FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASECount down to the Biggest Event of the Ocean in the Asia Pacific…Celebrate the Sea Festival 2009 Philippines  12-14 June, Manila Ocean Park 5000 entries; 15 International award winning films from the World’s Best, the first Underwater Mardi Gras, ‘To Touch A Shark’ Painting competition, and the finalists – prints in exhibition. Presentations a ...
Yes, some of the world’s most renown ocean luminaries, underwater image makers and ocean lovers will meet in Manila from 12 to 14 June to celebrate at this year’s ‘Celebrate the Sea festival; significantly manifesting in the official proclamation by the President of the Republic of the Philippines, Her Excellency, Gloria Arroyo, who declared the month of June to be the ‘Celebrate the Sea’ month and the second Saturday in every June to be the ‘Celebrate the Sea Day’.

This year’s festival of international underwater imagery and art competition has received over 5000 entries from over 39 countries; Australia, Malaysia, Taiwan, Japan, United Kingdom, Belgium, Holland, India, Thailand, Sweden, Germany, Denmark, France, Turkey, Indonesia, Brunei, Hong Kong, Spain, Russia, Singapore, Sweden, Poland, Ukraine, Italy, Austria, South Africa, United States, and of course the Philippines. Visitors will be able to feast their eyes and indulge in some of the finest arts of the sea.

Adding to the highlights of this year’s activities is the Mardi Gras-like event of the ocean’s flora and fauna which will be gaily symbolised and paraded by participants from all the provinces of the Philippines. “This is the first ever mardi gras-like event of the sea that  will be filled with music and dancing in the streets of Roxas Boulevard, to the soul and  rhythmic beat of the unique spirit of the Filipino people, that never fails to leave a fun-filled and lasting memory”, assured Under Secretary, Cynthia Carrion. Celebrate the Sea is the biggest underwater picture festival outside of Europe where  the ‘World Festival of Underwater Pictures’ (Festival Mondial de l'Image Sous Marine) is staged annually in Antibes, France, now in its 36th year.  Celebrate the Sea festival is seen as the dominant platform to promote conservation, marine tourism, providing education and entertainment to create a greater awareness of our ocean environment.

The main venue for the festival is once again, the landmark at Manila Bay’s foreshore - the Manila Ocean Park, the Philippines’ first state-of-the-art Oceanarium comprising of an open water marine habitat, boutique mall, and restaurants.  In collaboration with the Department of Tourism (DOT) and the Philippines Commission on Sports Scuba Diving (PCSSD), the organiser OceanNEnvironment looks forward to the biggest and most exciting festival of the sea ever to be staged in the Asia Pacific.

Master pass packages are now available for international visitors and local resident with Master pass package starting from 1300 pesos. Day Pass is 650 pesos

Master pass(standard) benefits: 3 day entries to Manila Ocean Park (12-14 June 2009), entry to underwater film festivals, photo exhibitions, all highlights inclusive underwater photography seminars and presentations by David Doubilet, Peter Scoones, Phil Nuytten inclusive of Award Ceremony. 1300 pesos

The Premiere Master pass is comprised of: 3 day entries to Manila Ocean Park, entry to underwater film festivals, photo exhibitions, event T-shirt, all highlights inclusive underwater photography seminars and presentations by David Doubilet, Peter Scoones, Phil Nuytten plus welcome party – An Evening to Remember, the Gala dinner and award ceremony. 1850 pesos

The Hyatt Hotel and Casino is the official host hotel; accommodation, breakfast and master pass packages available. For more information or email

The Celebrate the Sea Festival is a non-profit event funded and produced by OceanNEnvironment Australia. The partner and principal sponsors for 2009 are the Department of Tourism, Philippines and PCSSD with Rolex continuing its unstinting support as a major sponsor since inception hosting of Rolex’s ambassador. Manila Ocean Park is a principal venue sponsor.