One of the world’s biggest underwater macro photography competition, Anilao Underwater Shootout, is set to return this week.
Slated in Anilao, Batangas on December 1 to 5, this underwater photography competition would highlight the country’s world-famous marine life.
The hybrid edition likewise eyes to gather divers, professional and amateur underwater photographers, and marine enthusiasts from around the globe as the country positions itself as one of the leading diving destinations in the world.
Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat announced the return of AUS during the during the Sixth Philippine Deep Blue episode organized by the Department of Tourism and Dive Philippines early this month.
“The Anilao Underwater Shootout is not only a competition but also a platform to communicate to the world the importance of safeguarding our delicate reefs and marine ecosystems for future generations,” Puyat said.
This year, AUS’ panel of judges include renowned underwater photographers Mike Bartick, Scott Gutsy Tuason, and William Tan, along with Underwater360 Group founder John Thet.
Winners of the competition’s 11 categories will receive from underwater photography gear brands Nauticam, Scubalamp, AOI, XDEEP, Crest, and Fourth Element.
The competition would implement “no marine life manipulation” policy to safeguard Anilao’s eco system. This strict rule is also set in other underwater photography competitions in the world.
Oliver Ang, the director of AUS, said the set rules and point system combined with the expertise of highly experienced judges from various fields are in place to discourage manipulated images.
The local community of Anilao will likewise be briefed to remind guests to follow proper underwater conduct and sign a code of conduct accord prior to the event.
In 2013, AUS has been dubbed as the “World Cup of Underwater Photo Competitions.” Its first edition was held in the same year in Mabini, Batangas to promote Anilao as a premier underwater photography destination and gather the most illustrious local and international divers and photographers in one venue.
In its 2018 edition, over 220 contestants from 23 countries participated in the event.
Aside from Mabini, the DOT said local dive destinations such as Puerto Galera, Oriental Mindoro; Malapascua, Cebu; Dauin, Negros Oriental; and Anilao, Batangas have also re-opened to the public.