INTERNATIONAL and local dive experts and world record holders will gather for the first-ever Philippine Dive Expo (Phidex) set from Friday to Sunday at the Conrad Hotel in Pasay City.
Organized by the Department of Tourism under Secretary Bernadette Romulo Puyat, Phidex will feature world-class divers, marine conservationists, environmentalists and international dive buyers, influencers, and underwater photographers and videographers who will share their expertise, present innovative ideas, network with leading dive operators and lend their knowledge about sustainable diving practices with key stakeholders in the Philippines.
Two of the guests who will deliver talks are Guinness World Record holders Faisal Jawad Hashim from Kuwait and Ahmed Gabr from Egypt.
Scuba diver Faisal Jawad Hashim has the fastest 10-kilometer scuba dive in the world at five hours and 24 minutes, a feat especially astounding considering he is a paraplegic.
Gabr, on the other hand, has made the deepest dive at an astounding 332.35 meters deep (1,090.4 feet). This is a double record, one for Deepest Scuba Dive, and another for Deepest Scuba Dive in Sea Water. He achieved this feat in Dahab, Egypt, in September 2014.
Two more speakers, Odessa Bugarin (Philippines) and Yolanda Yao (China), are professional mermaids and certified instructors. Bugarin holds four national records in competitive freediving, while Yao has starred in the first-ever all underwater mini-movie Mermaid’s Fantasy.
Mermaiding as a sport requires the use of special fins that encompass the thighs down to the toes. Professional mermaids, or occasionally water ballerinas, require special diving and breathing training, which is why many experts consider mermaiding an extreme sport.