05 October 2010

Vote Puerto Princesa Subterranean River for New 7 Wonders of Nature

We have always alluded the Banaue Rice Terraces as the Eighth Wonder of the World. Offically there's only 7 Wonders, but I believe that giving such a title for one of our great treasures is proof that our natural and cultural heritage is a source of national pride and it's something we can showcase to the rest of the world.

Now, we are given the opporunity to actually put the Philippines on the Wonders of the World map, so to speak. The Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park is one of the 28 Finalists in the New 7 Wonders of Nature.

Also known as St. Paul's Subterranean River National Park, it is reputed to be the longest navigable underground river in the world. The limestone formations are spectacular and awe-inspiring.  I've had the great opportunity to visit the beautiful island of Palawan with friends in the 90s and reaching the Park is an adventure by itself.  Along the way it is not uncommon to see monkeys and monitor lizards in the area.  Inside the tunnel, our guide pointed out some painted crosses on the wall; priests used the river as refuge during the war.  Coupled with its history, it's an other-worldly experience: the silent tug of the boat amidst the darkness, the beautiful formations, the cool air, an occasional drop of cold water.

If you are visiting Palawan, note that there are lots of other places to see and enjoy such as the Crocodile Farm, the Penal colony, go island hopping at Honday Bay. But a visit to the underground river should always be at the top of your list. For where else in the country (or the world?) can you experience riding a boat inside a magnificent subterranean river?  Unspoilt in its beauty, Palawan has a reputation of being the Last Frontier.
The Tubbataha Reef National Marine Park, one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites, can also be found in Palawan.

As you can see from the rankings, we have a long way to go. Voting is ongoing til next year when the results will be announced on 11.11.11. Let us keep Palawan in our mindset and please actively promote this amongst your peers - especially those outside the Philippines -  and vote.  Note that votes outside the country of origin bear significant weight in the tally (see Latest Ranking).  Let us unite and make the Puerto Princesa Underground River part of the New 7 Wonders of Nature!

Visit either of the links below:
Puerto Princesa Underground River
New 7 Wonders of Nature (photo credit this site)

This post also appears in the Definitely Filipino blog

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