My Scuba Diving Adventures and Underwater Photography begin here...

We all start somewhere

I can remember vividly the very first try dive I made in 2004. It was filled with excitement and much 
fear. I was someone not really fond of water and I really never knew how I passed my swim class requirement in high school.

The first moment of my try dive was actually wailing to my try dive instructor... "I dont want this anymore" after just being a few feet under several times.  He was patient & persistent and managed to get me relaxed and submerged beyond 10 feet, after that, I just couldn't stop finning.

After getting my open water certification in 2006, I couldn't stop rubber necking on other divers bringing down their underwater cameras & extend neck further while they show off their finds, In my mind, this was one branch of diving I would truly enjoy, so I bought an underwater camera and I've never stopped shooting since.  I've done several dive trips around Asia and I wouldn't care if I'm subjected to 16 hour bus rides, numerous flight transits, would roll solo and leave everything, so long as I am able to take & bring home underwater pictures. Its the Fun activity I was looking for all my life. One of my first photos with a Canon G9, no strobe

Kiba, Famous Anilao Turtle
I've always looked to the work of great underwater photographers, studied exif settings of the most stunning photos posted on flickr, lurked on every underwater camera store website during my free time while on land, researched on the best sites which yielded photogenic hard to find critters, I posted my photos on all underwater photography sites which encouraged sharing of underwater images...... it was an addiction, a passion which gave me direction. How I dreamed at the time that I could do this full time.

In December 2011, there was much politicking at my media advertising job where I was forced to pack my bags.... I left without a scene, called a friend  for some drinks to drown my sorrows. Then a dive buddy (stricken with the same addiction) shared that I won third place at a photo contest. I've never really considered myself a good photographer and was amused on the win. It made me smile at a trying time.

Since January of 2012, I took my dive master course with nothing else better to do, turned down several job offers and just dived & dived & took lots of photos. I had some videos which caught the eye of both ABS-CBN and GMA news and they have broadcasted my work. There was one 2009 video which I posted on youtube which was also bought by a Japanese TV station (in May 2012) so it may be used as part of their station id, was paid quite handsomely for it. I was quite active on some photo groups on Flickr & Facebook where I met several people and because of this, it led me to several freelance jobs, one was an expedition with CTSP-WWF which was my dream job and probably will remain my most cherished. Then through some friends, I was hired to document an artificial reef project in Subic which yielded an unexpected abundance of cool crazy critters. After a while, I had an offer to document the marine life around Romblon which today remains one of my most prolific trips ever, had a lot of first finds on that trip. Then in June of 2012, I had my first ever First place (in anything) with a Philippine National underwater photo contest. It was surreal.

I've used to organize a few fun dive trips since 2010. At this time, I'd take a few of my friends out, then at times when I roll solo, meet new buddies, again with the same addiction, stay in touch and for some reason, I got thrown into the organizing dive trips side of the business which I also enjoyed. I've assisted several of my friends find their way in Anilao and in turn have provided me doors to much opportunities. To date I have probably in partnership brought over 45 people diving in Anilao, helping them get the best critters at the best prices.

I know not where I am going, nor would want to expect my luck to stay, (In retrospect, I actually drowned a camera on a project, lost my favorite dive computer so wasn't really all that good)

but I'll continue to shoot, and continue helping out friends find their way around Diving Philippines. I still through my friends have roughly 54 people total coming over till December. Hoping they would enjoy diving Philippines as much as I have :)

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