Friday, December 9, 2016

Batangas Dive Pros Raise Funds for Environmental Education in Local Community, Improves Diving Industry Standards

By Arabelle Jimenez

Scuba diving in the Philippines is one of the major attractions that boosts the popularity of our country.  With the attention it gets from both the local and international scuba divers - including free divers, and technical divers, the communities where dive resorts are located bring with them a responsibility to preserve the marine ecosystem, and give education to the residents where they operate. 

Officers and members of the Batangas Dive Pros.
To uphold excellence of the diving industry standards, and influence the local community towards environment conservation, a group of  scuba instructors, dive masters and dive operators came together to form a non-profit organization aptly called, Batangas Dive Pros. 

Even at its early stages, the group has already created projects to help sustain and uplift the diving industry with worthy programs such as Basic Life Support (BLS) training, Trim and Propulsion seminars, and a planned dive guide training, particularly in the municipalities of Bauan, Mabini, and Tingloy in Batangas.

To help augment the needs of these worthwhile projects, the Batangas Dive Pros recently held a fund raising event, dubbed Narcosis 2: A Diver's Christmas Party for A Cause at the Crimson Hotel in Alabang, Muntinlupa City.

This became an opportunity for other divers and friends to support and be one in the goal of continuing these projects where they go diving, particularly at the Balayan Bay in Batangas. 

Supporters of Batangas Dive Pros composed of divers led by Gigi Santos, co-founder of Pacifica Dive (seated far right).

To date, a total of 104 local residents (bangkeros, dive guides, resort staff) has benefited in learning BLS, CPR and First Aid training, the printing of Emergency Assistance Plans, and setting up of emergency pick-up points for easy ambulance and boats to access nearby hospitals that exists around the Balayan Bay.

Author with Carmela Sevilla, president of Batangas Dive Pros with member Ricky Baccay.

It was a rare time to see scuba divers in the city, making the night even more fun. Exciting prizes were given away by major sponsor Scubapro, and secondary sponsors Undone Watches, Apo Reef Club, and Aquamundo. Resort sponsors also gave away overnight accommodations, plus many more prizes from minor sponsors went to lucky winners. 

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