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And now, some interessting news about the diving, my place and anything else...
FIFA World Cup 2006 in Germany
Soon, there is a reason to spend a bit more time at the surface, than under. The football world championship starts on June 9. And the best of all, Switzerland is also part of it!
So: Hopp Schwiiz!!!
You can skype me now!
Since the installation of a broadband connection. I'm also available via Skype: ID gwapopeter
Happy New Year!
I wish you all the best for 2006 and a lot of nice dives! :-) May your wishes come true!
By the way. I'm sure, there will be a big and nice firework in Dumaguete. Especially since I saw the selling booths. There is one main place where they sell fireworks in Dumaguete. There are about 20 or 30 booth next to each other at the parking area of Quezon Park, named after a former Philippine President. It was amazing to see them selling the fireworks. There was a grandmother sitting behind her articles, smoking a cigarette. Another grandfather was sitting in front of his stuff, observing his goods not to be will be stolen while he was also smoking. But the one, who impressed me most, was a younger guy. With the left hand, he handed over the bangers, rockets and vulcanos to his customers, while in the right hand, he was holding his cigarette. I'm sorry. I wanted to provide you with a photo, but my girlfriend was too scared to stay there around longer, because they were lighting fireworks in the park and on the street, maybe 10 or 15 meters next to us.
I wish you and your family nice season holidays! May Santa Claus or the "Christkind" bring you a lot of gifts, including health, peace, happiness and satisfaction!
After a very long and nice stay in Switzerland, we finally have to go back to the Philippines. We will miss the snow and the nice cold time! ;-)
Football Weekend FC UBS Luzern in Berlin, Germany
The football weekend in Berlin, Germany was a success! We could have a nice football game against our collegues from Deutsche Bank Berlin. After that we could discuss and analyse the game again and talk about old memories while having a nice dinner. We also consumed a football game (Hertha BSC - VFL Wolfsburg, 3:0) and eat another great dinner. We also had the possibility to discover some historical and present details from this interessting city during our "Berlin Underground Tour", visits of Reichstag with its glas dome "the Bundestag", the Brandenburg Gate, Checkpoint Charlie and its museum, or just by following the way of the wall, to name only some. Berlin is a great city with a big history.
And we will never forget Willi! ;-)
This September we will visit Switzerland again. And I'm looking forward to see my country again, especially after this strong rainfalls, floods and landslides the last days, which also raged in my area.
Cracks with Scubapro's 1st stage of MK20!
The FTU (a swiss bureau for accident prevention) informed that there might cracks at the Scubapro regulator MK20, first stage, occur. If, then the cracks occur especially in the water, while diving. This causes a fast release of the gas in a short time.
FTU knows, that Scubapro is working on a solution for this problem and will offer a free upgrade kit soon.
FTU warns against continued usage of the Scubapro MK20 first stage regulator. You should contact an authorized dealer regarding repair or exchange.
Eventhough staying in the Philippines for almost 3 years, I always refused to buy a rainjacket so far. But now, after 3 years, I finally bought one, for the days when the sun might not really shine! That's maybe a good investment for the starting raining season! ;-)
Santa Cruzan, or "Flores de Mayo (Flowers of May)" is an old festivity which commemorates the search for the Holy Cross by Queen Helena and her son, the newly converted Emperor Constantine the Great. After the Holy Cross was found in Jerusalem and brought back to Rome, there was a joyful celebration in thanksgiving. Nine days of prayer (a novena) in honor of the Holy Cross precedes the Flores de Mayo.
Today, Santa Cruzan is a big festival, spreaded over several days, which finds its highlight with the procession on the last day, where several barangays present themself within a parade and dancing competition. Originally introduced by the Spanish conquerors more than 100 years ago in this country, Dumaguete started again 10 years ago, to celebrate it the way it is done today. Because of its special anniversary, the homegrown beauties in the procession where escorted by Manila-based actors.
Catch of 3 Tresher Sharks in Apo Island!!! ;-(
At the beginning of the month, around the 6th and 7th, there were 3 Tresher Sharks caught by fishermen from Apo Island on 2 days. This is a very bad day for the local dive industry, since they lost one of its new attracton. It is also a bad day for the people from Apo Island, since it might reduce the attractivity and the reputation of their Island, which could have bad longterm effects on their income, which depends on the takings from the Sanctuary Fees. Also not to forget, that Tresher Sharks are a rare an endangered species, which will maybe die out soon, if catching, specially for finning, will go on as it did the last recent years!
The only one light on the horizon is, that after several complaints from diverent sides, also from the WWF, the Tresher Sharks are now also on the black list for fishermen. They will release them again in the future, as well as napoleons and humphead parrotfishes, which where already protected before. And I also heard about about another sighting after this incident.
There is a Whale Shark around in Apo Island! There were already some sightings the last days. Sometimes under water, and sometimes just on the surface, a bit more far away. But nevertheless, it could be quite impressive to see this very big fish, blasting the water up in the air!
From time to time, it's possible to observe Whale Sharks in this area, passing on their way to Southern Leyte. But there is not really a specific time, that you can count on them. So, it's always a nice surprise. And after some days, or maybe 2 to 3 weeks the Rhincodon typus (latin name) will go further. The Whale Shark is the biggest Shark, and also the biggest Fish, reaching a lenght of 12-14m. There are also unofficial accounts of 18m.
|April 1, 2005|
Fire in Dumaguete
Even it seems like a joke, it isn't one. On April 1, the building next to the fire department in Dumaguete, has been in flames and got quite damaged. You may wounder now, why this could happen, since there are professional firefighters present at the fire department all the time?
Well, I also don't know it. It's just that the whole city was laughing about it. This would not really be that worse, when the building, which burned down, wouldn't have been a government's office. Unfortunately and coincidently, there were also some big drug cases with all the investigations results deposited in the judges' office in this building. And the files are maybe lost now.
The famous Tresher Sharks are back in Apo Island. It was already possible to see this famous species before, but they were not really seen anymore so often. Now, you have good chances to see one of about 3 Tresher Sharks during your dives at Rock Point, Marine Sanctuary or even Chapel! Mostly seen at about 10m to 15m only. Or sometimes, they are even jumping out of the water. Try your luck!
Invasion of Ghost Pipefishes
There was a big invasion of ghost pipefishes recently. It is now possible to see as many as 13 pieces during one dive! They have all colors from black, over red, white and yellow, until green. Most of them are ornate ghost pipefishes. But there are also some robust and delicate ghost pipefishes around.
Sanctuary Fees for all the Spots in DauinWith beginn of the new year, all common dive spots in Dauin will be declared as Sanctuaries. And therefore, divers have to pay a 150 Pesos (about 3 USD) Sanctuary Fee per dive. For sure, the divespots here with its special creatures are it worth to be protected. But for me, the Sanctuary Fee seems to be too high! Let's just hope, that the Sanctuaries will be proper managed and controlled, that the fishes can relax, reproduce themselves and grow, and that it is not only another sort of income. :-(
Higher Sanctuary Fees for Apo Island
Just in time for the coming elections, the Sanctuary Fees for Apo Island have been raised. The Entrance Fee is now 100 Pesos (about 2 USD). Additional, there are 200 Pesos (about 4 USD) to pay for diving outside the Marine Sanctuary, and 300 Pesos (about 6 USD) when a dive have been made inside the Marine Sanctuary. Beside from that, there is also a 250 Peso (about 5 USD) anchoring fee for the boat.