Live Reports: Anilao Underwater Shootout 2018
Entries to the shootout had to be submitted by 8 am at the Acacia Resort, with the entries being tabulated and processed by the amazing team from the Philippines Department of Tourism.
The judging panel, consisting of John Thet, Ellen Cuylaerts, William Tan, Indra Swari and Laurent Ballesta then did a fantastic job of judging the over 1000 images.
The judging process is predictably blind, with entries being anonymized by software before the judges see them. Even so, it was a marathon effort, with the judges sequestered for over 6 hours.
While all this was going on, the media boat headed out diving! We dived on a spectacular bommie known as Beatrice. The quality of the wide angle diving in Anilao is perhaps its best-kept secret. Beautiful reefs, festooned in soft corals and life. Truly spectacular.
We wee joined by two of the Anilao Shootout’s sponsors too:
Philippines’s Assistant Secretary Roberto (Robie) P. Alabado III had flown in to be present at the contest’s closing ceremony. An enthusiastic birdwatcher, he decided to do a try dive while he was at Anilao.
I headed straight back from our dive to the Aiyanar Resort where the closing ceremony was being held and took some images of him enjoying the experience and being fascinated by the underwater world and its inhabitants.
The Chief Secretary explained to me how vital the Philippines Government considers diving as a tourist activity and how they can help promote the diversity of the diving on offer. He also stressed the need for environmental sustainability in this tourist development.
Philippines DOT is planning to offer scuba training to employees involved in the marketing of dive travel to help them appreciate the priceless asset that the nation has with the quality and variety of diving that is on offer.
The official closing ceremony is quite a big event! As mentioned above, it will be hosted by Aiyanar Resort, and a soundstage is being constructed for the festivities.
Please click through to see the images from the ceremony
- Day 1.
- Day 2.
- Day 3.
- Day 4.
- Day 5.
- Shootout Closing Ceremony.