“I can’t sink myself.” Those were the words I uttered when my friends bade goodbye as they went to the deeper part of the ocean. Stuck on the shallow water , hit by the waves rushing to the shore, I felt nothing exciting for I saw only the usual and the ordinary. (like duuuuh!)
When my friends were done swimming, they were so ecstatic telling of their underwater adventure that their noise were kind of deafening to me. They kept on chitchatting on how they were mesmerized and enthralled by what they witnessed down there. I admit jealousy hit me. (Again duuuuuh.) ( bitter lang ang peg) hahaha!
It was early in the morning when my friends and I went snorkelling. Initially, the thought of snorkelling in the ocean made me anxious even though I had been confident when it comes to scuba diving in deep waters. It was only this time that I learned that in snorkelling you will simply float on the surface. To be honest I was amazed with that idea of just floating on the surface even without a life vest! So my friends and I went snorkelling but then these friends again showed off their skills in going down the water. So I asked them how they did it, and they told me to just follow and imitate them.
To my surprise, even for just a short period of time, holding my breath while swimming, I finally descended and achieved my goal of being under the water and getting to see closely the beautiful marine garden in Moalboal. Yey!
Since then, I have loved the idea of going down the waters, so here in Bantayan I had fun in the sea. I wasn’t scared anymore, not a bit of anxiety in me this time. I enjoyed myself being one with the sea.
It was then that I found out that I was actually doing freediving but not really that serious kind. So since I already had a bit of experience in freediving, I made plans to go to a freediving school, because I want to master it like a pro. I want to do it with proper training. But I don’t know where, honestly.
Then one day, Cebu Bloggers Society had this freediving event called “Freedive for the Future” where bloggers and some social media influencers were invited. It tackled about basic freediving course which was sponsored by SSI and held in Freedive HQ Philippines in Marigondon, Lapulapu. Without any hesitation, I eagerly signed up.
The discussion. . .
The day of the event came. Together with other bloggers, I went to Freedive HQ. We were greeted by their very accommodating staff who gave us this free t-shirt. I really love the shirt design and color. Haha! After that we were asked to sign the waiver and then the discussion about freediving followed.
From the discussion, I learned that freediving is a form of diving that relies on the diver’s ability to hold his breath until resurfacing which does not involve any form of breathing apparatus. Basically this is about breathing, the dependency of air/oxygen consumption and the diver’s mental strength.
Just look how his heart rate dropped drastically to 56 bmps. This means that his heart slowed down to save oxygen. The more you are relaxed, the lower your heart rate, and the more you can utilize your air.Then we proceeded to another lesson. We were taught how to breathe, hold our breath and recover our breath.
After that we were measured by another device, the spirometer, which would measure our lung capacity or the amount of air volume in our lungs. Here’s what we did: we took a deep breath and exhaled all the air in our lungs to the device.
I got 2801, haha, not bad. (I think the highest mark for a female is 4000. Correct me if I’m wrong.)
After the discussion was the practical breathing application. We changed to our swimming outfit to apply what we have learned from the theories being taught to us earlier. We practiced in the shallow part of the beach.
Our instructor first allowed us to enter into the state of relaxation for a few minutes so that the heart rate and blood pressure would drop and our body could consume less oxygen for a longer breath hold.
After that, each one of us held our breath in the water, motionless, just listening to the instructor and following his commands. He would do some massage for our body to be fully relaxed.
I was surprised why friends could hold their breath for almost two minutes while I could do it in less than a minute. Maybe it was because I was conscious about the time, the surroundings and the massage, ahahahaha!
In addition to the practical breathing exercise, we were also taught how to rescue a diver in case something bad happens.
As mentioned above, freediving is not just about holding one’s breath or how one utilizes his air but rather it is more on having great mental strength.
After staying in the water for almost two hours, we partook of our delicious lunch which was prepared by Freedive HQ staff. Wohoo, thank you very much.
As what I have observed , the perfect exercise for freediving is yoga, because yoga is not just for physical flex and strength but also for mental power wherein your mind becomes relaxed and peaceful.
Interview with the world class freediver
After the yoga session, Ms. Anna of Dynamic Sports introduced to us the world class freediver Thibault Guignes. He is a French National Record holder in free immersion. He has freedived a breathtaking depth of 105 m. How cool is that? I also learned that “he was selected for the AIDA French Team for the 2015 World Championship where he came 9th in the Free Immersion Discipline and won the Triple Depth Competition in the same year and is now selected in the AIDA French Team for 2017 World Championship in Roatan”. He’s really an inspiration to achieve freediving goals.
We raised questions about freediving and he enthusiastically and eagerly answered all our queries. I can really tell how passionately he loves freediving. He made sure that all of us had a great, relaxed experience and a lot of fun in freediving. I really want him to be my instructor if ever I’ll be getting my certification in freediving.
Let’s Dive Responsibly
After the learning conversation with Mr. Thibault, we also had this part of the event which was conducted by Ms. Juliana Corales, a Reef-World Foundation Project Coordinator. She’s part of Greenfins, an international organization which help spread awareness of marine conservation. I learned that in order to preserve our marine environment, the government units, the locals, the dive centers, business owners, the community and also the tourists or everyone should work as one to make our delicate marine ecosystem live longer and last longer. With the threat of climate change, everyone of us has a great role for preserving not just our seas but the earth as well.
Anyway, from now on if ever I’m going to dive, I will make sure that that the diving or beach resort is a Green Fins approved establishment.
After that, we were finally given this certificate. I’m really happy I joined this event. Just another milestone I’ve reached since I started chasing potatoes aka adventure. Yey. I couldn’t wait to be certified in freediving. So this freediving journey of mine still continues.
Contact Details :
Freedive HQ :
In case you want to be certified and have proper training in freediving, book your lesson now in Freedive HQ. For more details including inquiries about the prices, contact:
Reef-World Foundation :
Those naughty potatoes roll so fast that I could hardly catch up with them in MARIGONDON, MACTAN. I wonder what place will they be venturing next. So stay tuned for my next chasing potatoes adventure.
Have you tried freediving? What’s your story about it? Why do you freedive? I would love to hear from you? Please connect thru my FB page and Instagram. Join me in my adventure and misadventure. Let’s chase those potatoes. OH YESSS! Thanks for visiting.