Bohol’s Sama Tribe freediving featured on Netlfix Home Game series

HSBC Philippines
Netlfix Sama Tribe freediving
Freedivers go into the water as deep as they can on a single breath to explore their limits. Screenshot from Home Game’s trailer on Youtube.

Bohol’s Sama Tribe freediving is featured in the new Netflix docuseries, Home Game.

The popular movie platform premiered Home Game on June 26, 2020, highlighting some of the most dangerous and traditional sports in the world, with freediving listed among the 8 sports presented.

Freediving is presented in the documentary as a necessity for the Sama Tribe and a way to achieve mental stability.

The clip on the Philippines’ freediving sport in Panglao, Bohol, can be seen on Home Game Episode 3 featuring Eldio “Imam” Gulisan, one of the most naturally gifted deep-sea divers in the world and a member of the indigenous tribe, Sama.

Episode 3 focused on Imam who joined “Deeper Blue”, an annual freediving competition held in Panglao. Imam aimed to set a national record in the Philippines’ 67-meter dive and to raise awareness about the Sama tribe.

Imam reached the depth of 67 meters but unfortunately, some protocols were not followed and the national record was not achieved. But Imam later set the Philippine National Record at the Japan Cup in 2019.

Freediving is presented in the documentary as a necessity for the Sama Tribe and a way to achieve mental stability. Imam affirmed this saying, “I want to catch it (big fish) so I can have something for my family’s needs.”

“I love the sea because I was born here. I was always diving until my diving went deeper and deeper. I am happy when I’m in deep. I can see things. There are no disturbances. It’s peaceful,” Imam said.

Freediving instructor Carlo Navarro affirmed Imam’s view, saying, “Everybody thinks it’s about techniques, but it’s actually about being calm.”

Like any other sports, freediving also has its rules such as:

  • Declaration of depth they intend to dive
  • Retrieving the cards left at the bottom of stated depth
  • 15-second protocol when divers come up (removing facial gear, giving visual and verbal “okay”)
  • Diver’s mouth must remain above the surface
  • Judges weigh in one of three cards:
    a. White – all rules have been followed
    b. Yellow – some penalties
    c. Red – disqualification

Hundreds of divers compete every year even despite the dangerous sport. But for the Sama tribe, they are simply born into it.

The beauty of the Philippines and its culture has been featured in several shows.

Palawan Island in the Philippines was a featured location on the Season 3 premiere of the HBO hit series, Westworld.

Hollywood’s top comedian Jo Koy showcased his Filipino heritage on his new Netflix show, “In His Elements”, streamed on June 2020, Philippine Independence Day.

SEND CHEERS in the comments below to Bohol’s Sama Tribe for showcasing Philippine freediving on the Netflix Home Game!

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