Take an exclusive look at the Philippine Trench’s bottom, known as the Emden Deep, in this first official dive video of Filipino scientist Deo Onda of the University of the Philippines along with Victor Vescovo, the only diver who has been to all five deepest points of the earth.
The YouTube video posted on April 2, 2021, by the Caladan Oceanic, organizers of the Emden Deep dive, shows footage of the preparation on board the DSSV Pressure Drop, the descent on board the DSV Limiting Factor, and surfacing of the dive team with Onda’s narration, his conversations with the American Vescovo, and clips from the crew briefings.
The UP Marine Science Institute’s Dr. Deo Florence Onda proudly introduces himself in the video as a Filipino oceanographer who researches the role of microorganisms in the ocean and is also involved in plastic and pollution studies.
Onda was invited to join the Emden Deep Dive as the Philippines’ representative to the historic first-ever visit to the Philippine Trench, the third deepest oceanic trench on earth after the Mariana Trench (1st) and the Tonga Trench (2nd).
Onda and Vescovo’s deep-sea exploration on March 23 is the first attempt to dive the bottom of the Philippine Trench. Onda has also become the deepest diving Filipino and the First Filipino to ever dive beyond 10,000 meters, reaching the bottom at 10,045 meters.
Onda notes the fact that the Emden Deep of the Philippine Trench is within the country’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) and that it is fitting to have a Filipino be the first to explore it.
Caladan Oceanic’s 2021 “Ring of Fire Pt II” Expeditions’ first official video made by Nick Verola shows the process of the dive and the excitement of the team as the two-man crew on board the DSV Limiting Factor descended and finally made a touchdown to the Emden Deep.
“There it is,” Onda declared as the Deep Submergence Vehicle (DSV) approached the bottom.
At 10,045 meters, the UP scientist declared, “This is the deepest part of the Philippine Trench.”
“The surface is not smooth,” observes the deepest diving Filipino. To which, Vescovo, the more experienced diver, responded, “No it’s not. It’s interesting.”
The two then congratulated each other for making it to the bottom of the Philippine Trench.
Vescovo proceeded to declare to its surface control that they did reach the bottom and are doing well. The report was met with cheers from the crew that included Filipinos onboard the Deep-Sea Support Vessel (DSSV).
Onda afterward observes, “There’s a lot of stuff on the seafloor.” Vescovo responds saying those were garbage at the bottom. “Debris down here is much more than I expected,” the deep-sea diver notes.
The Filipino oceanographer thereafter addresses the Filipino nation as he and his crewmate hold up the Philippine flag at the third deepest oceanic trench on the Earth: “Sa mga Pilipino, ito po ang Emden Deep. Atin ito!”
The men surfaced safely after the 12-hour dive and were met by even more cheers and embrace from the ship’s crew.
“The experience of just going there is like going in another world and that’s really awesome. But I hope this trip or journey itself would inspire more Filipinos to dream, more Filipinos to be more ambitious with their journeys in life.
“And I hope it would also inspire more younger Filipinos to become scientists, to become marine scientists, or to become just explorers!” shared Onda.
The Filipino oceanographer also shares his hopes for what comes after the dive: “Through this, you’ll be able to experience Emden Deep through my experiences. And from there hopefully, we do more things to care more for the environment, to actually protect it, to conserve it, and preserve it.”
In his social media posts about his deep-sea dive, Onda showed just how proud he is of being Filipino- in addition to bringing the Philippine flag, he also wore a t-shirt bearing the Philippine map including its territorial waters, brought down to the deep the Pinoy bread with coconut filling, the pan de coco made by the ship’s pastry chef, Whern Carvajal, and declared lugaw as an essential food he ate before diving down.
In 2019, UP alumna and marine geophysicist Jenny Barretto discovered the world’s largest caldera within the Philippines’ Benham Rise.
WATCH the first Philippine Trench Emden Deep dive 1st official video of Deo Onda and Victor Vescovo here and SHARE THIS STORY to spread the story of this historic achievement!
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