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Presidential son Baste Duterte dives in Apo Island in Negros, visits Siquijor for his television show

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DUMAGUETE CITY — Yes, Presidential son Sebastian “Baste” Duterte is now in show business.


After being linked to show business personalities, the goodlooking son of President Rodrigo Duterte jumped to show business and is now a host of a television show.


Duterte has began to shoot scenes for the program called “Lakbai” with co-host funnyman Bogart the Explorer. The show will be aired on TV5 reportedly starting May.


Baste will feature the world-renowned dive destination Apo Island in Negros Oriental and the nearby province of Siquijor in his travel show on the national TV network.


“Baste” Duterte, the youngest son of President Rodrigo Duterte, sailed to Apo Island from Dauin last week along with his TV crew.


While in Apo Island, he went scuba diving and got first-hand experience of swimming with the sea turtles and saw the vast coral reefs and rich marine biodiversity there.


Apo Island is a protected landscape and seascape and is popular not just for scuba diving and snorkeling but also because of its remarkable community-based resource management program.


The young Duterte arrived at the Dumaguete-Sibulan airport  and proceeded first to Zamboanguita, a town in the south, where he jammed with some musicians before returning to Dumaguete where he stayed overnight at a local hotel.


The young Duterte  stayed overnight in Apo Island and then proceeded to Siquijor. 


Duterte will personally tour around the country for his show  “Lakbai” on TV5.


Since his appearance in the election campaign, his charming looks and down-to-earth personality have driven ladies to admire him prompting many to suggest that he host a show.


Baste is a seasoned surfer and diver as shown in a video showing him surfing and his good body.


The rich marine life of Negros Oriental was the key that opened doors to several jobs in the tourism industry. Among these, were underwater guides and emergency responders.


Just recently, 12 boys and four girls completed courses for dive master (DM), advanced open water (OPW) and emergency first response (EFR), which brought them a step closer to becoming professionally trained divers, according to the Department of Tourism (DOT).


Upon securing their certification from the Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI), the young divers can start guiding foreign and Filipino underwater enthusiasts in hopping to Apo Island from other dive sites in Siquijor Island, Oslob, Cebu and Panglao, Bohol, PNA reported.


Among the young divers was 20-year-old Mark Cyrel Mendez who signed up for scuba diving training offered by a volunteer group of French divers, Plongeurs de Monde, when he was only 13. The French diver group visited his native Apo Island in Negros Oriental back in 2011.


Before he signed up, Mendez could only dream of getting through high school. Now, Mendez has graduated to professional scuba diving after seven years of training.


He said that he would continue professional scuba diving while pursuing his civil engineering course at a Dumaguete City college.


“Our country and our seas are so rich. There is no reason for Filipinos to stay poor,” Mendez said.


Plongeurs Philippines head Laurent Martin welcomed this development, noting that there was still hope” for promising deep-sea divers like Mendez.


“Hope floats for these promising young deep-sea divers who honed not only the nitty-gritty of scuba diving but also deepened their appreciation of marine life,” Martin said.


Plongeurs founding member, Roger Gugliemi said that the program is also meant to raise the young divers’ awareness for the protection of the environment and attain economic freedom by gaining a professional skill in diving.


The 16 Apo kids join some 300 young “ploogners” certified master divers in countries such as Sri Lanka, Vietnam, Morocco, Oman, and Tanzania, Dominica.


Tourism Undersecretary and Philippine Commission on Sport Scuba Diving (PCSSD) chair Kat de Castro welcomed the efforts of the French diver group noting that they have helped contribute to a meaningful inclusive tourism program.


The Plongeurs program, De Castro said, was set to train more young divers in Southern Leyte and Siargao, Surigao del Norte.


Meanwhile, local marine advocate, diving instructor and former barangay captain Mario Pascobello, who hosted the Plongeurs de Monde during the summer training over seven years, said that the program also helped keep the youth from illegal drugs by providing them with opportunities for career advancement.


Plongeurs de Monde (Divers of the World) began when divers from France, Switzerland and Belgium got together to train poor kids from families devastated by the tsunami in Sri Lanka in 2005.

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