Tuesday, September 15, 2015

DRT Dive Expo Philippines 2015

Last weekend 11-13 of Sep 2015 was held international DRT Dive Expo Philippines 2015. DRT means Diving, Resort and Travel. The venue was in SM Megatrade Convention Center in Ortigas. I visited in DRT on Saturday.
One big group of the exhibitors were local dive shops. They were selling all kind of dive gears, camera equipments, dive trips, etc. In practice everything from the basic equipments to advanced tech diving and all levels of underwater photographers.
Another big group in the event were dive resorts. Most of the dive resorts were from Philippines, but also other countries like Indonesia and Thailand.

Almost immediately after I came to the exhibition hall I met coincidentally Finnish Saila, who was promoting Atmosphere Resort in Dumaguete. Apo Island is very well known diving place near Dumaguete and the resort have dive trips also to the island. Sea turtles are very common in Apo area.
I met also Finnish couple Pekka and Tiina in the Expo, who were promoting totally new dive resort in Tablas called First Buddy. They have already dive shop in Phuket Thailand, but they will open now new one to Tablas in Philippines. Grand opening will be 19th of Sep 2015, if I remember correctly.

Pekka told the area is new for diving and the reefs are still totally untouchable. They have also accommodation available. New places are always welcome and would be interested to visit.
For me the most interesting thing in DRT was the underwater photography seminars. This was the program for all 3 days.

First seminar on Saturday was Jerome Kim´s (South Korea) topic Romblon: The New Macro Heaven.
Jerome has specialized for UW macro photography and the shots were simply incredible. The creatures can be super small. The smallest are only 1-2mm long and can be partly transparent. This means it´s also very difficult to take photos. He told sometimes he had to use the whole one dive to get only one good shot of one creature.

He showed very cool pictures of tiny nudis, flatworms, etc.
More Jerome´s amazing UW macro photos in his gallery.

Amanda Cotton (USA) had totally different kind of seminar topic: Diving with Dinosaur - Encountering the American Crocodile.
Amanda told her project from Banco Chinchorro in Mexico, where they have studied the behavior of Amarican Crocodiles. The idea of diving or snorkeling with crocodiles sounds totally crazy, but according her presentation it can be possible.

The place in Mexico is very shallow and the water is crystal clear. The biggest crocodiles can be more than 4 meters, so the safety is very important.
Scott Gutsy Tuason (Philippines) was the next one and he told about Black Water Photography in his relax way.
Basic idea of the Black Water Photography is to go to the middle of open sea after sunset, where the sea is deep enough. First the lights will be set to the 20m long rope with the weight. The lights will create a light tunnel, which attracts the fishes and other creatures to near the rope. Gutsy told the best time for the Black Water Photography is starting around 10PM. At night there come lots of creatures from the depth, which never comes near the surface in the day time.

Gutsy´s photos are very impressive.
Some creatures are extremely rare to see.
Great UW photos around the Philippines.
Diver with Jacks in Tubbataha - Photographer: Alex Mustard (UK)
I met in the Expo also my dive buddy Romel from Puerto Princesa, Palawan. He is very experienced dive instructor and knows the Puerto Princesa dive spots very well. You can contact him via his web page Dive Puerto Princesa.
DRT was very good event and must visit for all who are interested about diving, snorkeling or just marine life. I really liked the seminars. Hopefully DRT it will be also next year 2016.

Regards from DRT Philippines,

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