15 May 2008

New 7 Wonders of Nature

There are two sides of the coin when it comes to tourism: on one hand it generates a much-needed livelihood for the enterprising folk; and in the other, there is always that possibility of having our natural resources become ravaged by human carelessness.

I have seen too many instances where the bad side is the norm.

Take my hometown of Baguio, for example. Just last year, I can simply go to the bus terminal and get a ticket for the next trip within the hour. It has been around three months now that I get a ticket for at least three hours later. That's even during the weekdays. In Baguio, you can see a lot of construction going on. The more recent area threatened by "human development" is the woods located near the Convention Center and UP. I have, in the 70s, seen these grounds planted with pine tree saplings and saw it grow into what it is today: a beautiful green area where trees stand tall and proud. The fight to preserve this piece of land is now threatened because the people don't know enough about what is going on (or do they simply not care?). While this land can be bought by the local government, mindless politicians would rather opt to pass bills giving them the power to buy cars for their private transportation over much-needed garbage trucks or preserving our natural heritage. Everybody, not just the people of Baguio, should be made aware of these things and we should take action to curb the practices of these people who have nothing in mind but making money and thinking about their own welfare.

Another case: Taytay Falls in Majayjay, Laguna. In the late 90s, me and my officemates were able to get a chance to visit this area as a weekend getaway. We had to trek for a couple of hours to reach the falls. And in the site itself was just a couple of campers enjoying the serene beauty of nature. But during that time, we were already walking on a dirt road that was bulldozed to create a road going directly to the descent to the falls. I am not against convenience and enjoyment of nature by everyone, but you should see the amount of garbage left by picnickers! Amidst the cool, clear waters are shampoo sachets, junk food plastics, and bags with various bottles and tin cans. Why can't people be more consious of their surroundings? Even Mt. Banahaw's holy grounds are not spared. Garbage is dumped between the rocks surrounding Sta. Lucia Falls.

We don't even have to look far. Right here in Manila is the Arroceros Forest Park which was being nurtured for over ten years and then in the change of mayorship, policies were suddenly overturned, trees were uprooted and we now have an eyesore of a Department of Education Building right inside the forest preserve. How ironic is that?!

But I still yearn for the time when Filipinos will know how lucky they are to have these gifts through learning and travel.

It is my fervent hope that, in getting the world's attention to our more popular natural resources that we will see how lucky our country truly is in having these riches and that a concerted effort will happen in keeping these places free of garbage and human destruction.

So please vote for our candidates to the New 7 Wonders of the Natural World. Vote to open our eyes to our natural wonders and widen our horizon to truly see these trees which give our oxygen to breathe on and our oceans that give us food for nourishment without expect nothing from us in return but respect.


Visit the New 7 Wonders of the World website and you get to vote for 7 candidates. 3 of these nominees are our own:

Chocolate Hills

Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park

Tubbataha Reef

In order to vote, you need to input your e-mail address, then vote for your 7 Wonders. You can vote for a nominee only once! Voting ends on 31 Dec 2008. I will wait for a little longer to get more Philippine sites listed in there.
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