Introduction to Freediving at Freedive HQ Philippines

I have to admit, the ocean was the first to awaken the adventure spirit in me. I remember so well when I was still a kid, I get a different kind of adrenaline rush and excitement every time I hit the ocean. The feeling and excitement still remain even now that I am all grown-up. As I go deeper into the realm of travel and adventure, I get to see the world of diving (Scuba diving and Freediving). In contrast with scuba diving, freediving gives the diver the freedom of not carrying a gas tank at the back. However, the diver has to dive and stay underwater with just one breath.

Having seen footage of freedivers underwater made me stuck in pure amazement. Amazed by how they manage to stay underwater for several minutes. I came to a pause and asked myself, “Can I do that?”. Of course yes! And so starting from that day on, I started diving beginning from shallow depths without proper training and without knowing whether I am doing the proper execution. I kept pushing my limits until I came to love and got addicted to it. But diving without proper training was hard. It led me to frustration. I swore to myself that I’ll take a proper freediving training someday.

Then a message arrived in my inbox. An invitation to a free basic freediving course event together with other fellow bloggers and social media influencers. Without hesitation, I grabbed the opportunity. The event was called “Freedive for the Future” which was sponsored by SSI and was held in Freedive HQ Philippines located in Marigondon, Lapu-Lapu City.

Start of freediving lesson

We arrived at the place at around 10 AM. We were then greeted by the staff and signed the log sheet.

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A free shirt was given before we proceed to the area where we began our introductory lecture to free diving.

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The lecture began with a simple discussion about human limitations and how we can break them. The lecture also tackled short physiological explanations regarding breathing, human’s air dependency and the power of psychological conditioning. Everything that was lectured was then put into a demonstration.

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Matt is a long-time freediver.
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His heartbeat dropped drastically to 56 BPM.

After the basic lecture, the participants were then taught the basic breathing techniques. One of my frustrations during my early attempts of freediving was my breathing.

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Benjamin, a freediving instructor, on his lecture about breath control.

The lecture corrected some of my misconceptions and practices. It was a total mind-blowing segment for me. In relation with the breathing lecture, a short and fun competition was held of whom among the participants has the higher lung capacity.

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Testing our lung capacity.

I gladly participated but as I expected with my body size, my lung capacity barely touched the records of the bigger built participants. Anyway, as what I learned from the lecture, freediving is not all about the lung capacity. Rather, the body’s ability to efficiently utilize blood’s oxygen concentration and the diver’s mental strength also plays a critical role in freediving.

The application

Right after all the lectures, it was time for the practical breathing application. We then hit the shallow part of the beach. Further lecture and practical application on how to rescue and aid a fellow freediver were done on the water. Then the instructors tested our capabilities and limitations. One by one we held our breath on the water while the instructor took notes on our individual durations. I was really surprised to know that I can hold my breath for more than 2 straight minutes. I attest that mind conditioning really plays a big factor in freediving.

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A sumptuous meal was served after the whole activity. A few moments after, a yoga session was held. Yoga practices freedivers to relax and control breathing.

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I did not join the yoga session as I, personally, find the positions awkward to execute especially in open area where other people can see the session.

Up close with a freediving record holder

We had a window time to get to talk with Ms. Anna of Dynamic Sports, which by the way was also one of the sponsors of the event. Ms. Anna was the one who personally invited me to this event as endorsed by none other than the power couple from Adrenaline RomanceBut the highlight was when Ms. Anna introduced us to Thibault Guignes. Thibault is the owner, manager and at the same time instructor in Freedive HQ. He is a French National record holder for Free Immersion and has won multiple recognitions.

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We sat down and talked for several minutes with Thibault. We asked questions which he gladly answered. With just a short period, I’ve learned so much with regards to freediving. I am really impressed by how passionate these people are.

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Responsible Diving

A talk session regarding responsible diving was held by Juliana of Reef World Foundation spreading the Green Fins initiative. Green Fins is an international initiative that aims to increase public awareness and encourage government units, dive centers and local communities in contributing to the preservation of coral reefs and marine ecosystem.

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Here Julia discussing the Green Fins initiative.

After the talk, I am both happy and saddened. I am saddened by the fact that there are diving operators that do not care about the preservation of the corals. However, I am happy that an international body has started acting in helping spread the awareness of marine and coral conservation. As adventurers and social media influencers, it is also one of our calling to spread the awareness. You can learn more about the Green Fins advocacy on their website. They provide several free-to-download materials on their website. 

The core events ended after the talk with Julia. We then got our certificates for completing the basic introductory course for freediving.

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Together with me were fellow travel and adventure bloggers starting from the left:

About the Freedive HQ:

Freedive HQ Philippines aims to become one of the prominent hubs for freediving courses in Cebu and in the Philippines. Teaching basic to advance level diving courses. Not only that, they also comply with the Green Fins diving etiquette. Freedive HQ also offers accommodations for students and freedivers staying for more than a day. They also have a freediving equipment shop and a small cafe for the hungry visitors.

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You can book your freediving lessons by contacting their office.

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They sometimes roll-out promo rates, just keep updated by following them on their Facebook Page: Freedive HQ Philippines

 

Together, let’s help in protecting the marine ecosystem

I’ve been lecturing about LNT (Leave No Trace) principle over my blog posts. I believe LNT principle is not only applicable in the mountains but everywhere, even in the city.

Without humans, mother nature can live on. Without mother nature, humans cannot exist.

Leave No Trace.

Leave Nothing but Footprints, Take Nothing but Photos, and Kill Nothing but Time.

What you bring, take it back with you.

Dispose waste properly.

Leave what you find.

Respect wildlife.

 

 

 

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