word for it and jump into the water straightaways, that’s just according to Google results. The best way to combat an earthquake is still keeping a clear head, whether you’re in the water or out of it. And everyone, no matter how many years of diving they have under their belt, should always put safety as their topmost priority. All in all, this dive trip had been memorable even without the dive.
PS Everything you see in the previous picture has been stuffed into this plastic bottle and brought home with me. It wasn’t enough to fill an entire bottle though so I picked up more trash outside of that picture. I picked up several bottle caps, junk food and bread plastics, candy wrappers, and some handle which I initially thought to be a razor, but turned out to be a toothbrush handle. How did I know this? It’s because I found the other half swept up in another area and they matched perfectly. #mayforeversaplastic #dontletyournodivesgotowaste