In the entries to the Department of Tourism’s 7th Anilao Underwater Shootout (AUS), amateur and professional underwater photographers, divers, and marine enthusiasts once again wonderfully captured the beauty of Anilao (DOT).
The four-day event, dubbed the “World Cup of Underwater Photo Competitions,” celebrated the town’s abundant marine biodiversity, especially its world-famous nudibranchs.
The event, according to Tourism Secretary Berna Romulo-Puyat, demonstrated the country’s preparedness to welcome back tourists and restore its status as the world’s top diving destination.
“The Anilao Underwater Shootout serves as a forum to raise awareness about the need of protecting our fragile reefs and marine ecosystems for future generations.” This event is our way of communicating to the world that the Philippines’ diving sector is alive and well, and very much ready to welcome divers and underwater photographers, as we steadily rebuild and recover from the impacts of the epidemic,” Puyat added.
Puyat also emphasized that more than 95 percent of tourism personnel in dive locations are now properly vaccinated, indicating his support for the department’s efforts to safely recommence tourism in the country.
With 120 participants flying in from all over the country, the event boosted domestic tourism in Anilao, with participation from the town’s resorts, diving guides, and spotters trickling down to the community.
In total, 348 submissions were received across the competition’s 11 categories this year. Official airline partner Cebu Pacific provided over two million pesos in prizes, as well as underwater photography gear from event partners Nauticam and Scubalamp, as well as sponsors AOI, XDEEP, Crest, Fourth Element, Divers Point, Nautilus Dive and Sports Center, Squires Bingham, and Ultralight Control Systems, Inc.
- Dennis Corpuz took first position in the Open Class, Macro/Supermacro category, followed by Marivic Verdadero Maramot in second place, and Emil Ribaya Jaranilla in third place.
- Ariel Careo Locsin took first prize in the Marine Behavior category, followed by Glenn Ian Diaz Villanueva in second place, and Adrian Dan in third place.
- Dennis Corpuz took first prize in the Nudibranch category, followed by Glenn Ian Villanueva in second and Armida Esteban in third.
- Dennis Corpuz took first place in the Fish Portrait category, followed by Louis Myse Fae Ronquillo in second and Angelyca Paras Nery in third.
- Rafael Francisco took first position in the Compact Class, Macro/Supermacro category, followed by Jorge Ida in second place and Fr. Nemer de Castro Chua in third place.
- Regie Casia took first place in the Marine Behavior category, followed by Lloyd Respicio in second and Anjeanette Fuentebella in third.
- Penn De Los Santos took first prize in the Nudibranch category, followed by Kim Morfe in second and Armando Panopio in third.
- Teresa Sy Ortin took first place in the Fish Portrait category, followed by Patricia Santos in second place and Ronald Amboy Dalawampo in third place.
- Dennis Corpuz received a special prize in the Blackwater category, while Paul Joseph Aristorenas received a special prize in the Wide Angle area.
- For the Compact and Open classifications, Teresa Sy Ortin and Dennis Corpuz were selected DOT Photographers of the Year.
The DOT has been hosting the worldwide event since 2013, in response to the National Tourism Development Plan’s designation of diving as a key tourism product (NTDP). Famous underwater photographers David Doubilet, Jennifer Hayes, Mike Bartick, Scott Gutsy Tuason, William Tan, and Underwater360 Group founder John Thet are among the judges this year.
The event used a hybrid structure due to COVID-19 constraints, with underwater photography seminars hosted via Zoom and the competition’s official Facebook page. The video conferencing tool was also used for judging and discussion.
Mabini Tourism, DOT Region 4 A Calabarzon #DiscoverCalabarzon, Solitude Acacia Resort, Aiyanar Beach and Dive Resort, Crystal Blue Dive Resort, Nauticam, Scubalamp, AOI, and Scubastudio Philippines collaborated for the 7th Anilao Underwater Shootout. Wetpixel, Underwater Photography Magazine, Underwater 360, and GRID Magazine are also supporting the event.