We are staying at a big diving destination, a small town in the Philippines called El Nido. This is where my friend Isa and I did our PADI Junior Open Water Certification Course.
It took us 3 days; on the first day we watched five videos and answered 5 question sheets. On the second and third days we did three dives. The first one was shallow where we practiced skills like taking out and recovering our regulator, sharing air with a buddy (if you or your buddy run out of air) and clearing, taking off and swimming underwater without our mask.
The second and third dives were sort of like normal dives except once in a while Seb, our instructor, would ask us to do some of the skills we learned.
At the end of the third day we had to take... long and dramatic pause ... the final test (dun dun dunnnnn), a fifty question long test that would determine the fate of our scuba diving future. We had to get 70%. I got 95%. We both passed (hooray)!!!
The best part about diving is that you can breathe underwater and it feels like flying. You get to have closer interaction with the animals and coral. When you snorkel you can only dive down and have a quick look.
If there is anyone out there who likes snorkeling but would like to get closer to the animals and coral, you can take a Discover Scuba Diving class which lets you try it out for a day. My dad, who before had no interest in diving, took the course and loved it. Now he wants his Open Water Certification.
My next goal is to take the Junior Advanced Open Water Certification when I turn 12, which would allow me to go down to 21m. After that, I will take the PADI Underwater Photography course (hopefully with my mom if I can convince her).
(main photo by Juan Ubeda)