PHOTOS: 2021 Anilao Underwater Shootout stages a successful comeback

1st Place, Compact Class - Marine Behavior Category, Regie Casia

Team Out of Town Blog Hub (Outoftownblog.com) – Amateur and professional underwater photographers, divers, and marine enthusiasts once again masterfully captured the beauty of Anilao in the entries to the 7th Anilao Underwater Shootout (AUS), recently mounted by the Philippine Department of Tourism (DOT).

AUS competition judges Mike Bartick, William Tan (virtual) and Scott Gutsy Tuason (far right) and competition director Oliver Ang (third from left).
AUS competition judges Mike Bartick, William Tan (virtual) and Scott Gutsy Tuason (far right) and competition director Oliver Ang (third from left).
Competition Judges Scott Gutsy Tuason (far left) and Mike Bartick (7th from left) and Competition Director Oliver Ang (far right) with AUS participants
Competition Judges Scott Gutsy Tuason (far left) and Mike Bartick (7th from left) and Competition Director Oliver Ang (far right) with AUS participants

Dubbed as the “World Cup of Underwater Photo Competitions,” the four-day event highlighted the town’s teeming marine biodiversity, including its world-famous nudibranchs.

Event host Cat Triviño
Event host Cat Triviño

Tourism Secretary Berna Romulo-Puyat said the event showcased the country’s readiness to welcome back tourists and reclaim its position as the world’s leading dive destination.

Department of Tourism Undersecretary Woodrow Maquiling, Jr.
Department of Tourism Undersecretary Woodrow Maquiling, Jr.

The Anilao Underwater Shootout is a platform to communicate the importance of safeguarding our delicate reefs and marine ecosystems for future generations. As we slowly rebuild and recover from the effects of the pandemic, this event is our way of announcing to the world that the Philippines' diving industry is alive and well, and very much ready to welcome divers and underwater photographers

Bernadette Romulo-Puyat DOT Secretary

Supporting the department’s thrust to safely restart tourism in the country, Puyat also noted that more than 95 percent of the tourism workers in dive destinations are now fully vaccinated.

Gathering a total of 120 participants flying in from all over the country, the event also spurred domestic tourism activity in Anilao, trickling down to the community with engagement from the town’s resorts, dive guides, and spotters.

This year’s edition garnered a total of 348 entries across the competition’s 11 categories. Winners were awarded over two million pesos worth of prizes from its official airline partner Cebu Pacific, and underwater photography gear from event partners Nauticam, Scubalamp, and sponsors AOI, XDEEP, Crest, Fourth Element, Divers Point, Nautilus Dive, and Sports Center, Squires Bingham, and Ultralight Control Systems, Inc.

1st Place, Open Class - Macro/Supermacro Category, Dennis Corpuz
1st Place, Open Class – Macro/Supermacro Category, Dennis Corpuz

In the Open Class, Macro/Supermacro category, winners are Dennis Corpuz, 1st place; Marivic Verdadero Maramot, 2nd place; and Emil Ribaya Jaranilla, 3rd place.

Open Class Macro/Supermacro: Open to all participants with any type of camera and accessories. Published and professional photographers are automatically placed in this category. Open to all participants with any type of camera and accessories. Published and professional photographers are automatically placed in this category.

1st Place, Open Class - Marine Behavior Category, Ariel Locsin
1st Place, Open Class – Marine Behavior Category, Ariel Locsin

In the Open Class Marine Behavior category, winners are Ariel Careño Locsin, 1st place; Glenn Ian Diaz Villanueva, 2nd place; and Adrian Dan, 3rd place.

Open Class Marine Behavior: Photographs that feature any display of marine behavior such as feeding, breeding, etc. Open to all participants with any type of camera and accessories. Published and professional photographers are automatically placed in this category.

DOT Photographer of the Year and 1st Place, Open Class - Nudibranch Category, Dennis Corpuz
DOT Photographer of the Year and 1st Place, Open Class – Nudibranch Category, Dennis Corpuz

In the Nudibranch category, winners are Dennis Corpuz, 1st place; Glenn Ian Villanueva, 2nd place; Armida Esteban, 3rd place.

Open Class Nudibranch: Nudibranchs (soft-bodied marine gastropod molluscs) should be the main subject of the photograph. Open to all participants with any type of camera and accessories. Published and professional photographers are automatically placed in this category.
1st Place, Compact Class - Nudibranch Category, Penn De Los Santos
1st Place, Open Class – Fish Portrait Category, Dennis Corpuz

In the Fish Portrait category, winners are Dennis Corpuz, 1st place; Louis Myse Fae Ronquillo, 2nd place; Angelyca Paras Nery, 3rd place.

Open Class Fish Portrait: Photographs that prominently feature fishes. Can be a face or a full-body shot. Open to all participants with any type of camera and accessories. Published and professional photographers are automatically placed in this category.
1st Place, Compact Class - Macro/Supermacro Category, Rafael Francisco
1st Place, Compact Class – Macro/Supermacro Category, Rafael Francisco

For the Compact Class, Macro/Supermacro category, winners are: Rafael Francisco, 1st place; Jorge Ida, 2nd place; and Fr. Nemer de Castro Chua, 3rd place.

Compact Class Macro/Supermacro: Any close-up photograph of small subjects and marine life. The compact class is exclusively for participants using cameras without interchangeable lenses. Mirrorless, SLR, and all similar type cameras are not allowed.

1st Place, Compact Class - Marine Behavior Category, Regie Casia
1st Place, Compact Class – Marine Behavior Category, Regie Casia

In the Compact Class Marine Behavior category, winners are Regie Casia, 1st place; Lloyd Respicio, 2nd place; and Anjeanette Fuentebella, 3rd place.

Compact Class Marine Behavior: Photographs that feature any display of marine behavior such as feeding, breeding, etc. The compact class is exclusively for participants using cameras without interchangeable lenses. Mirrorless, SLR, and all similar type cameras are not allowed.

1st Place, Compact Class - Nudibranch Category, Penn De Los Santos
1st Place, Compact Class – Nudibranch Category, Penn De Los Santos

In the Nudibranch category, winners are Penn De Los Santos, 1st place; Kim Morfe, 2nd place; Armando Panopio, 3rd place.

Compact Class Nudibranch: Nudibranchs (soft-bodied marine gastropod molluscs) should be the main subject of the photograph. The compact class is exclusively for participants using cameras without interchangeable lenses. Mirrorless, SLR, and all similar type cameras are not allowed.

DOT Photographer of the Year and 1st Place, Compact Class - Fish Portrait Category, Teresa Sy Ortin
DOT Photographer of the Year and 1st Place, Compact Class – Fish Portrait Category, Teresa Sy Ortin

In the Fish Portrait category, winners are Teresa Sy Ortin, 1st place; Patricia Santos, 2nd place; and Ronald Amboy Dalawampo, 3rd place.

Compact Class Fish Portrait: Photographs that prominently feature fishes. Can be a face or a full-body shot.

The compact class is exclusively for participants using cameras without interchangeable lenses. Mirrorless, SLR, and all similar type cameras are not allowed.
Winner, Special Award - Blackwater, Dennis Corpuz
Winner, Special Award – Blackwater, Dennis Corpuz
Winner, Special Award - Wide Angle, Paul Joseph Aristorenas
Winner, Special Award – Wide Angle, Paul Joseph Aristorenas

Special prizes were awarded to Dennis Corpuz in the Blackwater category and Paul Joseph Aristorenas in the Wide Angle category.

DOT Undersecretary Woodrow Maquiling, Jr. with DOT Photographer of the Year (Open Class) Dennis Corpuz and PCSSD Executive Director Rowena Sorioso
DOT Undersecretary Woodrow Maquiling, Jr. with DOT Photographer of the Year (Open Class) Dennis Corpuz and PCSSD Executive Director Rowena Sorioso

Teresa Sy Ortin and Dennis Corpuz were named DOT Photographers of the Year for the Compact and Open classes respectively.

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 includes renowned underwater photography aficionados David Doubilet, Jennifer Hayes, Mike Bartick, Scott Gutsy Tuason, William Tan, and Underwater360 Group founder John Thet.

Following COVID-19 restrictions, the event followed a hybrid format with underwater photography workshops hosted via Zoom and the competition’s official Facebook page. Judging and deliberations were also done through the videoconferencing application.

The 7th Anilao Underwater Shootout was mounted in partnership with 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. The event is also supported by Wetpixel, Underwater Photography Magazine, Underwater 360, and GRID Magazine.

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Read: Underwater Photography: Anilao Underwater Shootout Is Back

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