The BEP Betta World Cup 2015, an International Betta Congress (IBC)-sanctioned international Betta competition and exhibit, was recently held at Z Square Mall on Banawe Road in Quezon City, Metro Manila. With a total of 1,006 entries (714 entries for the IBC Division and 292 entries for the Junior Division) from 181 participants from the Philippines, Thailand, Indonesia, Australia, Malaysia, Singapore, China, and the USA, those curious about Betta fish and Betta fanciers alike enjoyed a weekend of viewing some of the world’s most prime specimens of this popular fish species.

2015(Left to right) Show host Mika Umali, 2014 BEP auditor & Philippines IBC judge Allan Paul Francisco, BEP chairman & Philippines IBC judge Bryan Lim, Thailand Betta Club president & Thailand IBC judge Sarawut Korsoongsak, Betta Club Indonesia, Area 6 IBC representative & head judge Hermanus Haryanto, Indonesia Betta Splendens Club & Indonesia IBC judge Dominikus Ferdinand, and BEP president & Philippines IBC judge Mark Lester Hao.

Judging the Betta World Cup 2015 were International Betta Congress certified judges Hermanus Haryanto (IBC Area 6 head/Indonesia), Dominikus Ferdinand (INBS/Indonesia), Sarawut Korsoongsak (Thailand Betta Club president/Thailand), Mark Lester Hao (BEP president/Philippines), Bryan Lim (BEP chairman/Philippines) and Allan Paul Francisco (BEP auditor/Philippines).]

Betta keeping in the Philippines has gone a long way, observed IBC judge Hermanus Haryanto, who first visited the country seven years ago “This is my second visit in the Philippines and I am very happy to meet a lot of Betta enthusiasts…and a lot now participate in the show. The fish are of very good quality. I heard from the organizers that a lot of these come from Davao and they are very good quality too. I am happy that the entries are mostly from local breeders who can now produce competition grade Bettas.”

Halfmoon Division Champion – Owner – Gerald Prodon ( Philippines )

The event was organized by a group that has played a major role in making the Betta a popular fish in the Philippines, the BEP or Betta Enthusiasts Philippines. This is a non-profit organization formed by a group of Betta (fighting fish) hobbyists, which include Mark Lester Hao, Bryan Lim, Bruce Kenneth Tan, Allan Paul Francisco, Genel Cordero, Marc Franco, Angelito Hernandez, and Sherwin Jabines. During the event, the BEP marked its first anniversary of becoming an official IBC Chapter.

Trophies and prizes for winners of the Betta World Cup 2015

The BEP has conducted many shows and activities aimed at making Betta keeping one of the more popular hobbies in the Philippines. BEP president Mark Lester Hao says to Betta keepers and enthusiasts, “I would like to thank each and every one who supported BEP’s Betta World Cup 2015. You have made a significant contribution in catapulting the Philippine Betta hobby to the world scene. We are committed to stage more exhibits, seminars, and show competitions for the upliftment of our hobby. Together let us fuel the passion of Betta keeping furthermore. Be one of us.”

To know more about BEP and their activities you may view their video at this link: www.dailymotion.com/video/x227xjn_bep-the-bubble-makers-highlights-hd_animals. Those interested in learning more about Betta keeping may join BEP through their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/groups/BEP.IBC (With additional reporting by the event organizers; additional photos courtesy of Marc Rozen Franco and Ace Santos)

This story appeared in Animal Scene’s March 2015 issue.