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The Underwater Shootout returns to Anilao this year

Happening from December 01 to 05, the five-day event brings together renowned underwater photographers from around the world.

Story by
Team GRID

The Philippines is once again welcoming some of the world’s best divers and photographers to its shores as the 7th Anilao Underwater Shootout finally returns to Batangas.

Since its first edition in 2013, the Anilao Underwater Shootout regularly brings together some of the world’s most illustrious names in diving and underwater photography. The event aims to showcase the country’s vibrant diving scene, as well as advocate for responsible diving and the protection and preservation of marine ecosystems.

After lengthy postponements due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Shootout returns this December 01 to 05; welcoming a mix of professional and amateur photographers back to Mabini, Batangas in what is dubbed the World Cup of underwater photo competitions.


Credited as the birthplace of scuba diving in the Philippines, Anilao consistently finds itself among the world’s best dive spots. Found on the northern coast of the municipality of Mabini, it is home to over 40 sites for recreational and sport divers, and a diverse mix of underwater creatures that make it a must-go destination for underwater photographers looking for unique and unusual subjects.

Participants in this year’s Shootout will compete across 11 categories, where winners will receive prizes from the world’s leading underwater photography brands. Renowned underwater photographers including Jennifer Hayes, William Tan, and the country’s own Gutsy Tuason will serve as this year’s panel of judges.

Following the DOT’s guidelines on the gradual reopening of dive destinations, health and safety protocols both on-land and underwater will be observed at all times throughout the five-day event. Organizers have also set a strict “no marine life manipulation policy” to protect Anilao’s critical ecosystem, which all guests must agree to before the competition.

The Anilao Underwater Shootout is also part of the DOT’s ongoing initiatives to reopen dive tourism in the country, and cement the Philippines’ position as Asia’s leading dive destination. Since reopening to local divers in late 2020, Anilao has worked hard to maintain its reputation as one of the country’s leading dive spots, while offering guests a safe diving experience.

Other dive destinations that have also reopened to local tourism include Puerto Galera, Oriental Mindoro; Malapascua, Cebu; and Dauin, Negros Oriental.

Visit the official Anilao Underwater Shootout and Dive Philippines Facebook pages to learn more.

  • In 2020, we returned to Anilao just as the county was relearning how to travel—speaking to local tourism players about how they’ve coped and what they really need to recover. Read Back to Anilao here.
A mantis shrimp larva. Photo courtesy of Gutsy Tuason.

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