BROOKE’S POINT, Palawan — The Local Government Unit (LGU) of Brooke’s Point recognized Dr. Deo Florence L. Onda for his achievement as the first Filipino scientist to reach the third deepest part of the world, the Emden Deep.

Onda achieved the feat, which will be recorded in history when he reached the Emden Deep located in the south-western Pacific Ocean in the Philippines with a depth of 10,045 meters or about 34,100 feet on March 23.

Mayor Mary Jean Feliciano presented a certificate of commendation in recognition of his achievement to Onda’s parents, Rodantes and Carmencita, together with board member Sharon Abiog-Onda and Sangguniang Bayan member Bernardo Abengoza, during the flag ceremony of Brooke’s Point LGU on Monday, April 19.

During the awarding, Feliciano praised Onda not only for his feat but also for the honors he gave to the town being the first-ever Filipino scientist who hailed from Brooke’s Point.

Onda also became a social media sensation last year when he offered free rides to some residents in Manila when the COVID-19 pandemic first hit and the entire country was placed under lockdown.

“Nakaka-inspire itong si Dr.  Onda dahil noong paman bago pa lamang nagsisimula ang paglaganap ng pandemia ay sumikat na sya sa social media dahil sa pagsiserbisyo nitong libr eng sakay sa mga taong walang masakyan noong panahon ng lockdown,” pahayag ni Feliciano.

His parents meanwhile expressed gratitude for the honor and shared that aside from his latest achievements, they said it has been their son’s nature to extend help to those in need, especially to street-dwellers to whom he usually give food.

“It’s really a blessing! Explorer talaga siya at noon pa man kapag may nakikita syang nagugutom sa gilid ng daan, ‘yung packed lunch niya ay iniiwan niya na lang para sa kanila” his mother Carmencita said.

Dr. Onda is currently in Metro Manila where he is working as associate professor and Deputy Director of the University of the Philippines-Marine Science Institute (UP-MSI).

Meanwhile, board member Sharon Onda also expressed gratitude and said the honor and success that Dr. Deo achieved was not only for the Philippines to cherish but for the whole world.

“The family is very grateful for the recognition given by the municipality of Brooke’s Point. We share this success to everyone, alam natin kung gaano ka-proud ang bayan ng Brooke’s Point kung saan ipinanganak itong si Dr.  Deo  at ganoon din ang buong probinsiya maging ang buong Pilipinas kung paanong naging proud na ang kabahagi ng first expedition sa Emden Deep si Dr.  Deo Onda na kapamilya atin,” she said.

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is the correspondent of Palawan News in Brooke's Point, Palawan. She covers politics, health, government policies, tourism, and sports. Her interests are exploring different places, singing, gardening, reading bible and eating.