Discover Scuba Diving at Bus Stop Dive Resort (Bauan, Batangas)

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Anybody who's ever donned a scuba mask knows that below the water's surface lies a special world full of colors and species you thought only existed in National Geographic. When I first experienced scuba diving in 2012 (OMG, that was 6 years ago!), it totally freaked me out! Although I am a decent swimmer, the idea of submerging myself a few meters under the sea with all the gears I barely knew was frightening. 
School of Jacks at Bus Stop in Bauan, Batangas
But that sunny morning in Anilao, Batangas became the best travel experience I’ve had so far because of the massive school of jacks I encountered. The fear I felt instantly vanished. I was so amazed that I could not believe if it was real or not. “How could this massive thing be in here in Anilao?” I asked myself after our intro scuba diving. That was when I learned that the Philippines is in the center of marine biodiversity.
Michael of Footlocker Wanderer
Six years later, I was back in Batangas. This time not for Anilao but for its equally fascinating neighbor, Bauan. Getting to Bus Stop Dive Resort in Bauan was easy. It took us 4 hours to get to our destination. When our group reached the resort, we were welcomed by the resort’s friendly staff and gave us welcome drinks. Then we checked into our air-conditioned rooms, which was included in the Discover Suba Diving package (4,999 pesos). In the afternoon, our group hung out at the pebble beach and just talked about anything we could think of. The resort has this laid-back vibe which I truly loved.
Jomar of Byahero si Bes
What's included in the Discover Scuba Diving Package?
  1. Full Board Meals (2 Lunches, 1 dinner, 1 breakfast and PM Snack), Free Flowing Coffee and Welcome Drinks 
  2. Round trip Boat Transfers 
  3. Air-conditioned Accommodation 
  4. Basic Toiletries 
  5. Intro Scuba Diving Lesson 
  6. Instructor Fees 
  7. Scuba Diving Suits and Gears 
  8. Unlimited Snorkeling
swimming while watching the susnset, is there anything better?
The Schools of Jacks and Descending into the Abyss 
The following day was the “Moment of Truth”. It was not my first time in scuba diving but it was nerve wracking! I had to remember the complete details of our Intro Diving lesson which was conducted when I was sober (I should not have drunk the previous night!). After my friend and I had our wet suits on, our diving instructor led us to the beach where we got to practice our underwater signals, proper gear usage, clearing the mask when water gets in, equalizing, etc.
Jerome and I before the moment of truth!
After about 20 minutes, we were ready to go into the ocean. Our dive instructor guided us further down until I could no longer estimate what depth were in. My eardrums felt the rapid pressure changes. Thank God, I fully know how to equalize. If not, it will surely add to the increasing anxiety I felt underwater.
getting ready for our Intro Scuba Diving :)
Fear and anxiety quickly vanished when we finally reached the rugged reef. Lots of small and colorful fishes, a number of brain and pillar coral formations, a sea cucumber, and other marine species I don’t recognize. At this point, I was no longer worrying about anything but just enjoying the scene before me.
One dive master was assigned to two intro scuba diving students
Our dive instructor led us deeper into the ocean after he signaled to check if we were okay going further down. My friend and I signaled okay so we proceeded further. A few minutes after, we reached an area that seemed like the edge of a cliff underwater. It was a bottomless pit of darkness! Imagine seeing the colorful reefs on the other side and floating on the edge of a cliff into pitch black on the other.
Lots of colorful corals underwater but coral bleaching has already affected a large portion of the reef. According to studies, this is an effect of Global Warming which is bad for our marine ecosystems.
I could sense the panic build inside me and then I started imagining things that I did not want to see. Although I know we are not diving down that dark and cold abyss, a part of me wondered what lies beyond. It was a short encounter with the edge of the cliff, but I was hypnotized. It is truly one of those moments that I felt fear and excitement at the same time. Now I understand why scuba diving can be so addicting. 
My friend and I taking a selfie lol! I looked like I was sleeping underwater haha!
One talakitok was ready for the camera lol!
Hundreds or maybe thousands of talakitok! Amazing, no?
You will completely lose sense of depth when you see this wonder. I guarantee you :)
Overall Experience 
I think Bauan is not what immediately pops into your head when you think of Scuba Diving. However, seeing what it can offer to all kinds of travelers, I can say that it should definitely be part of your bucket list! Bus Stop Dive Resort is not a luxury resort but experiencing Discover Scuba Diving with them was more than what I could have asked for. The service, dive instructors, staff, food and accommodation were great! Given the chance, I would stay with them over and over again.
SURREAL right?
About Bus Stop Dive Resort
Set on San Pablo Cove (aka Binukbok), Bus Stop Dive Resort faces one of the best snorkeling and diving sites in the Philippines, which is home to the School of Jacks often compared to the Sardine Run in Moalboal.  Located just 3 hours from Manila, the resort is the best destination for adventure-hungry travelers looking to escape the hustle and bustle of the metro. Their on-site diving center offers training courses and tour packages for first time divers to professional divers.
Selfie of Jerny with the School of Jacks
Travel Notes
How to get to Bus Stop Dive Resort
By Public Transportation
- Board a bus at Jam Liner (EDSA Cubao) or DLTB (Buendia Terminal) bound for Lemery. One way bus fare is 187 pesos and travel time is 2-3 hours.
- Get off at Xentro Mall Lemery and take a tricycle to Summer Cruise in  San Luis, Batangas. One way fare is 200 pesos (good for 3-4 pax) and travel time is 30 minutes.
- Once in the jump-off point, hop on a small boat to Bus Stop. One way boat fee is 100 pesos and travel time is 15 minutes.

By Private Car
- By private car, it will take 3 hours to get San Luis, Batangas. Take the 3rd Lipa Exit in South Expressway to Lemery, Batangas. Use Google Maps or Waze to locate Summer Cruise. Once in the jump-off point, hop on a small boat to Bus Stop. One way boat fee is 100 pesos and travel time is 15 minutes.

Sample 2D/1N Budget (Intro Discover Scuba Package with Aircon Accommodation)
Cubao to Lemery – 187 pesos
Xentro Mall Lemery to Summer Cruise – 50 pesos (assuming you are a group of 3-4 pax)
Intro Discover Scuba Package (Aircon Accommodation) –  4,999 pesos
Summer Cruise to Xentro Mall Lemery – 50 pesos
Lemery to Cubao – 187 pesos
Total: 5,473 pesos
*pasalubong are not yet included

Sample 2D/1N Budget (Intro Discover Scuba Package with Glamping)
Cubao to Lemery – 187 pesos
Xentro Mall Lemery to Summer Cruise – 50 pesos (assuming you are a group of 3-4 pax)
Intro Discover Scuba Package (Aircon Accommodation) –  3,999 pesos
Summer Cruise to Xentro Mall Lemery – 50 pesos
Lemery to Cubao – 187 pesos
Total: 4,473 pesos
*pasalubong are not yet included

***

Bus Stop Dive Resort
Address: San Pablo Cove (Binukbok) Bauan, Batangas, Philippines
Contact Number: (+63)917-548-­8080
Email Address: busstopresort@gmail.com
Official Facebook Page: @Busstopdive
Check-in time: 2:00 PM
Check-out time: 12:00 PM


If you want to try Intro Discover Scuba Diving in Bus Stop Dive Resort and want more tips, then please do not hesitate to leave a comment below! I really hope you get to experience the beauty of Bauan and see the School of Jacks up close!

Disclaimer: Bus Stop Dive Resort sponsored this trip. As always, all opinions are my own.

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