The 8th Anilao Underwater Shootout: Capturing the Rich Marine Biodiversity of Anilao

The Department of Tourism (DOT) successfully concluded the 8th Anilao Underwater Shootout (AUS) from May 22 to 26, showcasing the spectacular marine biodiversity of Anilao through the lenses of both amateur and professional underwater photographers.

Known as the “World Cup of Underwater Photo Competitions,” the AUS, organized by the DOT, highlighted Anilao’s diverse marine life, including its vibrant nudibranchs, reinforcing the Philippines’ position as the world’s leading dive destination.

Tourism Secretary Christina Garcia Frasco stated that the competition not only promotes the country’s marine biodiversity but actively advocates for its protection and preservation. The DOT is committed to ensuring that the Philippines remains a premier dive destination through coordinated efforts for the development of dive products nationwide.

Secretary Frasco expressed her enthusiasm about the international participation, with 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 provided a significant boost to 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 to the rebooting of the travel and tourism industry,” Secretary Frasco remarked.

A distinguished panel of judges, including award-winning underwater photographers Aaron Wong, Brook Peterson, Franco Banfi, Rafael Fernandez Caballero, and Scott Gutsy Tuason, evaluated the entries in 14 categories.

This year’s edition received a total of 426 entries, and winners were awarded 1.7 million pesos worth of underwater photography gear from event partners and sponsors.

Winners in the Open Class:

  • Macro/Supermacro category: Kim Kyung Shin (1st place), PJ Aristorenas (2nd place), Yat Kuen Eric Fung (3rd place).
  • Marine Behavior category: Dennis Corpuz (1st place), Patricia Santos (2nd place), Yat Kuen Eric Fung (3rd place).
  • Nudibranch category: Dennis Corpuz (1st place), Mark Chang (2nd place), PJ Aristorenas (3rd place).
  • Fish Portrait category: Deniz Muzaffer Gökmen (1st place), Patricia Santos (2nd place), Mark Chang (3rd place).

Winners in the Compact Class:

  • Macro category: Regie Casia (1st place), Luzelle Artillero (2nd place), Teresa Sy Ortin (3rd place).
  • Marine Behavior category: Regie Casia (1st place), Eric Javier (2nd place), Neil Anthony Torres (3rd place).
  • Nudibranch category: Jayson Cedrick Apostol (1st place), Ronilo Corpuz (2nd place), Jose Antonio Caluag (3rd place).
  • Fish Portrait category: Eric Javier (1st place), Jayson Cedrick Apostol (2nd place), Oscar Rey Maranan (3rd place).

Special Prizes:

  • Blackwater/Bonfire category: Dennis Corpuz.
  • Wide-Angle category: Mark Chang.

DOT Photographer of the Year:

  • Compact class: Eric Javier.
  • Open class: Kim Kyung Shin.

DOT Photographers of the Year Dive Guide:

  • Compact class: Louie Casapao.
  • Open class: Roberto Corpuz.

The AUS, initiated by the DOT in 2013, aligns with the National Tourism Development Plan’s prioritization of diving as a key tourism product. The 8th Anilao Underwater Shootout was organized in partnership with Mabini Tourism, DOT Region 4A CALABARZON #DiscoverCalabarzon, Solitude Acacia Resort, Aiyanar Beach and Dive Resort, and Lakan, with support from Underwater 360 and Dive Marketing Media.

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