Kadayawan Sama Freediving Contest 2013

1st Kadayawan Sama Freediving Contest

Davao City, Philippines- Sports.
1st Kadayawan Sama Freediving Contest
Kauman Sama Online helped organize a new event for this Kadayawan.  The City Tourism Office described it as the most unique event of this year’s lineup.  Kadayawan is a festival that focuses on Davao’s tribes.  The Sama are one of Davao’s recognized 11 tribes.   Each of these tribes has crafts, music, dancing and various cultural talents that make them unique.  The Sama are excellent freedivers.  They are indeed so good that 18 divers surpassed the deepest dive recorded in a Philippine’s National Competition.

What is freediving?

It is more commonly known by locals as diving mono-mono.  No scuba tanks.  No air pumped through compressors.  1 breath.  1 dive.  Only a few minutes to reach the surface again after enduring the strain that diving puts on one’s lungs, eardrums, & whole body.  Our contest falls into the category of: No Limits Apnea, however we did limit the diving to the traditional Sama way of diving, what we are now calling “Rod & Line”.

The Sama Divers

18 Contestants participated from several Sama communities.  Some are the Sama Dilaut, known to many as the Badjao.  Some are Muslim Sama.  Sama with ancestors from the Siasi area and smaller villages such as Silumpak and Laminusa.  18 of these divers proved to be able to reach at least 100ft or by their measurements 20 d’ppa (approximately a fathom).

Competition Stats

1st Round Stats

The goal of the first round was to demonstrate diver’s ability to dive 20 d’ppa (approximately 100 feet).  Several divers stuck to this measurement were a few went quite farther.  Many of the first round divers could have had deeper stats, but finished their diving after the first round since they did not want to try to go deeper than the leading dives of this round.
Jockley 111 ft. (22 d’ppa) 1:55
Jikirun 92 ft. (18 d’ppa) 1:25
Asman 81 ft. (16 d’ppa) 1:46
Imam Eldio Gulisan 157 ft. (31 d’ppa)  3:00* Longest dive of the day.
Momel Sobang 129 ft.(25 d’ppa) 1:23
Marselo Laullang 159 ft. (31 d’ppa) 2:10
Laullang Jalman 102 ft. (20 d’ppa) 1:20
Samson Lampinigan 112 ft. (22 d’ppa) 1:32
Jahari 133 ft. (26 d’ppa) 1:51
Pangsutan 180 ft. (36 d’ppa) 2:28  Top dive of the first round.
Keya Turani 109 ft. (21 d’ppa) 2:03
Abdulsali Ambalaya 122 ft. (24 d’ppa) 2:14
Edi Ambalaya 119 ft. (23 d’ppa) 1:54
Nasahali Musahali 152 ft. (30 d’ppa) 1:58
160 ft. (32 d’ppa) 1:57 3rd deepest dive of the first round.  Nasahali dove twice in the first round by accident.
Jack Murry Dabtar 165 ft. (33 d’ppa) 2:58 2nd deepest dive of the first round.
Juli Misuari 113 ft. (22 d’ppa) 2:15
Ronald Hakim 127 ft. (25 d’ppa) 2:11
Solomon Dabtar 148 ft (29 d’ppa) 2:19
*Haimi Sultarani qualified for the event with a dive of 120 ft. (24 d’ppa) but was unable to attend.

2nd Round Stats

Divers were informed that to place they would have to dive deeper than 160 ft (32 d’ppa).  Divers were told if they failed to dive deeper than 160 this round they would knocked out of this round.  The following divers elected to continue:
Imam Eldio Gulisan 199 ft. (39 d’ppa) 2:00
Jack Murry Dabtar 216 ft. (43 d’ppa) 2:00 3rd Deepest dive of the 2nd round.
Juli Misuari 201 ft. (40 d’ppa) 1:46
Edi Ambalaya (Chose to withdraw after depth needed to reach 40 d’ppa to place)
Marselo Laullang (Chose to withdraw after depth needed to reach 40 d’ppa to place)
Ronald Hakim 163 ft.(32 d’ppa)
Solomon Dabtar 231 ft. (46 d’ppa) 2:06 2nd Deepest dive of the 2nd round. 3rd Deepest dive of the competition.
Nasahali Musahali 242 ft. (48 d’ppa) 2:32 Deepest dive of the 2nd round. 2nd Deepest dive of the competition.

3rd Round Stats

This was diver’s last chance to dive deeper in order to change their standing in the rankings.  Solomon, Ronald, Juli, & Jack Murry elected to dive.
Juli Misuari 260 ft. (52 d’ppa) 2:03 Deepest dive of the competition.
Ronald (withdraw)
Jack Murry 216 ft. (43 d’ppa) 1:56
Solomon 227 ft. (45 d’ppa) 2:19

Special Stats

Solomon Dabtar in 3 dives dove a total of 606 ft. (121 d’ppa)
Jack Murry in 3 dives dove a total of 597 ft. (119 d’ppa)
Juli Misuari in 3 dives dove a total of 574 ft. (114 d’ppa)
Nasahali Musahali in 3 dives dove a total of 554 ft. (110 d’ppa)
Sama divers in around 3 hours dove a total of 4426 ft. (885 d’ppa)
The total time Sama divers spent underwater for the competition was 56 minutes.
Top 10 Divers
1. Juli Misuari 260ft, 201ft
2. Nasahali Musahali 248ft, 160ft, 152ft
3. Solomon Dabtar 231ft, 227ft, 148ft
4. Jack Murry Dabtar 216ft, 216ft, 165 ft
5. Imam Eldio Gulisan 199ft, 157ft
6. Pangustan 180ft
7. Ronald Hakim 163ft
8. Marselo Laullang 159ft
9. Jahari 133ft
10. Momel Sobang 127ft

Competition Videos

The Freediving Contest Event

At 8am on Thursday, August 15th, 2013 the contestants gathered at Sta Ana. Wharf.  Wolfgang Dafert’s team from Freediving Philippines gave a demonstration of safety measures and current practices in freediving to the contestants and the public.  At 9am the Sama boats and a larger dive boat commandeered by Carabao Dive Shop set out towards Talikud island.
From 10:30 to 1:30, the divers made their dives.  Freediving Philippines provided the safety freedivers and the competition judges.
An award ceremony was held at Magsaysay park at 3:30 pm on August 15th, 2013  featuring a Sama cultural presentation of  pangigal by Amina Mandaling & pictures of Sama life & work by Kauman Sama Online. Video clips were shown from the days dives.  Raffles were given to the divers, sponsored by Freediving Philippines & Aquamondo.
1st Prize ₱7,000 Golden Diver Award was given to Juli Misuari
2nd Prize ₱5,000 Silver Diver Award was given to Nasahali Musahali
3rd Prize ₱3,000 Bronze Diver Award was given to Solomon Dabtar
Consolation Prizes in the form of cash and rice were given to all contestants along with a Certificate of Excellence.


Sponsor of the Sama Divers: Freediving PhilippinesSinama.org Kauman Sama Online

Sponsoring the Sama Freedivers: Hammerhead Spearguns

Rod and Line Diving

This is the traditional way that the Sama dive when attempting to reach the deeper limits of the sea.  Their fishing partner in the boat above has the diver tied or linked to one line which is tied onto the outriggers of their boat.  Another line is tied to a 3-7 kilo rod.  The Sama diver jumps, sometimes head first and sometimes feet first, into the water while holding on to the rod.  The rod is pulled up first by the fishing partner.  When the Sama diver is ready to return, he gives a tug on his own rope and he is pulled to the surface by his partner.  Usually the diver has held his breath for 2 minutes or more before he comes back to the surface.  Sama fisherman have been known to reach depths as deep as 60 dꞌppa (300-360ft).  We will see if this is true.

Goals of the Event

  • Increase awareness in the Davao area about the Sama tribe.  Many government offices and schools are unaware that the Sama are indigenous to the Davao region.
  • Honor the Sama people.  Overall perception of the Sama people in urban areas of the Filipinos is in many cases degrading towards them.  Sama are a peace loving people and very hard working.  We would like to make this known.
  • Though using the term Badjao would highly increase the marketability of this event, we hope to increase the awareness of Filipinos about the Sama tribe, therefore not limiting the competition only to the Sama Dilaut (known by many as the Badjao) but including other Sama groups who are skilled at diving as well.
  • Promote the sport of freediving among the scuba diving community as well as the Philippines as a whole.
  • Set national records for the sport of freediving.
  • Provide opportunities for a few exceptionally skilled Sama divers.

Current Philippine Records

The Free Immersion record of 32 meters by Carmelo Navarro still stands in its discipline.  Formally it was also the deepest dive recorded in the Philippines while in competition.  The new national record set in the No Limits Category of Freediving as well as in the Rod & Line traditional discipline now stands at 260 ft or 79 meters.  The record holder is Juli Misuari.

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