Name: Jerome Kim
Country of Residence: Philippines
Years Diving: 22
Favorite Dive Site/s: Anilao
BCD: SeaQuest Pro QD, Scubapro Classic Plus
Regulator: Scubapro MK25/S600, Apeks XTX50, Mares, Bism
Dive Computer: Mares HD Icon Air, Suunto Stinger
Camera Set Up: Camera: Canon 5D Mark II; Housing: Sea&Sea; Lenses: 100 mm macro, 15 mm fisheye, 17-40 mm wide-angle; Wet lenses: Subsee +5, Subsee +10; Strobes: 2 Sea&Sea YS 250 and 2 Inon Z240;
Born and raised in Korea, Jerome Kim has been based in the Philippines for the last 12 years. One of the reasons why he moved here was for the diving. He considers Anilao as his favorite dive spot in the whole Coral Triangle because of the great macro opportunities. Coincidentally it was also in Anilao where he got his first taste of diving. In the early 1990's his parents had business in the country and he became the de facto tour guide for their visitors and business partners. One group asked him to bring them to Anilao and he tried out diving with them.
He became a certified open water diver in Boracay and two years ago became a certified SSI instructor in Anilao. Currently he has logged over 1,300 dives and hits the water at least twice a month. He got into underwater photography around the same time he moved to the Philippines. By then he needed a new challenge when diving so he started off with film cameras. In 2006 he made the jump to go digital.
Jerome is actually an architect by profession and considers underwater photography as just a hobby but he enjoys it immensely. He gets inspiration from Kay Burn Lim, Steve de Neef, Gutsy Tuason and Mike Bartick. He is able to translate his skills as an architect into designing the perfect shots underwater. He likes macro photography and taking photos of small critters. He is also a member of NUDI (Network of Underwater Digital Imagers) and has won a bunch of awards during NUDI nights, SNUPS (Splash-NUDI Underwater Photography Shoot-out) and competitions in Korea.
Since he loves to shoot critters it is no surprise that Secret Bay in Anilao is one of his favorite dive sites. However he also enjoys diving in other location like in Oslob for the whale sharks and Moalboal for the sardines. Outside of the Philippines he enjoys the diving in Palau and Bali. Having spent so many hours underwater he has of course experienced some unnerving situations. He recalls one dive in San Agapito, Verde Island that had such a strong down current. It happened over a decade ago but he still remembers that the fierce current just dragged him straight down to 45 meters. He and his buddies had to scramble to find each other and regroup again.
Despite those harrowing moments underwater, he still loves diving and taking photos. He is excited to see that more groups are taking the initiative to train local dive guides. He appreciates that they are able to find small critters, are trained on how to lead divers and also practice responsible diving. He has seen a lot of improvement in Anilao and wishes that other places in the Philippines will also follow suit. He hopes that more dive guides will be given the same opportunities and trainings in the near future. Some fun facts about his professional work in Manila are that he designed the Korean Embassy, Korean School, Korean War Memorial and other buildings. To find out more about Jerome and see his photographs, visit http://www.nudi.ph/ or attend one of the monthly NUDI nights.