Why this Sea Princess flies
Unknown to many, the already multi-hyphenate Tessa Prieto-Valdes also lists diving in her bag of tricks. She has been a passionate diver since the early nineties, and has committed herself to explore as many marine treasures as possible. “It’s a whole different world when you dive,” says Tessa. “It’s all of God’s creation untouched by man. You can see creatures big and small, and the vastness of the ocean that is yet to be explored. So much creative inspiration and ideas come out whenever I dive.”
She is even known as the “Sea Princess”, a nickname given to her by diving instructor Gigi Santos and buddy Eileen Grey after an unfortunate encounter with pirates. They joked that Tessa was the only royalty onboard—a Sea Princess—so the name stuck, and she lives up to it as her love for diving continues to get stronger.
“Ever since I tried diving, I was instantly hooked. We even do ‘one day wonders’ or four dives in one day,” Tessa shared. “But of all the sites I have explored, the most unforgettable would be the magical Tubbataha Reef Marine Park in Sulu Sea. It has the best marine diversity in the world. We should all try to dive it at least once and help preserve its beauty.”
The Sea Princess’ family also shares the same passion in caring for marine life. She spent her week-long honeymoon on a dive boat in Palau with husband Dennis—a professional diving instructor whom she met during her earlier diving days. Their children are supportive of programs like the Condura Run for Tubbataha Reef or Bantay Kalikasan which work to fight water pollution.
“My kids and I are like fish in the water, and we spend most of our weekends on the beach,” she said. “This is why we are very conscious about recycling and the effects of pollution in the oceans.”
The Sea Princess travels
A certified jetsetter, Tessa prefers Philippine dive spots for the genuinely warm service of the people, the incredible marine reefs, and the ideal weather. For young new divers, her top picks include the teeming corals of Anilao, and the whale shark experience in Donsol, Sorsogon. “It’ totally awesome to see the largest fish in the world, and it’s very rare to see them in the open sea,” she said. In Palawan, her favorites are El Nido for its sea cows or dugong, dolphin, and turtle sightings, and Coron in Busuanga for its shipwreck diving sites.
Tessa is also fond of Pescador Island in Cebu, which she says is spectacular because of the sardine runs; Malapascua, also in Cebu, for its unexploited wonders; and Apo Island in Negros Oriental for its more than a decade old marine sanctuary teeming with life.
Fortunately for wandering Juans who want to see the country’s uniquely colorful bed of marine biodiversity, flying to these sites is made more affordable by Cebu Pacific, the country’s largest airline. With national flag carrier’s ever-expanding list of routes, Cebu Pacific brings travelers to the most captivating and world-class dive sites in the country.
Also known for its convenient services and features, Cebu Pacific truly helps travelers make the most out of every trip.
“My husband is in charge of booking flights online, which is very convenient and easy. We book ahead so we get better rates, select front row seats, and go for the prepaid luggage allowance that’s perfect for my diving gear,” Tessa shared. “And more importantly, I just love how their flights are on time.”
With affordable rates and convenient, on-time flights, Cebu Pacific’s domestic flights will take people to thrilling underwater adventures this summer, just like the Sea Princess.