The (History of) Freediving Records

The Development of Beautiful Sport!

How the Sport ‘Freediving’ Developed, its Records and its Heroes.

Often when we talk about the history of freediving, we talk about the divers of ancient Greece, the Haenyeo Divers in Korea or the Sama-Bajau of the Philippines, but that’s not all of course. Modern freediving as we know it now, as a sport and lifestyle, of course, doesn’t date back as much, as for example, the Haenyeo, but knowing more about the history of the sport freediving is just as interesting.


Let’s Look at What Records Where Set!

If you enjoy this article, please share it with your friends and family! Thank you!


Being a country of more than 7000 islands and islets, the Philippines always amazes travellers from all over the world by its natural and historical beauties. Each of the three main island groups of the country – Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao – has something to surprise even the most experienced person. Stunning rice terraces, swimming with whale sharks, breathtaking scuba diving, white sand beaches, limestone cliffs, island hopping, beautiful coral reefs are waiting for their visitors. Not to miss anything, check our list of The Top 15 Things to do in the Philippines.  

Bohol and Panglao

Bohol is a province famous for its remarkable beaches, coral reefs, waterfalls and unique geological formations — Chocolate hills. Panglao and Balicasag Islands offer the best snorkelling with fish and turtles as well as many other sea creatures. In tropical jungles of Bohol guests of the province can see the tiniest monkeys, Tarsiers. Loboc river cruise invites everyone to enjoy delicious Filipino food while listening to good live music and sailing up the river watching the scenic views. 

Subic Bay

A bay on the west coast of Luzon Island, known as a former site of a major United States Navy facility in the Philippines, now can offer its guests a unique experience of wreck diving. About 19 wrecks let divers touch the history from the Spanish-American War to the Second World War. And for those adventurers who want to test themselves Jungle- Environment Survival Training (JEST) Camp is the best way to get the basic skills of living in pristine jungles as indigenous people called Aetas did. 

Camiguin Island

Camiguin is called “Island Born of Fire” and not without reason – it is home to seven volcanos, the youngest of which, Hibok-Hibok, is still active. Despite being one of the smallest provinces in the Philippines, Camiguin offers numerous waterfalls, natural springs, and interesting sites for diving and snorkelling. One of them, Sunken Cemetery, can impress everyone with its mysterious views.

Davao City and Samal Island

Many people come to Davao for hiking or climbing Mount Apo, the highest mountain and active volcano in the Philippines. The way itself can take 3 to 5 days. Unique nature and stunning views make this challenging experience truly rewarding. 

For those who like to be thrilled, Crocodile Park of Davao allows having a closer look at freshwater and saltwater crocodiles living in the Philippines. The best way to enjoy family gathering and to spend unforgettable time with your beloved is to visit Eden Nature Park with its nice paths for walks, restaurants, horse riding and gliding in the sky on SkyRider. And when the night falls on Davao, it’s time to visit Jack’s Ridge and enjoy scenic views of the city.

Just within a few kilometres off the coast of the city of Davao there is a true paradise, Samal Island. It is the largest resort city in the Philippines with pristine beaches and incredible snorkelling and diving sites. Being known as “The Island of Festivals”, Samal celebrates several events a year: the Hugyaw Madayaw and the Panapog Festival are held every August, the Kabasan Festival, a week-long revelry, is celebrated every month of May, the Caracoles Festival is held in April, and Igacos Festival — in March.

Raimondo Bucher
Alberto Novelli
Alberto Novelli new WR

You Want to Learn More About Freediving or Start Yourself?!

Join the Freedive Academy Panglao iMagazine and every two weeks we’ll send you an email with news, schedules for courses and online (free) events that everyone can join.

Freediving is an incredible sport and it’s amazing what the human body can do. Subscribe to our iMagazine today and submerge yourself in a wonderful world on one-breath!

Freediving SSI Level 1 Course
Molchanovs Wave 1 Certification
Freediving SSI Level 2 Course
Monofin Speciality Course

After subscribing please check your mailbox, we took measurements against spam, and we want to know you are real.

Coron Island

Located in the north of Palawan, Coron Island is one of the top destinations in the Philippines. Beautiful islands, beaches, lagoons, and diving spots will please travellers and stay in their hearts. If you look deeper into the crystal clear water of Coron Islands when diving or snorkelling, you can find breathtaking World War II shipwrecks, colourful coral reefs, and rich marine life. For those who want to have a truly unique experience, Coron offers to watch the legendary sea cows, dugongs. Coron is one of a few places in the world where you can see these majestic creatures in their natural habitat. 

Another must-try experience on the island is diving in the waters of Barracuda Lake, former volcano crater. Deriving its name from the barracudas living there, the lake surprises the divers with a unique mixture of freshwater and seawater marine life. And the scenic limestone structures along the wall make the scenery genuinely amazing.


Batanes Island

Home of the Winds, Batanes Island offers its guest unspoiled peaceful beauty. Being one of the most northern provinces, Batanes with its rock formations and scenic lighthouses stands out from the most of the island destinations in the Philippines. 

Kalanggaman Island

The best option to escape from the city or overcrowded tourist destinations is to visit Kalanggaman Island located between Cebu and Leyte Islands. Famous for its crystal clear water, white fine sand and long sandbars stretching on both sides, this tiny island is perfect for swimming or lying under swaying palm trees.

Siargao Island

Located at the northeastern coast of Mindanao, Siargao Island is often called the Surfing Capital of the Philippines. Many tourists from all over the world come there to enjoy consistently high waves. The most famous surfing spot is Cloud 9 with its waves rising as high as 12 feet during the period from September to November, although the surfing season in Siargao lasts all year round. 

Siargao also offers many options for the fishing lovers: trolling, drift fishing, jigging or night fishing. 

Boracay Island

Being just 7 km long and 1 km wide, a tiny island of Boracay opens its beauty to many local and foreign tourists every year. There are 17 beaches on the island, and each of them is beautiful in its own way. The most famous and popular beach of Boracay is White Beach with 4 km of white powder sand, crystal clear water and stunning sunsets. 

In the north of the island, on the Puka Shell Beach tourists can find serenity and escape the crowds. Tambisaan Beach provides the best snorkelling experience with its corals and fish about only 30 meters from the shore. And the mecca for all kitesurfers is Bulabog Beach with consistently strong winds during the Amihan (northwest monsoon) season.

Boracay offers many different activities to the guests and tourists of the island – scuba diving, kitesurfing, sailing on traditional local boats (bangkas), snorkelling, vivid night life, and amazing food experiences. 

Santarelli Amerigo
Enzo Maiorca & Jacques Mayol
Bob Croft

You Want to Learn More About Freediving or Start Yourself?!

Join the Freedive Academy Panglao iMagazine and every two weeks we’ll send you an email with news, schedules for courses and online (free) events that everyone can join.

Freediving is an incredible sport and it’s amazing what the human body can do. Subscribe to our iMagazine today and submerge yourself in a wonderful world on one-breath!

Molchanovs Wave 2 Instructor Certificate
SSI Freediving Instructor Level 2
Molchanovs Wave 3 Instructor Certificate
SSI Freediving Instructor Level 3

After subscribing please check your mailbox, we took measurements against spam, and we want to know you are real.

Dumaguete and Apo Island

Dumaguete is called “the City of Gentle People” because of the unique ambience of this small and cosy town. It offers the guests many different trekking routes, gardens, hot springs and coral reef islands.

Only 30 minutes off the coast there is Apo Island, a volcanic island with beautiful coral gardens beneath the water. Being a marine reserve since 1982, Apo Island is a favourite diving destination for its excellent visibility. There are many dive sites with sloping reefs, walls, coral gardens and drift dives.

To see the local flora and fauna and engage with those who live on the island, travellers can take the Lagoon Trail through the Apo Village.


Located on the western coast of the large island of Luzon, Vigan is declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The city is the best-preserved example of a planned Spanish colonial town in Asia. To enjoy a beautiful view of the whole area, you can climb the Bantay Bell Tower. To see more details of historical architecture, it’s a good idea to take a walk through the Calle Crisologo historic district, where many local artisans offer their goods.  

Puerto Princesa

The coastal city of Puerto Princesa is the optimal base location for exploring Palawan Island, world-known for its natural wonders: islands, caves, natural parks and many others. One of them is Subterranean River National Park that is declared a UNESCO World Heritage site. Another wonder is the five-mile Underground River with impressive limestone caves. For snorkelling lovers, Honda Bay is an excellent option to enjoy the day. Those who like adventures can try ziplining and caving in Ugong Rock. 

El Nido

Located at the most northern tip of Palawan Island, El Nido is one of the most popular places to visit in the Philippines. Hidden lagoons, limestone formations, sandbanks, stunning islands with white beaches and blue water – it’s truly a gem.

Tubbataha reef

Tubbataha reef lies about 50km southeast of Puerto Princesa City in Palawan, the most western province of the Philippines.

Being a National Marine Park, Tubbataha is also listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site. As a perfect diving destination, Tubbataha boasts huge slopes and vertical walls stretching up to 30 meters deep, and great visibility. The divers can meet many sea creatures in their natural habitat.  


Baguio, Banaue and Sagada

Standing out of all other tropical destinations of the Philippines, this mountain area offers its guests truly unique experiences. Travellers can enjoy cool and fresh air in the pine forests of Baguio, the summer capital of the Philippines. To enjoy the serenity and calm beauty of traditional rice terraces, it’s highly recommended to visit Banaue and Batad, incredible semi-natural wonders of the world. The Batad Rice Terraces and the Bangaan Rice Terraces are protected UNESCO World Heritage sites.

Not so far from Baguio, there is a small town of Sagada. Nested in the rugged and remote Cordillera Mountains, it is a very popular hiking destination. One route goes to Mount Ampaco, which boasts the highest peak in the region; and another path lies through the Echo Valley with steep and rugged terrain.

And for those who like the feeling of inner agitation The Hanging Coffins Of Sagada are a must-see.

Honourable Mention: As publishers of this article it simply doesn’t feel right leaving this article without giving credit to the queen of freediving Natalia Molchanova who has 41 World Records, was the first woman to break the -100 meter mark and is the founder of the Molchanovs freediving courses and the education system that we all love now. Still today she is being missed as the freediving Mom for so many top-level athletes. Natalia Molchanova was an incredible part of the history of freediving.

Umberto Pelizzari & Enzo Maiorca
Tanya Streeter
Herbert Nitsch

Do you want to learn how to freedive or you have questions please feel free to contact us anytime? Also do contact us if you want to join any of our freediving courses. We teach freediving courses in the Philippines, but we also teach freediving online via nice and entertaining Zoom classes almost every week. Same goes for our freedive instructor courses that we teach every few weeks online – we offer different options, but they are fun and entertaining.

New Website Feature Right Here!

If this information was helpful, please rate it here. Thank you!
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (No Ratings Yet)