Anilao Underwater Photography (AUS) will once again highlight the Philippines’ world-renowned Marine life. The competition, dubbed the World Underwater Photography Competition, will be held in Anilau, Batangas, from Dec 1 to 5. The event aims to promote Anilau as a top underwater photography destination and bring together the most famous local and international divers and photographers in one venue.
Tourism Secretary Berna Romulo Puyat made the announcement during the 6th annual Philippine Deep Blue program organized by the Philippine Department of Tourism (DOT) and Dive Philippines. The decision is based on the country’s readiness to welcome diving tourists and maintain its position as the world’s leading diving destination.
According to Puyat, the Anilao underwater shoot is not only a competition, but also a platform to convey to the world the importance of protecting the Philippines’ fragile coral reefs and Marine ecosystems for future generations.
With the gradual and safe reopening of dive destinations under the new normal, Shootut organisers will ensure a reshowcase of the country’s rich and vibrant diving industry. They bring together divers, professional and amateur underwater photographers, and ocean enthusiasts from around the world.
This year’s panel of judges included renowned underwater photographers Mike Bartik, Scott Gutsi Toussaint and William Tan, as well as John Tait, founder of the Underwater360 Group. The competition’s 11 categories will feature winners from underwater photography gear brands Nauticam, Scubalamp, AOI, XDEEP, Crest and Element IV.
To protect Anilau’s unique and critical ecosystem, Australia will continue to implement the “No Manipulation of Marine Life” policy, a strict guideline that has set the standard for other underwater photography competitions around the world. According to competition director Oliver Ang, the rules and points system developed combine the expertise of experienced judges from various fields and are designed to deter manipulated images.
The Anilao local community will also receive briefings to remind guests of proper underwater behavior and sign a code of conduct agreement prior to the event.
Other local dive destinations that have reopened include Puerto Galera, Oriental Mindoro; Malapasqua, Cebu State; Dauin, Negros Oriental; And Anilao, Batangas. Organizers of the Anilao Underwater shooting competition hope to promote the Philippines’ unique Marine life and ecosystem and encourage responsible diving.