by Nur Lemuel Castillo

Just like the sky, the world beneath the seas seems to expand beyond the reach of one’s imagination. But just like how technology sprouted over the years to provide answers to what lies above the vastness of space, innovations rose as well to create vivid images of what is to be found underwater.

Diving deep to answer the challenge is a thriving innovation that aims to shed light on the seldom explored depths beneath the oceans– the Deepwater Operation 3D Visual Mapping and Inspection System or DOMAINS.

Mangarap ng Malalim: The Story of the Antipara Exploration Inc.'s PD-DOMAINS Technology wins the GAWAD DAGTA: Dakilang Ambag sa Teknolohiya at Agham ng Agrikultura/Akwakultura on 20 December 2021 at The Blue Leaf Events Pavilion, Taguig City

DOMAINS is an underwater mapping technology that offers cheaper and non-invasive, explorations and surveys of coastal and deepwater areas and creates reliable analyses, complete assessment reports, and permanent visual records.

Nominated as one of the most outstanding technologies funded by the Technology Innovation for Commercialization (TECHNiCOM) Program, PD-DOMAINS came out as one of the winners for the GAWAD TECHNiCOM under the Gawad DAGTA or Dakilang Ambag sa Teknolohiya at Agham ng Agrikultura/Akwakultura category.

The said award is given to the most promising TECHNiCOM-funded technology in recognition of its significant contribution to the field of Agriculture, Aquaculture, and Natural Resource, a feat that at first might have been too deep for the project team to dive and conquer, but they have proven otherwise.

Led by Mr. Francis James Corpuz, Antipara Exploration Inc is the startup company that gave birth to this technology. Unlike its predecessors and competitors, this technology is able to capture images within 30 to 100 meter-depths, a range which could not be possible for human divers and for other locally-made technologies of similar applications.

But long before the team was able to reach milestones including winning the GAWAD DAGTA Award, bagging the championship at the Pitch HAIFA 2019 in Israel, and taking home the 2nd prize at the Ring of Fire Pitching Competition among others, they were no strangers to challenges that tested their strength and forced them to go back deep into their core.

Aside from being affected by the global pandemic, which most companies and industries have suffered as well, the team had to face the daunting task of keeping themselves immersed with their company’s mission despite some of the team members pursuing other professional careers.

The deeper you go under the oceans, the greater the water pressures that could rip objects apart—something that the Antipara Exploration team had to withstand in order to keep their company intact and still ready to dive deeper.

True to their mission, the team stayed resilient despite the changing tides among the team members. And just like how the planet’s oceans are divided by location and name, they still share the same water and as for the PD-DOMAINS project team, they too, still share the same values.

While those that left the company may no longer be working full-time to accomplish the endeavors of their company, they have remained as consultants, continuously providing invaluable insights for the team.

At present, the team has successfully rolled out and collaborated with four local government units across the country including the Provincial Planning and Development Office of Occidental Mindoro, and is set to start new collaborations with two new partners in 2022 along with the National Mapping and Resource Information Authority (NAMRIA).

Just as Mr. Corpuz said in his acceptance speech, they owe it not only to the brilliant minds behind the technology but also to the people and institutions that enabled them to put into reality the hopes of their company, including the Department of Science and Technology and the TECHNiCOM Program, and letting them dream and dive deep.