We Checked Diving Off Our Bucket List!

A one-of-a-kind underwater adventure in Anilao to start a lifetime of possibilities   

The stunning view underwater is just one of the many reasons why diving is on people’s bucket lists. It has intrigued and fascinated divers to travel far and wide to witness, with their own eyes, the otherworldly beauty of underwater landscapes far removed from life above land.

The Philippines, for one, sits at the heart of the Coral Triangle, a rich marine area located in the Pacific Ocean, dubbed as the “center of the center” of marine biodiversity in the planet. And right smack in the middle of the Coral Triangle is Anilao, Batangas, the “birthplace of scuba diving in the Philippines” and home to more than half of the country’s documented shore fish species and over 300 species of coral.

And it was in Anilao no less, where winners of FWD Life Philippines’ (FWD) Bucket List Contest, lifestyle bloggers, and members of the media checked off diving in their bucket lists.

In August 2017, FWD launched the Lifetime of Possibilities social media campaign to challenge the public to live life to the fullest, say yes to every possibility, and start working on their bucket lists. The pan-Asian insurance company—with offices in Hong Kong and Macau, Thailand, Indonesia, Singapore, Vietnam, Japan, and the Philippines—partnered with experts in different fields: Chef Rolando Laudico for Culinary, Coach Jim and Coach Toni Saret for Fitness, Jun Robles Lana and Perci Intalan for Film, and Casa Escondida Anilao Resort & Dive Center for Scuba Diving to help them take their first step to achieving their bucket list goals.

Thousands heeded the call and posted pictures of their own #FWDBucketListMoment on Instagram and joined the contest on Facebook. Now, a few lucky ones are on their way to achieving their bucket list, courtesy of FWD, the country’s most exciting insurance brand!

The Diving Bucket List event was held at Casa Escondida Anilao Resort & Dive Center in Mabini, Batangas, a 24-room dive resort designed by divers, for divers, fully equipped with top-of-the-line facilities and has in-house certified dive instructors to hold diving lessons, training, and certification workshops. The first day was devoted to diving lessons and getting over diving cold feet. 

Everyone was given a PADI Discover Scuba Diving course in the dive resort’s 12-feet swimming pool. Perfect for beginners who want to dip their toes into scuba diving, before taking the big plunge into a certification course, it taught participants the basics for a safe and enjoyable dive.   

Day 2 was D-Day (Diving Day)! After breakfast, participants donned their wetsuits and took a quick boat ride to the hat-shaped Sombrero Island, dubbed as the “Coral Garden of Anilao” and a perfect dive spot for beginner divers and underwater photographers.

Upon descending into deeper waters, the divers slowly but surely steadied their breathing, calmed their nerves, and focused on the lush tapestry in front, beneath, and around them. Nudibranchs, antheas, gleaming barracuda, Moorish idols, and frogfish in all colors of the rainbow surrounded them with coral reef plants flowering as if in spring bloom. Dive masters said lucky divers could sometimes catch a glimpse of mimic octopuses, seahorses, sea turtles, and reef sharks, too. 

After the dive, the boat took the participants back on Sombrero Island for lunch and island R&R. And while a quick, cool swim or snorkeling adventure sounded really tempting, the divers had yet to get down (or up) from the underwater high. Bucket list achieved—and on to more!

While we were underwater, we were joined by wildlife and conservation photographer, Noel Guevara. (@studentofthesea on Instagram). 

Right before we were supposed to dive, we were asked to sit at the edge of the boat and fall back towards the water. That was the terrifying part–I almost backed out! But almost immediately after taking the plunge, the dive master and I slowly descended underwater, and I was welcomed by such a beautiful scene–one that I wouldn’t have known had I not tried diving.

That was probably one of my favorite parts of the trip: seeing firsthand the beauty that comes after facing our fears.

Thank you so much to FWD Insurance, Lorem Ipsum, Casa Escondida, and Noel Guevara (@studentofthesea) for an unforgettable experience!

To read more about this experience, you can also check out my blog post about it!

FWD Insurance

Website: www.fwd.com.ph

Facebook: Facebook/fwdlife.ph

Instagram: @fwdlife_ph


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