since i didn't have an underwater digital camera, i made do with a friend's underwater reusable film camera for our butanding interaction in bicol.
it's been a while since i had a roll of film developed, and i was surprised to find that it takes longer than usual now. i took my roll to digiprint and asked for their film to CD service, which costs P155, and takes 5 days.
i was expecting my butanding photos to arrive tomorrow, but i was so happy when i was handed a package this morning from digiprint!
the photo on the right is one of the butanding photos i like best from my batch--it's a beastly butanding (in reality, it's a gentle giant), complete with a nicked fin. three remoras can be seen clinging to the fin, sucking the dirt from the butanding's skin.
gliding along on top of a lumbering whale shark will forever be etched in my mind.
"tingin sa baba!" kuya gits, our guide, shouted. so i did, and what i saw next left me in awe: a lumbering, spotted butanding swimming calmly right below me. it was so amazing that i completely forgot that a few seconds ago, i was having a hard time breathing through my snorkel.
for a few golden minutes, i was breathing as i should through the snorkel, my eyes glued to the butanding before me. thanks to kuya gits for letting me just cling onto the lifebuoy, else i would have been left floating there, staring in awe at the majestic creature.
every now and then, my eyes would travel the butanding's entire length. that was me trying to comprehend what i was doing, attempting to accept the fact that i was just a few feet away from a friggin' whale shark.
it was such a surreal experience, and i'll be doing it again next year. but this time around, i'll make sure to be more at ease with a mask and a snorkel. i want to chase the butandings myself.
see more photos of my butanding interaction.