A CEBUANO professional diver and staunch advocate for ocean conservation died while diving in an underground cave in Hinatuan, Surigao del Sur last Tuesday morning.

Dr. Alfonso Amores, 68, was in Surigao with two other members of the Filipino Cave Divers for a documentary shoot inside the Hinatuan Enchanted River Underground Cave, said Lapu-Lapu City Task Force Kalikasan coordinator Andy Berame.

Amores died after he failed to exit the underground cave because of the strong current and ran out of oxygen, said Berame, who is also a member of the Filipino Cave Divers.

“The current going to the cave at the time was so strong,” Berame told Sun.Star Cebu in a phone interview yesterday.

The diver’s body was recovered some 40 meters down the underground cave after about eight hours of searching. His remains arrived in Lapu-Lapu City, where he lived, yesterday morning.

Berame said Amores and his two companions dived into the cave to prepare for next day’s documentary shoot of the GMA 7’s Born to be Wild, which tapped the Filipino Cave


Berame said the divers entered the cave one at a time because of its small entrance, with Amores going in last.

The underground cave, said Berame, is a challenging place for divers because they have to swim against the current to exit the cave.

Amores, the president and one of the founders of the Filipino Cave Divers, returned to the Philippines in 2001 after practicing as a reconstructive surgeon in the United States for more than 30 years. He opened a clinic in Lapu-Lapu City.


A native of Mactan Island, Amores discovered the Pawod Underwater Cave System in Mactan in 2002, which “marked the birth of cave diving culture in the central Philippines,” according to official website of the Filipino Cave Divers (filipinocavedivers.com).

Berame said Amores was the one who explored and promoted the underground cave in Hinatuan.

“He dived there many times already and that was his last,” he said.

According to the website, Amores had a number of certification cards in diving. He got his cave diving certification from the National Association of Cave Divers in Florida, USA.

Apart from promoting awareness about ocean conservation, Amores organized medical missions in Cebu and nearby provinces, Berame said. Amores founded the Amores Charities Inc. upon his return in the Philippines.

Berame said the last time he went diving with Amores was during their group’s night dive in the Kontiki Drop off Barangay Maribago in Mactan Island last June 10.

Amores, an older brother of former Lapu-Lapu City Vice Mayor Mario Amores, left behind three children and his wife, who arrived from the United States yesterday morning.