Diving the Deep at Nogas Island in Antique
The first time I tried diving was in 2002 in Boracay. It was a fun dive — indicating the easy and shallow dive for a first-timer like me. I never had the chance to have a follow-up dive. So when my friends and I drew out a plan for a weekend dive here in Nogas Island in Anini-y, Antique Province, we found ourselves driving south to the lovely coastal province in Panay.
Anini-y town is approximately 2 hours away from Iloilo City. Its sleepy charm intrigued me because this is a part of the province that has so much to offer yet it hasn’t earned the attention it deserves from the many adventurous souls in the region (and in the country). Driving through to our destination, we at the passenger seats stayed awake exploring the communities along the way.
The diving school is called The Divehouse. It has a quaint wood-and-brick set up for its structures that made us feel like we were totally at the right place. Our diving instructor is a good friend as well, AJ Terol. So upon setting foot at The Divehouse, we were pampered like bosses. And we liked it.
What sets The Divehouse above the other dive centers/destinations that I have visited is that it isn’t too crowded. It offers its guests some good amount of peace while enjoying the whole diving experience. There were two diving groups that weekend: one group from Bacolod and the other group comprised of the 7 of us from Iloilo. Our dive package was for two days, so our overnight accommodation was also in that same center facing the beach. While The Divehouse has world-class certified dive instructors, it has reasonably affordable dive rates for everyone. I must say that what we spent for that weekend was totally worth it.
After the standard operating procedures for beginner divers, we set ourselves off for a 10-minute boat ride to the dive spot at Nogas Island (other than diving, the island is also known for its lighthouse and its natural arrangement that would look good on pre-nuptial photoshoots). Our first dive was primarily introductory and we were just too excited for all sorts of calming down and equalizing activities. The view down there was superb. Underwater is always majestic and huge. We had a great time as AJ and Mike Hwang (our other dive instructor/guide) showed us around the reef walls like absolute underwater lords. Once we have found ourselves comfortable in the dive suit and the the oxygen tank and the breathing techniques and the underwater pressure, we were well on our way to becoming Dora-the-Explorers with the metal backpack! It was indeed an awesome experience! I’m planning to do it again with my other friends who have been convinced about our diving gig.
For more information and contact details about The Divehouse, please click here.