The 2015 Philippine National Koi Show was recently held in Tiendesitas by organizer KoiHob, showcasing approximately 230 special show koi of different varieties and sizes.

Many hobbyists from cities outside Metro Manila flew in to take in the show, demonstrating the Pinoy passion for the hobby.

Show koi are judged based on the quality of the body conformation, skin and color quality, pattern, and even the visual overall impact that a koi presents itself. Though the task was difficult, the judges―gathered from the best in their field―carried out their duties professionally.

The show’s Grand Champion, a showa variety, captivated the visitors, participants, and judges alike with its jewel-like beauty.

Its owner earned his first Grand Champion trophy, and the rare privilege of being lofted into the air by the Japanese breeder judges―a tradition that dates back to earliest koi shows in Japan as a congratulatory sign of respect.

Traditional hoisting of the owner of the grand
champion winner by the competition judges.

Judges included owners of popular koi farms in Japan and Peter Waddington, who is considered the first “koikichi” or “koi crazy” person outside Japan.

Several decades ago, Waddington traveled to the mountains of Niigata Japan to learn about and purchase Nishikigoi in order to introduce quality koi outside Japan.

As a result, he is credited with popularizing the koi hobby with the rest of the world. He is also credited for introducing the proper use of the bottom drain, filter brushes, and mats that are now in use worldwide. His Koikichi book series are perhaps the best selling koi books of all time.

The Grand Champion B, which was the best non-gosanke (the so-called ‘big three’ koi types: Kohaku, Sanke, and Showa) variety of the show, was an impressive 92 centimeter Asagi which has also won two consecutive Best in Asagi Variety awards in the highly competitive All Japan Koi show. It was another crowd-drawer, being a gorgeous representative of its species.

Judges, organizers, and exhibitors of the 2015 Philippine National Koi Show. Koi hobbyists playfully call themselves “koi bois.”

Many other major and minor awards were presented to deserving hobbyists. This year’s Philippine National Koi Show was praised by koi hobbyists and even the judges as the best koi show they have seen so far in the Philippines, and all have great expectations for the continued growth of the koi hobby―and the spread of koikichi―in the country. (With reporting from Homer Cu. Additional photos courtesy of Duane Tan)

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