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  • We had a share of a nice sunny weather in Bohol. On a boat in Arkow Point; my turn to put on my rented BCD, regulator check- I knew something was wrong with the device since my first dive.

    But, I can't wait to submerge and just get it over with. It's beautiful down there. Equalizing was difficult during my first dive and was worse on the second. Still I am fearless.

    The night before, I told Tim, my only buddy that I will be a good dive buddy this time. No wandering away and make myself feel so at home like I am Triton's daughter. I briefed him that if he notices that I am starting to go astray, he should give my fin a little tug. That worked out well.

    At 15 meters, I found it hard to breathe. Setting the feeling aside, I went on and made myself feel better. It started again after 10 minutes at 20 meters. " Suck in more air, focus, don't pass out...". The oxygen from my tank seemed not to do anything. I had this urge to taky my mask off and breathe through my nose. " Do not panic. Breathe ..."

    I exhaled air through my nose, trying to see if it will work. But to no avail....I tapped Tim on the shoulder and made the thumb-up sign ( I want to go back up). I pointed to my regulator. I looked him in the eyes and just looked and wondered if he saw my wide-eyed fear.

    That poisonous seasnake below me didn't totally scare me at all
    ( I fear snakes so much) or maybe I didn't mind it anymore as I was struggling with my life.

    I was very scared that any second I'd just go as the equipment which is supposed to supply me with air was just not very helpful.

    I turned to the divemaster and gave him the same hand signal. So, we slowly made our controlled ascent.

    Not even one of the men with me was aware of the real thing. It was only God and me who knows what's happening and that the worse is bound to happen at some point in time. I kept breathing hard but still...My whole body started to feel numb, I felt my heart skip beats. I held on to the divemaster's hand, and kept looking back at Tim. He was behind me assisting me with my tank. My right arm extended and reached out to him. We held hands. I squeezed his hand for a time. For some, squeezing somebody's hand means they are okay.

    But in my situation that time, it was telling him that I need help and I am in trouble. I needed to know that he's there with me.

    God, I have my children who need me....

    I wanted to cry, for I know if I pass out, I will go. But no time for tears; it will make the situation more difficult. At 10 meters, I closed my eyes, just let my body afloat and let the men guide me. When I was on the surface and took my mask off and right away got rid of the regulator.

    Diveshops have this slogan, "Dive with a smile!"
    I did but I got out of the water with disbelief drawn on my face.
    I came out alive!

    I will still dive and I am not afraid. In fact, I have a new pair of propulsion unit.
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