By Mayen Jaymalin Updated December 30, 2008 12:00 AM
[ philstar.com ]
The Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park has secured a place in the list of the world’s New 7 Wonders of Nature.
The Department of Tourism (DOT) reported that the Philippines has evidently secured the lead in the latest online race for the new wonder list of natural sites.
“The good news is clear: the Philippines bested all other nominees and has secured the eminent spot in the New 7 Wonders of Nature race, with Puerto Princesa Subterranean River first in the rankings,” Tourism Secretary Joseph Ace Durano said.
Durano said there are only two days left to vote for the national nominee to represent the Philippines in the global race to choose the Official New 7 Wonders of Nature.
Aside from the underground river, other Philippine nominees in the Top 10 are Tubbataha Reef (No. 4) and the Chocolate Hills of Bohol (No. 5).
Other national wonders such as Mayon Volcano, Hundred Islands National Park, Mount Pinatubo and Taal Volcano, are also candidates in the race.
“This sustained support from people the world over has been evident in the present rankings of our country’s nominees. We are calling all Filipinos to make their mark and be part of this historic undertaking as we campaign for the New 7 Wonders of Nature,” Durano said.
He noted that the Puerto Princesa River is one of the leading adventure tourism sites in the country today. The New 7 Wonders of Nature website describes it as a limestone karst mountain landscape with an 8.2 km. navigable underground river. “A distinguishing feature of the river is that it winds through a cave before flowing directly into the South China Sea.”
He said Tubbattaha Reef continues to captivate divers from all over the world while the Chocolate Hills has always been a favorite must-see spot.
“Our country’s natural marvels are all sure winners in this respect,” undersecretary for tourism planning and promotions Eduardo Jarque Jr. said.
“However, we should let the Filipino people decide who would represent the country in this global campaign,” he added.
The first stage of voting in this second New 7 Wonders campaign will end on Dec. 31. Only the top national nominee will represent each country in the next stage, and these will be announced on the New 7 Wonders website on Jan. 7, 2009.
This ranking can change at any time, according to the voting, but ends at midnight on the last day of the year.
All multinational nominees, meaning those shared by more than one country, will continue into the next stage of the New 7 Wonders of Nature campaign.