Freediving certification course is more than just obtaining a certification itself. One may go on freediving without it but doing so is also choosing to dive with risks without knowing what these actually are; or knowing little about it yet not on how to deal with it. Being certified, on the other hand, may seem unnecessary but getting into it would tell you otherwise. It helps freediver understand Freediving even more as they elevate their skills, too. If you decide to level up your freediving skills and knowledge, here are the things that you need to know when getting a Freediving Certification in the Philippines!
Importance of Freediving Certification
Deeper Understanding of Freediving
Certification courses allow the freediver to deeply understand Freediving. It details the science behind it – the anatomy, the physiology, even the physics; its disciplines, the techniques for a safe and efficient dive and a lot more. Just when we thought that we know a lot already about it for years of doing it, there are still areas that we need to be familiar with. In this way, we know better as to what are we putting ourselves into especially when we dive.
It all goes down to safety. It may be an exaggeration to say that getting a certification saves a life but it really is. Here’s why. While Introduction to Freediving courses discuss the importance of safety and touch a few of the risks that freedivers may encounter, the depth of information is lacking (unless the instructor goes into details even beyond what the course itself has to offer).
Freediving certification courses (especially the advance ones) detail the different risks and the appropriate safety and rescue practices for each. To be certified, the freediver has to successfully perform these practices in the simulation. We may do learn from the readily available information online and in modules and perhaps practice it with our dive buddies but it would still be different to perform such with a certified instructor. Instructors could point out what exactly do we need to work on as we do the simulation.
You may also want to read: Choosing the Right Dive Buddy
Available Freediving Certification in the Philippines
The first thing that you need to decide about before getting a Freediving certification is why and what would you want your Freediving journey is all about. Another point to consider is what do these organizations that you are choosing from require to become a certified instructor. In this way, you would know what your instructors capabilities are; hence, gain more confidence in him or her. Below are the list of Freediving Certifying organizations also present in the Philippines that you may want to consider:
AIDA or Association Internationale pour le Développement de l’Apnée, is among the biggest Freediving certifying organization present in the Philippines and worldwide. This organization started in 1992 and it only focuses on Freediving. AIDA certified freedivers could easily join pool and depth competitions.
You may also want to read: Getting AIDA 2 Certified by the Pinay Freediver
If you are into extremely technical and all-around competitive freediving, then, Molchanovs is the best certification for you. It is an organization that is entirely all about freediving and the only one that requires CNF (Constant Weight No Fins) and DNF (Dynamic No Fins) skills. This organization has higher skill requirements compared to the others, too. Among the perks of being Molchanovs certified by the way are getting discounts to Molchanovs gear, access to training platform and even excellent materials for remote or online education.
SSI stands for SCUBA Schools International. Don’t be confused, though. Though the organization initially started with SCUBA, they have been teaching and certifying Freedivers for a long time now, too. Like Molchanovs and AIDA, SSI you may also find schools and organizations of it in most places globally. However, there are only few SSI Freediving instructors known in the country.
RAID or Rebreather Association of International Divers, like PADI and SSI, are organizations that initially started with SCUBA diving eventually expanding and offering Freediving certifications, too. Similar with SSI, RAID also has a basic freediving certification course starting at a 5-meter depth or a Freediver course with a 20-meter max depth. The most basic intro courses can be skipped. Thus, one could start with the Freediver course right away.
PADI or Professional Association of Diving Instructors is the biggest and widely recognized diving organization and agency worldwide. Like SSI and RAID, PADI started as an agency for SCUBA divers later on developed certification courses for freedivers, too. If you want to finish the knowledge development phase at your own pace, the PADI freediving certification course could work best for you. PADI strongly believes that “progress at one’s pace” could make one a competent freediver. While it is the biggest, there are only few known PADI freediving certified instructors and schools in the country.
Could I shift from One Freediving Training Organization to Another?
Generally speaking, yes. You can complete an AIDA certification and switch to Molchanovs or SSI eventually. You can also get SSI certified and switch to AIDA. However, crossing over from Molchanovs to the other might pose a challenge since it’s said that the other organizations do not recognize the training practices and skills that it has (e.g.: lung packing). There might be challenges but it’s still possible.
To cross over, there are certain requirements and evaluation that the freediver has to succeed and there are only certain levels that one could cross into (i.e. AIDA 2 to Molchanovs Wave 1). Fees is almost the same as getting certified again.
Skill Requirements for a Freediving Certification
Skill requirements vary from an organization to another. To give you an idea about what you need to prepare, here’s a list of the usual required skills of the organizations:
- a percentage rate of at least 75% in the written Theory Examination
- STA or Static Apnea
- Depth (vary depending on the level of certification) reached in either CWT or Constant Weight/ FIM or Free Immersion in the open water
- Depth (vary depending on the level of certification) reached in CNF or Constant Weight No Fins (Molchanovs) in the open water
- Distance (vary depending on the level of certification) reached in DYN or Dynamic Bi-Fins at the Confined Water/ Pool
- Distance (vary depending on the level of certification) reached in Dynamic No Fins at the Confined water/ Pool (Molchanovs)
- Confined water/ Pool and Open Water Safety or rescue (varies depending on the level of certification)
How Much Does a Freediving Certification in the Philippines Cost?
Philippines is honestly one of the few countries where you can get Freediving certification for less. Take note though that the certification course varies from one school to another. In the Philippines, certification ranges from Php 10,000.00 to Php 30,000.00 (200 to 600usd). Some of the organizations aforementioned offer the most basic certification which ranges at Php 6,000 to Php 8,000.00. These rates are inclusive of the learning materials, instructors and e-certificate processing fees. Other fees covering accommodation, gear rental and other fees are not included.
Where can I get a Freediving Certification in the Philippines?
Take note: Only certified instructors associated with any of the organizations aforementioned could certify another freediver. Among the top and trusted Freediving schools that you may want to certify you are the following:
- Pinay Freediver – Manila and Batangas-based AIDA certifying school
- Ocean Limits Ph – Batangas-based Molchanovs certifying school
- No Fins Freediver – Batangas-based Molchanovs certifying school
- Seazoned Philippines – Batangas and Manila-based AIDA certifying school
- Freedive Tribe Ph – Batangas-based Molchanovs certifying school
- Manumano Freediving – Batangas-based AIDA certifying school
- Azul Freediving – Manila and Batangas-based RAID certifying school
- Freedive Panglao – Panglao-based AIDA certifying school
- M’Ocean Freediving – Panglao-based Molchanovs certifying school
- Blue Freedom Apnea – Bohol-based AIDA certifying school
- SeaQuest Bohol – Bohol-based PADI (Freediving) certifying school
- Ocean BlueX – Mactan, Cebu-based Molchanovs certifying school
- Freedive Academy – Panglao-based AIDA, Molchanovs and SSI certifying school
In this journey to certification, you would also learn that you may finish your certification in six months to one year under different instructors. For instance, if you are a Manila-based freediver who opt to be certified by a school in Bohol yet were not able to finish it during your stay in there; you may continue your certification under a different instructor yet in the same organization where you started in Manila or some place else.
Get Certified Today!
These are basically the things that you need to know and prepare for shall you decide to get certified as a Freediver. If you decide to take the sports seriously and maybe do it for years, then, a certification could be of importance. The best time to do so is now. Currently, a lot of the aforementioned schools are offering huge discounts on certification courses.
Help us improve this post! Let us know of any freediving schools with certified instructors especially about the ones based in Mindanao! Let us know through the comments section.