A few months ago, Sarah Lahbati posted on her Instagram entrancing photos of her in her natural habitat doing what she loves the most: diving. Suffice to say, the series of captivating underwater shots of the actress surrounded by the jackfish in Batangas were nothing short of visually breathtaking.
Unfortunately, her excursion into the deep blue wasn't all as picture perfect as Martin Zapanta's gorgeous photos showed them to be. "Went on a quick trip to the beach last week with the fam and as we were looking for the school of jacks, I couldn’t help but notice all the plastic around me while in the water," Sarah captioned on one of her posts. "Picked up so much junk. Please stop throwing trash in our ocean and protect its beautiful inhabitants."
In honor of her gracing the cover of Asian Diver, it's this plight against underwater pollution that Sarah took center-stage with her during her speech at the first International Dive Expo in the Philippines. Sarah, who discovered her love for the sport at the tender age of eight thanks to her dad, shares her passion with husband Richard Gutierrez, an avid underwater photographer. "We’re both certified AIDA 2 (Association Internationale pour le Développement de l'Apnée) free divers. We started free diving a few years back in Moalboal & completely fell in love with it," she fondly recalled.
As per her speech during the expo, it seems this affinity for the ocean runs in the family as Sarah also revealed her eldest's burgeoning interest for diving. “Zion is 6 years old and he comes with us on the boat and he watches. So hopefully in two to three years he’ll get to start with the bubblemaking course." Where they hope for Zion to soon follow in their foot steps, Sarah understandably amplifies her clamor to save our bodies of water, in a bid to better the lives of our children, and for all the other generations to come.
"The one feeling I always get after a trip is obviously feeling bittersweet. But because it’s more than that..when I rewind in my mind, all the amazing interactions I’ve had underwater, I truly feel blessed. But I’ve also seen a lot of sharks with fishing hooks on their mouths or dead turtles wrapped in plastic or fishing nets. [There's] just a whole lot of plastic all over our ocean and that pains me. I wish I could do more to protect them and help make a change," she wrote for the post caption of her Asian Diver cover. "My favorite person in the world, aside from my family, once said 'Here we are, the most clever species ever to have lived. So how is it we can destroy the only planet we have?' What you do makes a difference and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make. I hope we continue to spread awareness on protecting our oceans and their inhabitants. To urge our leaders to take action. I dream of a world where our children & the future generations experience nature cohesively."