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Celebrate the Sea Marine Festival 2007 Brings Spotlight to RP’s Dive Destinations

( In its effort to promote the Philippines as one of the best diving destinations in the world. The Philippine Department of Tourism (PDOT) collaborates with Ocean Environment Australia in the staging of the 6th Celebrate the Sea Marine Imagery Festival (CSMIF) in Manila on September 21 to 23, 2007 at the Coconut Palace.

CSMIF is the biggest imaging event of the sea in the Asia Pacific. Since 2002, the annual festival previously held in Singapore and Malaysia has attracted entries from over 38 countries.

Conducted in association with the World Festival of Underwater Pictures, Antibes – also known as the “Cannes of Underwater Film Festival”, the presenters proposed to take CSMIF to Manila in 2007 with the intention to make the city the permanent home for the festival for three years. This will position Manila as the capital of underwater imagery in the Asia Pacific.

PDOT Assistant Secretary and Executive Director of the Philippine Commission on Sports and Scuba Diving Cynthia Carrion enthused, “We are pleased that the country has been chosen as the venue of this prestigious event, placing the Philippines in the map of international dive sites.”

“Divers attending the festival from all over the world will be drawn to our numerous dive spots.” Carrion added, “The divers will not only enjoy our underwater attractions but also our world-class facilities, above the ground sceneries, and the warm Filipino hospitality.”

“The festival has evolved to be one of the most important international events of the sea as it raises the awareness and public interest in marine life. It inspires and motivates people to protect and preserve our natural environment.”

The event is comprised of children’s painting competition, an exhibit of marine feature documentaries, international prints competition and posters display on marine environmental issues.

There will also be seminars by a panel of world renowned image makers and marine scientists such as David Doubilet of National Geographic, Jennifer Hayes – aquatic ecologists, Brad Norman – whale shark scientist, Michael Aw – author of Celebrate the Sea, Daniel Mercier – founder of World Underwater Picture Festival, and Scott Tuason – author of Anilao and Bahura.

Principal highlights of the event are: the international Underwater Imagery Competitions – the centerpiece of the Celebrate the Sea Festival with $30,000 worth of prizes up for grabs. It is the most prestigious underwater imaging competition in the Asia Pacific. Open to anyone in the world, the macro, wide angle and black and white photographs, digital images, short video and feature documentary films, and books all add to the international flair to this festival. In 2006, 4,500 entries came from 38 countries.

The Philippines – WOW Shoot Out Competition will be held from September 16-20, 2007. Competitors are invited to compete at any of the supporting resorts/operators. They will just have to submit their entries for judging on Friday, September 21, 2007. Results will be announced during the award ceremony along with the results of the international competition.

Lastly, is the international Underwater Film Festival. Fifteen award-winning documentary features from the World Underwater Pictures Festival Antibes will be specially brought for screening through the 3-day weekend festival. Selected entries from the films in competition will also be shown.

Photographers and filmmakers may send in their entries to compete for the following prestigious titles: The WOW Award – for the most outstanding image; The Hi-Five Award – for the highest scoring or the most well-balanced portfolio; and The Quick Draw Award – for the best action shot.

For more information, contact: href=""> or visit:

Source: PDOT - Team North America, Philippine Department of Tourism, Chicago Office 30 N. Michigan Ave., Suite 913, Chicago, IL 60602-3765 Ph: 312 782 2475 Fax: 312 782 2476 Email: Website:,,,,

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