In celebration of World Oceans Day, multi-awarded photographers Anna Varona and Danny Ocampo recently unveiled captivating underwater photos to highlight the beauty of the Philippine oceans and the urgent need to protect them.

WWF solaire

The featured photographers of the Rule of 2/3s and the officials of WWF-Philippines, Solaire Resort and Oceana Philippines doing the sea turtle hand sign. (From left: Mr. Audie Gemora, Entertainment Director, Solaire Resort, Ms. Chrisma Salao, VP for Conservation Programmes, WWF-Philippines, Mr. Marc Nelson, WWF-Philippines National Ambassador, Ms. Anna Varona, one of the featured photographers, Ms. Gloria Estenzo-Ramos, VP Oceana Philippines and Mr. Danny Varona, one of the featured photographers)

The exhibit showcases a visual spectacle that gave the public access to see the beauty of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) such as the Marine Sanctuary in Tingloy, Batangas, Apo Island in Negros Oriental, Cagayancillo and Tubbataha in Palawan, and Tañon Strait in the Visayas.

Anna Varona, who is a responsible tourism advocate and a marine warrior on top of being a professional photographer, believes that this endeavor is very much aligned with the 2017 World Oceans Day’s theme ‘Our Ocean, Our Future’ because it aims to spread awareness on the role of MPAs in long-term food security. “MPAs ensure that our coastal resources are given the chance to regenerate and provide us food now and in the future. Aside from that, our fishermen are given much more stable and sustainable livelihood,” she said.

Danny Ocampo, who also campaigns for ethical and responsible diving and photography, hopes to influence tourists to be more responsible when they visit MPAs, especially since Apo Island has been instrumental in his journey towards marine conservation work. “Apo Island continues to inspire not only me but hundreds of individuals, organizations and policy makers here and abroad who have been there.  Sadly, its popularity is beginning to be its bane and measures have to be taken to ensure that tourism and conservation complement each other,” he stated.

Canon Philippines sponsored the printing of all portraits exhibited at Solaire including the postcard versions of select photos that were sold to help the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) Philippines in their continuous efforts to conserve Philippine oceans and the communities that greatly depend on them. WWF-Philippines’ work in protecting the Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park inspired the declaration of a million hectare of MPA by the Municipal Government of Cagayancillo through a municipal ordinance covering its entire municipal waters and surrounding open sea.

The exhibit, which is supported by the Department of Tourism, is open to the public until July 31, 2017.
ComCo Southeast Asia is the PR partner of WWF-Philippines.