Closer look at Team Philippines 2018

In the months leading up to Asian Freediving Cup 2018, we will present some of the athletes participating. A natural place to start is the host country: Philippines.

After having no locals for two years running in our main competition, we’re happy to welcome six local athletes this year. The Filipino delegation is lead by two national record holders, which are also the deepest male and female athletes of the country.

Martin Zapanta

Update 2018-02-28: After this article was posted it has been decided that Martin will not join as an athlete and instead be part of the organizing team. That’s what happens when you’re a world class videographer / photographer, and only national level athlete.

Philippine national record holder Martin Zapant

Martin the deepest Filipino competitive freediver. He is a four time national record holder, and the current holder of two records (52m FIM / 42m CNF). He started freediving in 2013 following a near drowning incident in 2010.Martin has chosen Asian Freediving Cup for his comeback in competitive freediving after spending the last two years in the corporate world in Manila. He recently finished his instructor course with Stefan, and we’re happy to welcome him as a part of the team at Freedive Panglao from February 2018.

Martin is also a professional underwater photographer and video maker.

AIDA profile: Martin Zapanta

Maria Noella Zosa (Wei)

Philippine national record holder Maria Noella Zosa of Free Immersion Moalboal
Philippine national record holder Maria Noella Zosa of Free Immersion Moalboal

Wei started freediving in March 2016 at Freedive 101 in Cebu. From then on, she has kept fun diving with friends and developed more love for the sport and the ocean.

She is the deepest female competitive freediver in the Philippines after she made her so far only national record of 45m FIM in Freedive Panglao August Minicompetition 2017.

She finished her instructor course with Adam Stern in November 2017 and has recently started a freediving/yoga business in Cebu, Free Immersion Moalboal, together with her coach and other AFC athlete, Mikey.

AIDA profile: Maria Noella Zosa

Aldric Vincent Suan

RAID Instructor Aldric Vincent Suan

Aldric has chosen Asian Freediving Cup as the area for his competitive debut. He is a Cebu based visual artist who frequently seeks new adventures. Inspired by the photographic medium’s ability to express his inner thoughts, he pursued the art full time. His thirst for the extraordinary led him to explore the world of underwater photography. The exceptional breath holding abilities of his underwater models sparked his curiosity and thus he embarked on his freediving journey in the first quarter of 2017.

His growing passion for the sport led him to train full time in FreediveHQ, finally finishing his RAID freediving instructor course in November 2017.

AIDA profile: Aldric Vincent Suan

Marese Secades

PADI Instructor Marese Secadesof Apnea Philippines
PADI Instructor Marese Secades of Apnea Philippines

Marese has always been inclined to the aquatic life swimming at the age of 3 and a red cross lifeguard at 12. She started Freediving in April 2016 and left the corporate world to pursue depth in the water and in life.

She found her way to getting formal trainings in Bohol, Cebu and Bali and has been teaching for the past year as the founder of Apnea Philippines that provides accessible and affordable Freediving courses for Filipinos.

Marese became a PADI instructor autumn 2017 after winning Adam Stern’s deep week scholarship. She spends her time teaching in Batangas, South Luzon, but can also be found travelling around the Philippines teaching freediving.

AIDA profile: Marese Secades

Lady Lisondra

RAID Instructor Lady Lisondra
RAID Instructor Lady Lisondra

Lady is a RAID freediving instructor, registered nurse, and an activist who works on issues concerning Adolescent Health and HIV. She participated in sports like Archery, Wushu, Yoga Aerial Dance and Parkour.

Lady started freediving after experiencing multiple injuries from several sports in 2013. She is a member of SISID and Dive ta Bai. Both organizations promote environmental awareness and conservation through safe and responsible freediving.

Lady has no competitive experience, but she has taken part of competitions before, as part of the medical team.

AIDA profile: Lady Lisondra

Gen Abanilla

Gen Abanilla of Seazoned Philippines
Gen Abanilla of Seazoned Philippines

Gen is a Batangas-raised Pinay who, although grew up by the shore, had no swimming skills at all. With a background of events management and digital marketing, Gen left the corporate world in late 2016 to pursue her passion, Freediving, through her company, Seazoned Philippines.

With over a thousand students taught about skin diving in just two years, Gen believes that this sport will grow dramatically in the Philippines. She is currently working towards her AIDA instructor course in Cebu, hoping to give back more to her Seazoned students and to all Filipinos.

AIDA profile: Gen Abanilla

Predictions for team Philippines

Freediving in the Philippines has evolved a lot the last years, so we expect several Filipino national records to be set during the competition. It would not be surprising if we have six new Philippine national records by the end of AFC 2018.

In both the men and women competition we have many strong divers signed up. As a result it might be difficult for the Philippine divers to reach the podium, especially in the Men’s category.  The distance up to the women is not as far, but there is still quite a gap. With some good training and three solid dives during the competition we might see a Filipina getting near, or maybe on, the podium.

On the waiting list:

  • National record holder Odessa Bugarin (STA 04:36).
  • Michael Lazaro, deepest doctor in the Philippines.
  • AIDA Instructor Cezar Sayosay.

One Comment Add yours

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s