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Sunday, June 28, 2009

Sport Diver Int’l magazine hail RP dive sites

The UK and US editions of top dive magazine Sport Diver have two different lengthy features with full colored images on the Philippines’ premier dive sites, Puerto Galera, Malapascua, Apo Island and Palawan,

The underwater exploration feature in the US edition was done by seasoned travel writer Ted Alan Stedman and award-winning photographer Carlos Villoch in Cebu, Bohol, Dumaguete, Boracay, Palawan, and Puerto Galera, which yielded in a 10-page, full-color article.

Stedman is well-known freelance travel writer while Carlos is an accomplished underwater photographer whose images have graced more than 65 front magazine covers, museums and aquariums throughout the world and were utilized by the World Wildlife Fund and British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC).

A sighting of an ominous 12-foot thresher shark at Monad Shoal in Malapascua Cebu opened Stedman’s article, noting a renowned fable in the island that told of a Chinese fisherman decapitated by a thresher’s scythe-like tail.

After Cebu, Stedman and Villoch headed to Apo Island in Negros. The dive writer underlined Apo Island as a marine restoration success story, with even the Chicago’s Shedd Museum dedicating a permanent exhibit for it entitled Wild Reef.

Villoch’s breathtaking top shot of El Nido, Palawan, with an expanse of colorful coral beds visible above water, served as the feature’s main photo.

Sport Diver’s version in the UK featured two articles by writers, Virginia Fage and Michael Yee.

Both writers participated in the magazine’s Writers’ Workshop campaign spearheaded by Editor-in-Chief Mark Evans.

Sport Diver UK teamed up with Brendan O’Brien and Michael Aw who were running a photojournalism course in the Philippines.

Winner Virginia Fage raved about the wreck Alma Jane in Puerto Galera. In her article, Fage mentioned that the wreck was sunk intentionally in 2003, and is now a photographer’s haven with the lights playing around the different creatures found underneath such as the lionfish, sweetlips, rabbit fish, batfish, and blue-spotted stingray among others.

Her photo of a dive master hovering closely on top of a giant clam measuring around one and a half meter long occupied a page on the magazine.

Another highlight of the winning articles was the complex mating of the mandarin fish.

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