Below AND Above Sea Level (Fifty Shades of Grey Skies)

I personally haven't read this book yet but last weekend, I had some encounters with "Christian Grey". The calming waters suddenly went mad like crazy and skies suddenly turned grey as big sister takes on her very first diving course with the help of friendly people from GearUp Diving. She was holding and reading this book the whole time so I took a shot - this is definitely going into my blog.

She was scheduled to have her first diving lessons last month, but biggie has a very hectic schedule. She finally gave it a go last week with the hopes of a very good weather.

We luckily arrived at Portulano Dive Resort in this weather. The sun was cooperative at 9:30 am and the skies are clear from rain and thunder, a boat took us from a mini port at Balite, Lemery Batangas to our main destination (how we got to Lemery is another story, bottom line is we both love bus rides).

Immediately after bringing our things into the assigned rooms, we checked the whole resort. I watched big sister as she take photos using her instagram app - she's falling in love with the place. Even I did, who wouldn't?

Our room's balcony has one of the best views ever

The Mini Sea-Water Infinity Pool

The Portulano Port

On second note, here's another view of the dive resort

I'm missing this place soo much!

Portulano's collection of under water photos

Some reading materials

The entertainment lobby is love!

As how my big sister Aze describes it, Portulano's very much like a hostel - there's no TVs in rooms. TV is in the common area so entertainment means togetherness.

These were all taken from Aze's instagram

The best kaladkarin sister award goes to me! Haha!

Who took us to this place is a team made of love and annoyingly contagious romance - the Shearsmiths.  Martin, who has now found his niche in life as the resident SDI Instructor, is the "Christian Grey" and better half of Lila, the Dive goddess, fashion queen, and person behind GearUp Diving's resort wear. They work in tandem and made a successful duo at GearUp Diving .

Trivia: These love-bugs were featured at W@W for their very unique wedding. Read more here.
So back to Aze's diving lesson.

I was there, listening to them while they take some lessons on diving physiology and the like. As Martin speaks of buoyancy, I was thinking of Fringe and parallel world. What was that? Haha!

I attempted to take an under water photo of biggie but I'm no scuba princess. Just look at my fail shot:

Forgive me Aze for this super fail shot, I know nothing about underwater photography.

My pair of eyes seriously failed, I can't seem to focus! Good thing Lila was there. She took the photos of my sister's lesson under water.

Lila preparing for her moves.

Now she's dancing!

First they were serious.

Suddenly they were laughing!

Woot! I can see the tiny little me! Haha!
Based on Lila's photos and Martin's lesson, every thing looks 25% bigger under water. They actually sell dive shirts that says: Dive Naked, Everything Looks Bigger Under Water. Hihi. I should try diving too, don't you think? ;p

The rest of this post is a photo dump. Bob (Martin's lovable daddy) and Jane (Bob's love) were there too.

Jane's enjoying it. ;p

Happy Lila. :)

This is my favorite photo of this trip. Jane is such a natural.

Such a beauty!

Dive princess in action.

Taking the storm by heart. ;p

So many things happened in this trip. First day was a blast. We all ended up sitting together in this entertainment lounge drinking wine and talking about monetizing your own name through blogging. Writing and putting everything online can sometimes be inspiring.

When we all woke up,the biggest surprise as typhoon Gener paid us a visit.


Big waves, rain and strong winds spoiled our supposedly dive morning. We all stayed on the lobby, enjoying the couch and coffee the whole day, just listening to the sound of the waves. And with this weather, we weren't able to ride the boat back to the mini port. The only solution is to go trekking to reach the other side of the shore. And so we did.

Even Lila braved to go trekking on a bad weather, carrying her baby LVs wrapped in a towel just like a real baby. She's such a cutie!

Aha! It's storming and you're still smiling!

Biggie, on her way up. Tired now, eh?

And that ends our Below AND Above Sea Level Adventure. See? I trekked in my mini-dress! Can you imagine that these people all went impromptu trekking? Goodjob guys! We all deserve a Starbucks treat!

More details:

Portulano Dive Resort
It's a small and cozy resort in Batangas, Luzon, Philippines where you can snorkel, dive or just enjoy a stunning view of the sea, great food and good company. You can dive all the best sites of Batangas: Tingloy, Anilao, Bauan, the farthest sites are just 15 minutes away via speedboat.

Portulano Beach Front, 4201 Bauan, Batangas |

GearUp Diving
Gear Up is all about making a lifestyle statement about the sub aqua life we have chosen. We aim to promote the sport and encourage, guide and help others understand and realize why we all fell in love with our underwater world. Products and Services include: Dive T-Shirts, Dive Courses, Dive Boat and Dive Equipment Rental, Dive Tours.


  1. Luv the way u shots ur photographs- the colors and emotions are interesting! cool weekend getaway despite of bad weather :)

  2. This such a great adventure. I also like your photos. They are so alive and well taken.

  3. wow nice adventure .. how i wish i can continue my diving lesson as well .. it was long over due ...btyw how much do they charge for the private lesson ?

    1. Hi Dennis! Try to contact them directly via the email I provided above. :) The instructors are very friendly. :)

  4. This is really something good to explore... I admire your peak adrenaline.
    This is perfect to share to OFW like me here in Kuwait..

    Thanks for sharing...

  5. Nice scenery, you have a great escapades there. Keep it up!

  6. I've been there before, it looks so different nice!

    1. They are still renovating the place, more surprises in the next couple of months. :)

  7. love your shots. sarap tignan.. thanks for the shares..

  8. I like the shots! What camera are you using?

    1. Hi Rizza. This is just a point and shoot Sony Cybershot. :)

  9. I could go diving with you if everything looks bigger underwater! wahaha! My cousins live in Batangas and I wish we could go there too! :)

  10. Looks like a really nice place. Shame the storm came and rain on your parade (no pun intended).

  11. Scuba diving is also one of my wishlists too. :D

  12. Awww such a heartwarming post. From how you accompanied your sister on this trip (you get my vote for being the best kaladkarin sister!LOL), how you documented your trip to Portulano (what a paradise!) to the romantic story behind the people of GearUp Diving (liked their FB page and followed Lila on Twitter :D)

    We have three daughters and I hope when they are adults they would be as close as you and your biggie seems to be. :)

    It's lovely seeing your image of course! For me it makes the reading of the blog more personal. :)

    Thanks for giving me/us a few minutes of vicarious vacation!

    The photos to complement your account of your weekend

    1. aaw. happy to know you seriously went over every detail. hihi. when i had this written, i was really inspired to blog. things like these are worth sharing. :)

  13. The last sentence was suppose to be:

    The photos on your blog complemented well the account of your visit! :)

  14. Ay! It's in Batangas lang pala! The place is cool and so is the diving stuff!

  15. Nice shots.... I love the beautiful...

  16. Oh my, Portulano looks so beautiful1! I'd love to visit this dive resort sometime soon.. :D Btw, great photos! They were so refreshing to look at~