Amateur and professional underwater photographers beautifully captured the teeming marine biodiversity of Anilao in the entries to the 8th Anilao Underwater Shootout (AUS) mounted by the Department of Tourism (DOT) last May 22 to 26.
The “World Cup of Underwater Photo Competitions” highlighted the town’s rich biological treasures, including its waters carpeted with colorful nudibranchs.
Tourism Secretary Christina Garcia-Frasco said the event strengthens the country’s position as the world’s leading dive destination.
Through the competition, the DOT seeks to grow the country’s dive market with programs that not only promote the country’s marine biodiversity but also actively advocate for its protection and preservation.
“The department is dedicated to ensuring that the Philippines maintains its standing as the world’s leading dive destination through a coordinated, focused, and fully supported approach to the further development of our dive products across the country,” Secretary Christina Garcia Frasco said.
Gathering a total of 153 participants from 14 countries—including Australia, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand, Turkey, and the United States—the event also spurred tourism activity in Anilao.
“The presence of international participants at the Anilao Underwater Shootout is a big boost to the promotion of dive tourism in the Philippines, and also to the rebooting of the travel and tourism industry. We are thrilled that the passion for diving and underwater photography has brought everyone to Anilao as this year’s edition welcomes international participants for the very first time since the pandemic,” the Secretary added.
This year’s esteemed panel of judges includes award-winning underwater photographers Aaron Wong, Brook Peterson, Franco Banfi, Rafael Fernandez Caballero, and Scott Gutsy Tuason.
This year’s edition garnered a total of 426 entries across the competition’s 14 categories. Winners were awarded 1.7 million pesos worth of underwater photography gear from event partners and sponsors AOI, Divers Point Co., Fourth Element, Marelux, Migalabs, Nauticam, Nautilus Dive and Sports Center, Raptor Case, Scubalamp, Scuba Studio, Squires Sports, and XDeep.
In the Open Class, Macro/Supermacro category, winners are Kim Kyung Shin, 1st place; PJ Aristorenas, 2nd place; Yat Kuen Eric Fung, 3rd place.
In the Marine Behavior category, winners are Dennis Corpuz, 1st place; Patricia Santos, 2nd place; Yat Kuen Eric Fung, 3rd place.
In the Nudibranch category, winners are Dennis Corpuz, 1st place; Mark Chang, 2nd place; PJ Aristorenas, 3rd place.
In the Fish Portrait category, winners are Deniz Muzaffer Gökmen, 1st place; Patricia Santos, 2nd place; Mark Chang, 3rd place.
In the Compact Class, Macro category, winners are Regie Casia, 1st place; Luzelle Artillero, 2nd place; Teresa Sy Ortin, 3rd place.
In the Marine Behavior category, winners are Regie Casia, 1st place; Eric Javier, 2nd place; Neil Anthony Torres, 3rd place.
In the Nudibranch category, winners are Jayson Cedrick Apostol, 1st place; Ronilo Corpuz, 2nd place, Jose Antonio Caluag, 3rd place.
In the Fish Portrait category, winners are Eric Javier, 1st place; Jayson Cedrick Apostol, 2nd place; Oscar Rey Maranan, 3rd place.
Special prizes were awarded to Dennis Corpuz in the Blackwater/Bonfire category and Mark Chang in the Wide Angle category.
Eric Javier was awarded the DOT Photographer Year title for the Compact class while Kim Kyung Shin took the DOT Photographer of the Year for the Open class.
Meanwhile, Louie Casapao and Roberto Corpuz were named DOT Photographers of the Year Dive Guide for the Compact and Open classes respectively.
The Anilao Underwater Shootout has been organized by the DOT since 2013, in line with the identification of diving as a priority tourism product in the National Tourism Development Plan (NTDP).
The 8th Anilao Underwater Shootout was mounted in partnership with Mabini Tourism, DOT Region 4 A Calabarzon #DiscoverCalabarzon, Solitude Acacia Resort, Aiyanar Beach and Dive Resort, and Lakan. The event is also supported by Underwater 360 and Dive Marketing Media.
Anilao Underwater Shootout Winning Photos
Compact Class: Fish Portrait
Compact Marine Behavior
Open fish Portrait
Open Marine Behavior