My Journey to Nemo's Kingdom
2008 is International Year of Reefs. I did not know it until I read from the PDI newspaper, dated Sept. 15, 2008. I can’t help it but reminisce my underwater experience – my journey to the coral reefs.
40 feet below
When my sister invited me to join diving, I was with these mix emotions: TERRIFIED - what if there is a large hungry human eater creature with sharp fangs waiting for me … will it attack my skinny body?; ANXIOUS – what if my oxygen tank or other paraphernalia is defective, or what if underwater I will run out of oxygen?; AFRAID – what if my guide has brain disorder and will left me under the sea (I don’t know how to swim! Gosh)….. will this be the end of my life? … But I was not defeated by those tainted negative feelings. Perhaps I am 99% EXCITED!!! I was thrilled by the thought of meeting the sea creatures.
Despite of my inability to swim, I still volunteered to dive first with the first batch of our group (see how excited I am!?). While preparing my gears and other paraphernalia my heart thumps so loudly, I am already experiencing difficulty breathing (God, will this be my last minutes to see the beauty of earth? .. hehe.. what an imagination). I was really uncomfortable with my super tight suit, and to tell you it’s really heavy plus the oxygen tank at my back, I think I am carrying 50% of my weight or more. I can’t stand alone. In fact, there were two of them who help me stand…. And wooossshh!!!! Splash the cold water! I made it! I had jumped from the ‘banka’.
With my Diving Master, Toto
While in the water, my diving master,Toto teach me the breathing technique using the mouthpiece. He let me swim 2 feet below the sea level. I thought it was easy, but I was totally wrong... I can’t breathe, I panicked!!! And came to the point, I almost surrendered. But I thought why I should waste this opportunity… if others can then I can also do it. So I signaled Toto with my OK sign.
As we start our journey down to the paradise of the sea, I felt calmness inside. I don’t know how, but my angst subsided. Indeed, I felt the inner peace that I am longing.
My eyes widened with excitement as I saw the differently colored coral reefs - soft and so delicate. I saw school of fish that comes in different shapes and colors, and yes the familiar white-orange striped fish was there… Nemo?....Yes, it’s him… he was really playful. He’s not afraid with me, in fact he played with me, I was able to hold him with my bare hand. He even accompanied me in my journey to their Kingdom.
I can’t help, but offer a little prayer, thanking God for such beautiful scenery. It’s a magnificent view! Truly He is the greatest artist, and nobody can surpass Him.
Although one hour of staying underwater is not enough, I have to say goodbye to my sea creature-friends before running out of oxygen. Hoping that someday I’ll come back and meet them as beautiful as they are.
A simple gesture of saying thank you and goodbye