The first annual Philippine International Dive Expo (PHIDEX) was hosted by the Philippine Department of Tourism (PDOT) from September 20-22nd at the Hilton Conrad hotel and conference center in Manila. The dive expo brought together public and trade visitors as well as manufacturers, underwater photographers, and tourism organizations. There was an expo hall that also included a main stage where several panel discussions and talks took place.
The underwater photography panel discussion took place Saturday night at 5:30pm. The post happy hour start time made for a lively discussion between Lynn Funkhouser (moderator), Bo Mancao, Wowie Cai, Ram Yoro, Aaron Wong and Gutsy Tuason.
During PHIDEX the underwater film series Snake Sisters had its worldwide premiere. Additionally, both director and producer Yolanda and underwater actress Gina Lee were present.
Marine conservation was a hot topic that most panelists covered throughout the show. Additionally, attendees received reusable water bottles, metals straws, and there were glass bottles for drinking water.
Inspirational talks were given by many leaders in the dive industry including Ahmed Gabr who holds the world record scuba depth of 332.35 meters as well as Faisal Jawad Hassan who made the fastest 10km dive in 5 hours 24 minutes.
All in all it was a successful first show and Wetpixel looks forward to being a part of many more PHIDEX shows to come. Hopefully we will see even more familiar faces next year!