The second day of the first (1st) Philippine International Dive Expo (PHIDEX) was packed with an impressive line up of international and celebrity speakers, TRAVEX Dive Travel Exchange B2B Meeting, Underwater Photography Panel Discussion, and many more.
Star strucked by Sarah Lahbati in PHIDEX
Celebrity Sarah Lahbati and her husband Richard Gutierrez arrived at Forbes Ballroom of Conrad Manila at 5pm. She is the Philippine star who landed on the Asian Diver magazine cover with a shot taken by renowned underwater photographer Martin Zapanta. Here and ONLY in PHIDEX, she shared about her passion in freediving, her future plans to take on dive safety courses, and encouraged everyone to take care of the ocean that connects us all.
Visitors to the second day of PHIDEX can find a line up of diverse dive related stage programmes. First up was Juan Naval, a Philippine technical diver, who shared on several tools that will help everyone understand the buoyancy, propulsion and conservation efforts in personal diving space. With these knowledge, one can be more ecologically sane as a diver without being overly focused on the technical skills.
Next on stage was Stan Gonia, a cartoon artist from Germany. He painted humans in the light of hunted endangered wildlife in his series of Evil Cartoons to highlight the plight that marine life and the earth are facing because of humans. His impactful artworks make it easy to reflect and understand the urgent care planet Earth needs from everyone.
Lynn Funkhouser, an underwater photographer and resident in Women Diver’s Hall of Fame, presented on her adventure to Ticao Island, a dive paradise where she felt closest to being back in nature. As the islanders do not have easy access to processed food, they make their own bread and ice cream. The care provided for their guests are extremely welcoming. The trash pickup comes at 8am every morning in the form of pull cart. There are no cars on the island! That’s why LAMAVE team, volunteers and scientists, are there to research on the rich mantis and whale sharks populations.
Yolanda Yao, an SSI Mermaid Instructor, director and lead actress in the largest Chinese underwater film “Snake Sisters” in 2019, along with co-star Gina Lee from China, premiered their film based on the Chinese legend of a snake demon fighting 18 bronze monk for the love of her life. She talked about the challenges faced and her dream of sharing the Chinese culture and legends through the unique underwater cinematography.
David Strike, a veteran technical diver from Australia, shared about the advancement of technical diving over the decades, discovery of compressor for deeper diving, limitations of gas, upcoming atmosphere suit with tools such as life support and automated power, and the future of deep sea exploration.
Alex Santos, a veteran technical diver from PHILtech of the Philippines, revealed that cave springs near some Philippine towns are accidentally polluted by leaky sewage pipes. He urged everyone to protect the Philippine springwaters before undiscovered species became extinct.
Faisal Hashim, Guinness World Record holder for the fastest 10 km scuba dive with an amazing time of 5 hours and 24 minutes in Hurghada Egypt, talked about his triumph over his disability from a car accident in 2005 that has rebuilt his confidence and made him a motivational speaker and trainer. His favourite achievement this year being a father. He said “passion is the secret for success”.
Ahmed Gabr, Guinness World Record holder from Egypt for the deepest dive 332.35 metres into the Red Sea, shared on his six year material and psychological preparation to break the world record in 2014 under 13 hrs and 15 minutes. It took him 2h 50 minutes to get back to surface. He could not go deeper than 324m due to decompression. He also trained Faisal Hashim, Guinness World Record holder for fastest scuba dive for 5 months. He mentioned Jacques Cousteau, who pioneered modern diving gears. The audience were treated to his video that documented his process of breaking record.
Stéphane Dugast is a reporter, speaker and author from France. He is an amateur diver who was inspired by Jacques Cousteau to share his 3 expedition to the island of Clipperton and the geographic of the island. The island is a kingdom for birds, crabs and rats. He has been there in 2001 for the first time. Now, they discovered a lot of plastic on the island.
A team from Provincial Government of Ilocos Sur (PGIS) Dive Center showcased their best coastlines, beautiful diving spots and underwater photography heaven.
Valentine Thomas, a conservation speaker, shared that she used to choose her fish in the grocery store the cheapest and freshest, because that was all she knows. But while we eat sushi and the fishes, big corporations keeps depleting the ocean population. After her first harvest, she finally understood her place in the environment. “We are not on top of the world, we are in the middle.” She is looking for sustainable consumption. We need discussions on realistic and viable solutions. With almost 8 billion people on earth soon, there needs to be a reduction in the consumption of seafood. She looks into 3 ways on how we can consume seafood sustainably. She shared that more than 15% of fish in the market are caught illegal. Not just in Asia, but it is a global problem. The presentation is filled with researched statistics to educated the audience. She urged everyone to choose local seafood to minimise carbon footprint and be aware of self-proclaimed certifications on fish products.
PHIDEX Dive Travel Exchange (TRAVEX)
The first ever B2B speed matching took place as part of PHIDEX Dive Travel Exchange (TRAVEX), where over 50 international dive and liveaboard brands came to create business opportunities with the local Philippine dive market.
Underwater Photography Panel Discussion
Underwater Photography Panel Discussion was an interactive session with the panelist and the audience. It was moderated by Lynn Funkhouser (USA), Women Diver’s Hall of Fame. The panelist included commercial and award-winning underwater photographers like Aaron Wong (Singapore), Cai Songda (China), Ram Yoro (Philippines), Scott Tuason (Philippines), and Bo Mancao (Philippines).
The subjects discussed ranged from protecting marine critters, social media in photography, ethics in manipulating the natural environment to achieve certain effects, role of dive operators, blackwater photography, to tips on getting the shot as close to perfect.
Daily Lucky Draw
Prizes and Winners:
- 4D3N Atlantis Philippines B&B Dive Voucher – Anna
- Mares (PH) Trilastic Long Sleeve DC Rashguard – Rico
- Mares (PH) X-vision 14 Mask
- M101 Black Seacurrent Mask – Ephejoy Dinglasan
- M210 White Seacurrent Freediving Mask – Alexander Luz
- SSI (PH) Enriched Air Nitrox Specialty Couse – Kathryn
- TUSA Mask, Snorkel and Fins – Bebot
Island Dive Party
The PHIDEX Island Dive Party started at 8pm. The guests enjoyed the evening company of like-minded leaders and professionals of the dive industry over a cocktail dinner and beautiful ocean film screening.
Underwater360 is proud to be the Official Media Partner of PHIDEX 2019, the inaugural Philippine International Dive Expo hosted by The Philippine Department of Tourism (PDOT) from September 20-22, 2019 in Conrad Manila.
Redeem your FREE digital copies of Asian Diver & Scuba Diver magazines and showguide when you register HERE.
For more information, visit www.phidex.asia