Inviting one of Palau’s pioneering diving professions, Francis Toribiong, and the lively Palau Team from California, the Palau Visitors Authority (PVA) participated in the June 23-24, 2018 SCUBA Show in Long Beach, CA, together with non-government organizations and tourism industry partners.

PVA Managing Director Stephanie B. Nakamura, Board Secretary Marie Anderson and Social Marketing Representative Rondy Ronny attended with Toribiong, who had been inducted into the 2010 Diver Hall of Fame. As PVA held a large booth, partners also attending included the Palau National Marine Sanctuary (Jerry Nabeyama and Misty Iluches), Palau Pledge (also represented by Misty Iluches), Palau PAN Fund (Regis Emesiochel, Brengyei Katosang, Mingrang Kloulchad, Elicio Skebong, Jennifer Ngiraiwet, Paloma Swei and Lomalinda Gabriel) and Heirs to Our Oceans (Janet Clark, Aislinn Clark and Cabria Bartlett). Representatives from Sam’s Tours, Palau Dive Adventures, Fish N Fins, and the Discovery Fleet were also attending the SCUBA Show.

Prior to the SCUBA Show opening, Rondy Ronny & Misty Iluches were guests on Island Block on Dash Radio in Hollywood, known for providing a voice for Melanesian, Micronesian and Polynesian artists to five million listeners. Rondy and Misty promoted Palau’s upcoming participation at the Long Beach Scuba Show with representatives from Guam and Micronesia.

A team of Palauans living in Northern California (Kiruu Nicole Ngirmekur, Dilbiib Sadang, Joseph Anastacio and Shiro Kanai) were also present at the SCUBA Show to assist PVA in their promotional activities, including a display of Palauan traditional wear with Dilbiib and Joseph.

In addition to promoting Palau as a world-class diving destination which has recently gained international attention from Palau’s declaration of a Palau Marine Sanctuary Act and the adoption of a Palau Pledge, PVA also hosted a Reception on Saturday, June 23rd with a special appearance from Francis Toribiong and a two-hour Seminar on Sunday, June 24th emphasizing the efforts that made Palau a leader in conservation. The Palau PAN Fund described each of their Protected Area sites and the Palau National Marine Sanctuary described how the Act is deeply rooted in Palau’s culture. Heirs to Our Oceans from California also discussed environmental issues and Rondy Ronny presented an overview about Palau. PVA would like to thank China Airlines, FishNFins, the Palau Central Hotel and Palau Royal Resort for donating flights, tours and accommodations as door prizes for the Seminar. The winner of these great prizes was avid diver Evan Quitisol and we are looking forward to seeing her in Palau. Ending the Seminar, Mr. Toriboing gave the audience an engaging story about his early days diving when he discovered Palau’s iconic dive sites and what he sees as the future of Palau’s underwater wonders. (PR)