Reasons to stay

Dumaguete Travel Blog

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Dive Instructor Snoopy and apprentice David

There ARE several reasons to stay in Dumaguete  According to my guidebook, upon experiencing the capital 1 or 2 days, most people would want to move on. But, I say, not when you see the menu of options on offer though.  You could climb up Mt. Kanlaon or Mt. Talinis, trek the Twin Lakes or watch dolphins. (You could see pictures of these activities on Harold's site).  You can also dive Apo Island -- the Visayas' best dive destination (and voted among the top 10 in the world).  I had to let go of the former, because I was not just equipped or fit (!) for it, and I didn't have time for the latter two.  But courtesy of Snoopy, I could dive Apo! 

Snoopy is also known as Andre Montenegro, but his mom was a Snoopy fan, so she actually made him a namesake.

  Snoopy's on his birth certificate! I wondered why she didn't choose Charlie Brown instead. But Snoopy is so bagay (apt)don't you think?  Snoppy is a 3rd generation diver in his family, and inherited Scuba Ventures from his dad.  He could dive when he was just seven (they're not usually allowed until eight!).  This is the reason why Snoopy thinks that diving is the easiest thing in the world, and safer than driving a car.  His wife says that he got his little daughter into the open water as soon as he could!  I'm very paranoid though, so I told him from the start that he'd have to watch me very carefully!

Because I felt that I had to move on from Dumaguete, I decided I didn't have to take an Open Water Dive course just yet.

  I could just be a certified PADI Scuba Diver and later upgrade to Open Water at my convenience.  The big plus was Snoopy engineered it so I could dive the next day, tomorrow, in Apo. Usually, his students do that at the end of the course.  The plan was, we'd basically finish sections 1 to 3 of the dive book, have one pool dive and the next two dives in Apo.   Perfect!  As a Scuba Diver, I could never dive without an instructor, but that was o.k. with me. 

That very afternoon, I was to have my first dive in a private pool away from the Scuba Ventures office where we were to meet .  The office was actually walking distance from Harold's, so I was on time, but the door was locked though when I got there, at 1:30 p.

Crown fish next to gorgonians at the tank
m.  A pick-up drove up, and from the passenger side out hopped this good-looking guy with a big friendly smile and beautiful blue-green eyes.  Snoopy was at the wheel, but I didn't see him at first (for obvious reasons).  I thought he was another of Snoopy's customers, but turns out he was Snoopy's apprentice, David! Anyway, turned out David was just 17 (too young!), an exchange student at Silliman, had a girlfriend, and had been learning scuba and working for Snoopy in the past year so he could be a divemaster.  Snoopy said he'd certify him when he turned 18. 

After the dive, I thought I should learn a little more of what Silliman U. was up to at the Marine Lab to save the coastal environment.  There I saw giant clams and grophers being bred.  They also had some crocodiles, though much smaller and fewer than what I saw in Palawan.

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Dive Instructor Snoopy and apprent…
Dive Instructor Snoopy and appren…
Crown fish next to gorgonians at t…
Crown fish next to gorgonians at …
Marine Lab Museum
Marine Lab Museum
Clam breeding tank.  This one cont…
Clam breeding tank. This one con…
Coastal Map. Red for mangroves, Bl…
Coastal Map. Red for mangroves, B…
Dumaguete
photo by: issa005