Thursday, December 10, 2015

International UW Photographers Gather at Anilao, the Dream Macro Destination in the World

By Arabelle Jimenez

The 3rd Anilao Underwater Photo Competition Festival was a huge success, with international and local participants growing each year.

Organized by the Philippine Department of Tourism (PDOT) Dive Market Development Group, and hosted this year by Acacia Resort and Dive Center, high caliber underwater photographers and seasoned divers convened on a 5-day shoot out in this paradise. Dive tour vouchers, dive equipment, and several dive-related prizes were given away. PDOT is thus committed to the continued development of this event in working with dive stakeholders to create an even better experience for divers, photographers and visitors in the future.

Anilao, dubbed as the dream macro destination in the world, attracted 15 countries to come all the way to Mabini town in Batangas, Philippines. The fact that 15 countries (Philippines, US, Australia, Indonesia, Turkey, Taiwan, Japan, Thailand, Singapore, China, Brazil, Canada, Korea, Hong Kong and Germany) are represented, is living proof that this has grown into what has been reported as the leading underwater photography competition in the world. 

World-renowned underwater photographers were also invited to be part of the distinguished panel of judges namely; Lia Barrett (USA), Yorko Summer (Taiwan and Shanghai), Ken Thongpila (Australia), Yusuke Yushino (Japan), and Cem Gazivekili (Turkey). For the judges' full profiles, please click here

Competition Director, Jerome Kim made sure of the smooth flow of this one-of-a-kind underwater fest. 

The Dive Market Development Group, headed by the tandem of Glen Agustin and Wen Sorioso, first saw the organization of this event as a wonderful opportunity to further strengthen Anilao, Philippines' standing in the global dive market as a leading underwater photography destination by showcasing the richness of our marine biodiversity.  Now on its third year, this event has evolved into a fun environment for local and international divers in the pursuit for common interest -- appreciating the marine environment and love for scuba diving.

PDOT's Undersecretary Bong Bengzon said, "The underwater photography world provides us a glimpse into the unknown and diverse marine life that a few privileged get to see firsthand. It is through these competitions that we become stewards of the ocean and its inhabitants." Addressing to the UW photographers during the awards night, he added, "You have made our job easier and you have been our partners in the market development of Anilao and the rest of the Philippines as a premier Scuba diving destination in Asia and the rest of the world."

An image can speak a thousand words.  All participants are winners, as each image has spoken the beauty of the underwater world.  Still, many UW photographers were able to outshine the rest.

PDOT's Glen Agustin and Competition Director Jerome Kim presents the winners of Compact Class Macro/Super Macro. Winner Penn delos Santos 2nd Sarah Punal, and 3rd Thomas Tan.

Open Class Nudibranch Portrait. PDOT's Glen Agustin, Tanakit Yammo 2nd, winner Jojo Lau, and Snoopy Montenegro 3rd, with Jerome Kim.

Compact Class Marine Behavior. Doug Batt 3rd, winner Daniel Chan, and Jackie Tan 2nd with Jerome Kim.

Compact Class Photographer of the Year (Portfolio). Kati Hachenburg of The Three P Holiday and Dive Resort with Undersecretary Bong Bengzon presents winner Ivan Manzanares, Jackie Tan 2nd, and  Penn delos Santos 3rd.

Open Class Marine Behaviour. Wei Hsi Mon 3rd, winner Irwin Ang, and Joseph Kim 2nd.

Open Class Macro/Super Macro. Seungchul Yang 2nd, Dennis Corpuz 3rd, and winner Ponnie Janjarassku with Jerome Kim.

Compact Class Crustacean Portrait. Oliver Aquino 3rd, winner Ivan Manzanares, and Eric Yee 2nd.

Compact Class Nudibranch. Winner Baby Fajardo, Padoy Fajermo 2nd, and PJ Aristorenas 3rd.

PDOT's Undersecretary Bong Benzon (far right) and a representative from sponsor Sea & Sea Camera presents the winners of  the PDOT UW Photographer of the year 2015. Seungchul Yang 3rd, Ram Yoro 2nd and winner Insoo Park

Open Class Crustacean Portrait. Kelvin Tan 3rd, Peri Paleracio 2nd, and winner Insoo Park.

To view their award-winning images, please click here.