Successful 3rd Misamis Oriental Dive Festival Boosts Dive Tourism in Region 10, Announces Winners of Underwater Photo Shootout | Motourismo

Congressman Duke Frasco and DOT Secretary Christina Frasco (center) with the panel of judges from left, Magnus Nielsen, Ram Yoro, Yvette Lee, Bo Mancao, DOT 10 Regional Director Marie Elaine Salvana-Unchuan, and Fra-and Quimpo on September 8, 2023 in Gingoog City, Misamis Oriental.

The third edition of the MisOr Dive Festival recently concluded its week-long underwater photography competition, which was participated by local and foreign divers capturing the stunning beauty of Misamis Oriental’s lush marine life. 

Colorful and lush soft corals abound in Medina, Misamis Oriental as captured by award-winning underwater photographer, Yvette Lee on September 8, 2023.
Diver: Arabelle Jimenez, EIC of, Dive Operator: Mantangale Albuag Dive Resort

The staging of the event, which was held last September 6 - 10, 2023, was organized by the Department of Tourism - Northern Mindanao headed by its Regional Director Marie Elaine Salvana-Unchuan, in partnership with the Misamis Oriental Provincial Tourism Office. 

DOT 10 Regional Director Marie Elaine Salvana-Unchuan gives her welcome remarks at the 3rd MisOr Dive Festival Opening Ceremony held last September 6, 2023 in SM CDO Downtown Premier, Cagayan De Oro City.

“I would like to commend our Dive Tourism Stakeholders who have shown immense passion, appreciation, and concern for our dive sites here in Region 10. Your love for diving equates to its sustainability and the preservation of our treasured dive sites will forever be a source of honor and pride for all of us,” said Director Unchuan during the opening ceremonies held in Cagayan De Oro City. 

Department of Tourism Secretary Christina Garcia Frasco was the guest of honor during the Mayor's Night held last September 8, 2023 in Gingoog City, Misamis Oriental.

Department of Tourism Secretary Christina Garcia Frasco was also present during the Mayor's Night held in Gingoog City, solidifying her support of the various efforts in promoting dive tourism in Northern Mindanao. This event in Region 10 come in the heels of the recent award our country received as Asia’s Leading Dive Destination at the 2023 World Travel Awards (WTA) Asia and Oceania Gala Ceremony, which was held last September 7, 2023 in Vietnam.

Secretary Frasco reveals, “We have dive enthusiasts from all over the world and many jurisdictions, including North Asia, as well as Europe who recognize diving as a very strong product for the Philippines. ”

The 3rd MisOr Dive Festival was graced by a distinguished panel of judges who are luminaries in the Philippine scuba diving industry. These diving celebrities are also multi-awarded international underwater photographers composed of Yvette Lee, Ram Yoro, Bo Mancao, Fra-and Quimpo, and Magnus Nielsen.


The underwater photo contest showcased the rich marine life of the province of Misamis Oriental. It featured different categories such as OPEN CLASS and COMPACT CLASS (Wide Angle, Macro/Super Macro, Nudibranch, Marine Life Categories), which was participated by 40 underwater photographers coming from different parts of the country. 

Cash prizes and sponsors' packages were given to the winners of each category, with the following amounts; First Place Php 15,000.00, Second Place Php 10,000.00, Third Place Php 5,000.00.

Below are the amazing photographs skillfully captured by exceptional divers and participants during the 3rd MisOr Dive Festival. Both the esteemed panel of judges and the audience were thoroughly entranced by the remarkable talent, creativity, and beauty of Misamis Oriental waters that have been meticulously expressed in each and every frame. 

Congratulations to the following winners of the 3rd MisOr Dive Festival:

πŽππ„π 𝐂𝐋𝐀𝐒𝐒

Wide Angle Category

• Gerrit Pang (1st Prize Winner)

• Neil Anthony Torres (2nd Prize )

• Gerrit Pang (3rd Prize)

Macro/ Super Macro Category

• Nico Calo (1st Prize)

• Nico Calo (2nd Prize)

• Neil Anthony Torres (3rd Prize) 


• East Padillo (1st Prize)

• Bebot Esteban (2nd Prize)

• Pj Aristorenas (3rd Prize)

Marine Life Behavior

• East Pardillo (1st Prize)

• East Pardillo (2nd Prize)

• PJ Aristorenas (3rd Prize)

π‚πŽπŒππ€π‚π“ 𝐂𝐋𝐀𝐒𝐒

Wide Angle Category

• Jose Antonio Caluag (1st Prize)

• Penn De Los Santos (2nd Prize)

• Nicole Madrid (3rd Prize) 

Macro/ Super Macro Category

• Norman William Macababayao (1st Prize)

• Jose Antonio Caluag (2nd Prize)

• Casty Pambid (3rd Prize) 


• Norman William Macababayao (1st Prize)

• Jose Antonio Caluag (2nd Prize)

• Rossana Baladad (3rd Prize)

Marine Life Behavior

• Andrew Gritzka (1st Prize)

• Charlene Magdurulang (2nd Prize)

• Jose Antonio Caluag (3rd Prize) 

One of the highlights of the 3rd MisOr Dive Festival was a special award from the City of Gingoog granted to Mr. Gerrit Pang with his stunning shot of Gingoog Pier that was also awarded 3rd place in the OPEN CLASS (Wide Angle Category). 

The MisOr Dive Festival is sponsored and supported by trusted partners – Province of Misamis Oriental, Gingoog City, Municipalities of Balingoan, Medina, and Talisayan, Duka Bay Resort, Mantangale Alibuag Dive Resort, Scuba de Oro, and NorthMind Freediving. As well as the following sponsors – Ajis Marine, Primer Group of Companies (REEF, Billabong, Quicksilver, R.O.X, Sea to Summit, Roxy), 2GO Travel, Pacifica Dive, Scuba Studio, and the Philippine Commission on Sports Scuba Diving (PCSSD). 

Event photos courtesy of Dive Northmin.

For more information, follow the Department of Tourism - Northern Mindanao Office Facebook page.




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