Our Sea, Our Story: DOT Reforges Filipinos' Affinity with Water

The story of Filipinos is closely linked with the sea.

The story of Filipinos is closely linked with the sea. To speak of one is to speak of the other. Their relationship is so intimate that many places in Luzon, the Visayas, and Mindanao are named after water (Laguna, Lanao, Pasig, Suba). Water has been embedded in the very fabric of Filpino culture. Even their martial arts are like the movements and flow of water. 

The Department of Tourism  (DOT) encourages Filipinos to rediscover this ancient connection with water through Our Sea, Our Story—the theme of one of the world’s largest diving expo, the Philippine International Dive Expo or PHIDEX.

A Filipino Mother and Her Children at Sea

Photo by RaksyBH | Shutterstock.

Our Sea, Our Story

In its thrust to help support and sustain the country’s diving industry, the DOT is presenting this year’s PHIDEX via virtual conferencing from March 19 to 21, 2021. PHIDEX is the Philippines’ largest platform for the diving community since 2019. 


This year’s PHIDEX is themed “Our Sea, Our Story” to raise awareness about Filipinos’ connectedness to the sea and spur solutions into accelerating the industry’s recovery.

Diving With Whale Sharks in the Philippines

Photo by Soft_Light | Shutterstock.

“As the Philippines is known around the world for its diving destinations, it is truly important that we do everything we can to sustain the local diving industry,” said Berna Romulo Puyat, secretary of tourism. 

In 2020, the World Travel Awards recognized the Philippines as the world’s leading dive destination. Our Sea, Our Story aims to sustain that momentum. 

International Sea Experts Lend Their Voices for the Philippines

This year’s PHIDEX will host discussions and talks by a number of prominent international personalities who are experts on the sea.

Some notable names confirmed for the event are California Academy of Sciences curator Dr. Terry Gosliner, French-British underwater photographer Henley Spiers, Emmy Award-winning husband-and-wife documentary team Howard and Michele Hall, PADI ambassador and PCSSD commissioner Bo Mancao, University of the Philippines marine economist and community scientist Tara Abrina, and German underwater photographer Tobias Friedrich, to name a few. Each speaker will be going in depth on topics relevant to the diving industry and the protection of the Philippine seas.

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A Coral Reef in Balicasag Island, Philippines

Photo by Dudarev Mikhail | Shutterstock.

Expo participants will be able to view all these lectures and panel discussions on the event website, which will host three stages: the main stage, the expo stage, and the panel stage. The website will also serve as a space for divers and enthusiasts to purchase experiences and equipment from partners and exhibitors, as it will also have a virtual marketplace section called the Dive Travel Exchange, or TRAVEX.

Register for PHIDEX 2021 for free until March 21.

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Mario Alvaro Limos
Features Editor-at-Large
Mario Alvaro Limos is features editor-at-large at Esquire Philippines, and heads the Lifestyle and Esports content of SPIN.ph as its section editor. Email him at [email protected] and [email protected]
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