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Done and dusted: Pinoy scientist completes historic trip to Earth's 3rd deepest spot

By Bim Santos Published Mar 23, 2021 8:00 pm

A Filipino scientist has etched his name in history by successfully reaching the third deepest spot on Earth.

Dr. Deo Florence Onda has surfaced today after rdescending into Emden Deep, which is 34,100 feet or 10,400 meters in length located in the Philippine trench. By comparison, the peak of Mt. Everest measures at 29,035 feet.

Onda is a microbial oceanographer, associate professor, and deputy director for Research at the Marine Science Institute (MSI) of the University of the Philippines Diliman.

Onda was joined in the historic trip by Victor Vescovo, an American undersea explorer and private equity investor who has made history for descending to the deepest parts of Earth such as the Marianas Trench.

In his Facebook account, Onda shared a video clip of him with Vescovo as they touched down Emden Deep.

“I’m Deo and I’m with explorer Victor Vescovo so we are at the Emden Deep in the Philippine Trench. So Victor, what were the records that were made during this trip?” Onda said at the start of the video.

“This was the first crew descent into the bottom of the Philippine Trench and specifically into the Emden Deep, the deepest point in it. And it’s a privilege to be here with you, a member of the Philippines and we are glad that we were able to provide the vessel that allowed it to happen,” Vescovo then replied.

“I’m actually very honored to be part of this trip and sa mga Pilipino, ito po ang Emden Deep. Atin ito,” Onda said at the clip’s end as he showed a Philippine flag while beaming to the camera.

Onda was invited to join the trip by the private organization Caladan Oceanic, which is led by Vescovo.

The group, which aside from Onda and Vescovo was composed of an expedition team that included several Filipinos, set out to the Philippine Trench from Guam.

Onda poses with the crew and officers of the vessel DSSV Pressure Drop, operated by EYOS Expeditions and sponsored by Caladan Oceanic. Photo from Onda’s Facebook page.

“Part of the goal is to wave the Philippine Flag in the Emden Deep during its record-setting voyage, highlighting that it is an integral part of our nation’s heritage,” the UP MSI said in a press statement.

Banner photos from Onda's Facebook account