For the Lapids, diving is not just a sport, it's a lifestyle
Nestled within the busy province of Batangas is Anilao, a laid-back barangay in the town of Mabini that does not need to brag or show off. Its tranquil and serene ambience speaks for itself, not to mention it being Luzon’s prime diving destination.
A couple of weeks back, four friends and I went on a spontaneous trip to Pacifico Azul Diving Resort, an inviting place owned by Jess Lapid Jr., the cousin of Sen. Lito Lapid. Everything was done in a snap–packing, grocery shopping, and even booking a space. Yet again, the saying “pag biglaan, natutuloy” came to be true in this case. It was, roughly, a two-hour drive from Metro Manila. After a couple of pit-stops and a number of songs down, we found ourselves by the beach, grilling food, in-between conversations with a beer in-hand.
Approaching sundown, I saw Tito Jess (as my cousin and I would call him) briefing patrons of the resort before they go for their first diving experience. Later on, I noticed that two of his daughters were also suited up. Out of curiosity, I asked Patricia or Pat (one of Tito Jess’ daughters and a good friend of mine) who else in their family dives. She replied that all of them are deep into the sport, pun intended, including their mother.
“We grew up spending our summer vacations here in Anilao, Batangas and as the years pass by, my love for the sport grew so much to the point that I appreciate the ocean more and consider it as my second home,” says Pat, during a casual conversation. “I started scuba diving when I was nine years old and was fully certified when I was 10 years old as a Junior Open Water Diver. I think it's because of our father's influence and upbringing that my sisters and I became fond of this sport, this lifestyle. He's been a scuba diver and loved the sport since 1989, which is why he started to teach us swimming at an early age and, eventually, scuba diving. Being in a family where everyone is a certified diver is fun and great because we’re capable of understanding each other at a different level and scuba diving has become our way of bonding.”
When asked if this sport is for everyone, Patricia says, “Scuba Diving is allowed for everyone except for those who have a serious illness. This sport is not that hard to learn. In fact, it’s easy to teach those who have no knowledge in diving. Just remember the principles taught by the instructor, relax, and enjoy the moment.”
Since it was established in 2003, Pacifico Azul Diving Resort has done nothing but improve and provide a relaxing retreat for its guests. Whether you’re looking for a quick breather outside the restless city or itching to add a new hobby/sport in your arsenal, this resort in Mabini, Batangas is a must-visit.