Asia Dive Expo 2006 at Suntec Convention Center, Singapore
After three weeks in Palau and Yap at the Digital Shootout 2006, I flew to Singapore for this year's Asian Dive Expo (ADEX) through my favorite transfer city, Manila. Edmund Tee of FiNS Magazine was waiting for me in the arrivals area and was wearing a black FiNS shirt.
"I only wore the shirt so you would recognize me," he clarified. I believe him at the time, but during the entire weekend I never saw him wearing anything else, and thus can only conclude that the only shirt he owns is that black, FiNS polo shirt! Later on in the weekend, Edmund confessed that he had been worried about having made a relationship with me when he saw me walk out of the arrivals area; I hadn't had a haircut due for about two months due to continuous travel, which had given me a respectable afro -- for an Asian guy! (I had it fixed the next day. :)
ADEX is tiny compared to shows in the United States and Europe, and I was told beforehand by more than one person to "not expect much." But what I discovered when I arrived was a tight network of dive operators, tourism representatives, manufacturers, distributors, publishers, editors, and photographers working together to further the industry as a whole (for the most part). Three days hardly seemed like enough time to meet and befriend all of the people I wanted to see, and evenings were spent out dining and hanging out at bars, often into the early hours of the morning.
I spent much of my time at ADEX with the FiNS crew (Tony Wu, Edmund Tee, Paul Lees), Jason Heller (DivePhotoGuide), Peter Mooney (Scubapix), the Scubazoo boys (Simon Christopher, Jason Isley, and Matthew Oldfield), En-Lai Yeoh (AP), Stephen Wong, Takako Uno, William Tan, Wetpixel members Cor Bosman, Julie Edwards, Paul Ng, Lena Goh, and Mathieu Meur, and folks representing diving in Papua New Guinea (Vilia Lawrence, Max Benjamin, and others)
Events of note:
- April 20: "Digital Duo" talk by Tony Wu and Eric Cheng at the Canon Digital Media Hub. Tony talked about photographing whales, and Eric talked about photographing sharks.
- April 21: FiNS dinner at the Hard Rock Cafe. Food, drink, and fantastic company!
- April 23: Celebrate the Sea "Heroes" event: Neville Colman showed a bunch of undescribed worms, and Ron and Valerie Taylor talked about their lifetime with sharks.
- AsianDiver and CTS photo contest winners (see below)
- Ron Stevens (Rogest), the Scubazoo guys, and Mathieu Meur were signing books all weekend
- Larry Tackett was seen wandering around the expo floor after spending a month in Rajah Ampat
- Stephen Wong and William Tan gave a slideshow of their time in Gorontalo (where you can be hosted by the governor, who is an avid diver!)
- Peter Mooney fell off of a bench at a bay in Clarke Quay and ended up on the sidewalk outside, missing one shoe
Special thanks to Tony Wu and Emiko Miyazaki, who hosted me and went out of their way to make me feel at home during my first time in Singapore. Thanks also to Edmund Tee and Paul Lees, and to Paul Ng, Lena Goh, and En-lai Yeoh, who came to ADEX to hang out with me (they probably had other things planned as well, but I like to think that I was the draw. :).
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