Contact Us
Century International Hotels



Philippine marvels continue to dominate list of New 7 Wonders
Source: Manila Bulletin
Author: -
Date: 2008-11-02
The Philippines is full of natural wonders that captivate people the world over. Palawan’s Subterranean River, Sulu Sea’s Tubbataha Reef, and Bohol’s Chocolate Hills continue to top the list of the ongoing New 7 Wonders campaign.

"The response of people and support from our fellow Filipinos [is] very evident in this turnout, and we can expect increased tourist awareness of country’s beautiful treasures," Department of Tourism (DOT) Secretary Ace Durano, said.

Esteemed as one of the highlights of Palawan, the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park is still in the top spot.

The limestone cave that the river passes through is thought to be one of the longest navigable river-traversed tunnels in the world, and travelers say that a journey into the darkness of this cave is a truly unique experience.

Durano added, "Having three nominees from the country gives us a strong hope to be included in the National Qualification round, set next year."

In fourth place is the famed Chocolate Hills, a sea of grassy hills that stretch as far as the horizon. Named so because of their chocolate-brown color in the dry season, these hills have become an icon for Bohol.

Scientists explain that the 1,268 near-identical hills, with sizes ranging from 40 to 120 meters, are the result of the uplifting of ancient coral-reef deposits, followed by erosion and weathering.

The other candidates in the top 7 are: Ha Long Bay of Vietnam (second); Cox’s Bazar Beach in Bangladesh, (third); Al Hasa Oasis of Saudi Arabia, (sixth); and the Ganges River in India and Bangladesh (seventh).

Protected marine sanctuary Tubbataha Reef National Marine Park, ranks fifth. Divers from different parts of the world have noted its beauty and the diverse species of sea life present in the site. Among these are manta rays, lionfish, tortoises, clownfish, and sharks, including many that are endangered.

Eduardo Jarque, Jr., DOT Undersecretary for Tourism Planning and Promotions explained, "The Philippine sites are real gems in this worldwide campaign. Our country is blessed with natural wonders that were not created or significantly altered for aesthetic purposes – a basic guiding criterion in the search."

There are three major stages in the campaign: the Nomination Stage, the National Qualification Stage, and the Finalist Stage, where 21 finalists will be chosen.

Only one nominee from country will be allowed to proceed to the next stage. According to the organizers, until the end of 2008, only one nominee (from countries with more than one nominee) will continue to the next level.

"Though choosing [from among] three different yet equally unique wonders may be a difficult task, Filipinos should carry on...casting their votes and making their mark," noted Jarque.

He added that people knowing about the existence of the country’s natural wonders is one of the most effective ways of enticing them to visit.

"The Philippines is fortunate indeed to be rich in natural resources. We join the campaign in promoting nature’s wonders from all over the world," he remarked.

Guided by the slogan ‘If we want to save anything, we first need to truly appreciate it!’ the New 7 Wonders campaign is aimed at raising awareness and tourism income to help preserve natural treasures for future generations.

Following the resounding success of the New 7 Wonders of the World campaign, in which more than 100 million votes were cast, the organizers believe that New 7 Wonders of the World campaign will significantly raise awareness of the incredible variety and beauty of nature.

At the Finalist stage, the 21 New 7 Wonders of the World finalists will be put to popular vote in early 2009. Voting will continue throughout 2009 and into 2010. During this time, the New 7 Wonders of the World Tour will visit each of the finalists to allow them to present themselves to voters across the globe.

Everyone is encouraged to view the live ranking and cast their votes online at SMS and phone voting will be included for the Finalist stage by 2009.

[ Tubbataha Reef Wiki | Chocolate Hills Wiki ]

Indonesia Thailand USA Europe Canada Hong Kong Philippines