Home to some of the rarest species underwater, the rich seas of Anilao were masterfully captured in photographs—entries to the 6th Anilao Underwater Shootout, mounted by the Department of Tourism (DOT), in Mabini, Batangas.
Dubbed as the “World Cup of Photo Competitions,” the Anilao Underwater Shootout brought together more than 220 divers and underwater photographers from all over Asia-Pacific, Europe and North America to showcase Anilao’s immensely rich biodiversity and to promote the area as a world-class diving destination for all kinds of divers everywhere.
In the Open Class, Macro/Supermacro category, winners are: Yun Na Thing from Indonesia, 1st place, with a photo of a wide-eyed fish, its vibrant orange color stand stark against the blurry background; China’s Cai Heng, 2nd place; and UK and France’s Henley Spiers, 3rd place.
In the Open-Marine Behavior, Dennis Corpuz from the Philippines took home the 1st prize for his photo of a shrimp struggling from the grip of the cephalopod’s tentacles; Brook Peterson from the US, 2nd; and Cai Heng from China, 3rd.
Philippines’ Bebot Esteban bagged first prize in the Nudibranch category with her shot of a pastel-colored nudibranch. Taking the next two spots are Hong Kong’s Lai Kam Moon, 2nd place; and Malaysia’s Mohan Thanabalan, 3rd place.
In the Fish Portrait category, Peri Paleracio of the Philippines bagged first place for his photo of a vibrant red fish with glowing eyes lurking in the shadows; PJ Aristorenas from the Philippines and Marco Steiner from Austria won 2nd and 3rd prizes, respectively.
For the Compact Class, the Macro/Supermacro category winners were Ericson Yee from the Philippines, 1st place; Narumon Pimsirinath of Thailand, 2nd place; and Philippines’ Ex Liao in 3rd place
For Marine Behavior, Maria Nerissa Fajardo of the Philippines won 1st place for her photo of a translucent cephalopod against the pitch black waters; Jayson Apostol from the Philippines took home 2nd place, and Korea’s Gyoungmi Lee settled for 3rd place.
In the Compact-Nudibranch category, 1st place went to the Philippines’ Marc Stephen De Leon for his beautiful close-up shot of a glowing nudibranch “dancing” in the darkness; China’s Haojie Lin, 2nd place, and Ronald Dalawampo, 3rd place, complete the winners’ circle.
In the Fish Portrait category, the fish opens its eyes and mouth wide open in the photograph snapped by Philippines’ Regie Casia, 1st place. The two other winners were Sudong Lim from the US in 2nd place, and Indonesia’s Ajiex Dharma in 3rd place.
Special prizes were won by Ria Crucero of the Philippines in the Special Beginners category; and China’s Cai Songda in the Blackwater/Bonfire category.
The Philippines took both titles for the DOT-PAL Photographers of the Year with Dennis Corpuz for his Open-Marine Behavior entry, and Regie Casia for his Compact-Fish Portrait photo.
The international event 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).
This year’s panel of judges had some of the most respected names in underwater photography, namely, widely published French naturalist photographer and marine biologist Laurent Ballesta; award-winning Belgian underwater and wildlife photographer Ellen Cuylaerts; macro photography expert and 2015 Wildlife Photographer of the Year Indra Swari; renowned Singapore-based underwater photographer William Tan; and Underwater360 founder and Asia Dive Expo’s official organizer John Thet.