Journey for history: Pinoy scientist says Emden Deep trip a homage to Philippine heritage

Davinci Maru, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 19 2021 03:53 PM

Journey for history: Pinoy scientist says Emden Deep trip a homage to Philippine heritage 1
Courtesy of Deo Florence Onda Facebook Page

MANILA - A Filipino scientist's upcoming journey to Emden Deep is a search for the country's extended heritage in the third deepest spot on Earth.

"I think it is important to put it on the map, to let most Filipinos know that we actually have an extension of our heritage down 10,000 kilometers, down the Philippine trench," Microbial oceanographer Dr. Deo Florence Onda told ANC Friday.

Onda is set to be the first Filipino to explore Emden Deep, which is located in the Philippine Trench and approximately 34,100 feet deep.

"What we will see is initial observation, it's just setting the record and trying to identify where the Emden Deep is.... Hopefully from those initial observations [that the government of the Philippines, the Filipino people will take more interest and hopefully would invest in more scientific endeavors in this region," he said.

Onda, who works at the University of the Philippines’ Marine Science Institute, was invited by private organization Caladan Oceanic in the expedition set to happen from March 22 to 28.

Joining him is undersea explorer Victor Vescovo, who holds the record for the deepest manned descent in the Mariana Trench in 2019. 

They will explore Emden Deep onboard the DSSV (deep submersible support vessel) Pressure Drop. The travel would take at least 10 hours, said Onda.

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To prepare for the historic attempt, Onda said he watched previous ocean explorations, accustomed himself being enclosed in a deep-sea submersible and "not to be surprised when things could go wrong."

"It will be a privilege that when I come back, I will be teaching something that is not just from the textbooks," he said.

"It's something that I have seen myself, I have experienced myself that not all people were able to experience. It is the Filipino people who will actually benefit from that and that's what I'm hoping for," Onda added.

The UP Marine Science Institute earlier touted the activity as a "major record-setting scientific and historic achievement."

“The Philippine Trench is a unique feature found within the EEZ of the Philippines, and it is only appropriate that a Filipino scientist be one of the first to hold this record in the Emden Deep,” it added.