As the deadline draws closer, the Philippines must choose between the Subterranean River National Park in Puerto Princesa and Tubbataha Reef in the Sulu Sea as its official entry in the online search for the New 7 Wonders of Nature.
A country must name just one official entry for the New 7 Wonders of Nature in online contest.
Palawan’s underground river remained at the top not only of the list of Philippine nominees but also of the overall global roster of at least 400 contenders as of Nov. 25, according to Organizer New7Wonders Foundation.
With Tubbataha Reef ranked No. 4, the Philippines has the biggest number of nominees in the Top 10. Chocolate Hills in Bohol is at No. 5 and Mayon Volcano in Albay at No. 10.
"This ranking can change at anytime, according to the voting," the N7W Foundation said.
"The top-ranked national nominee on Dec. 31 will represent the Philippines in the next phase of the New7Wonders of Nature campaign."
"Should Puerto Princesa be the natural monument of which the people are the most proud, which should embody the beauty of the country?" the group said. "The people of the Philippines must choose their favorite now."
Giving the Philippines tough competition is neighbor Vietnam, which has three nominees in the Top 10 — Ha Long Bay (2nd), Pho Nha - Ke Bang National Park (6th) and Fansipan Mountain (8th).
Other nominees in the Top 10 are Cox's Bazar Beach in Bangladesh (3rd); the Ganges River (7th) and Sundarbans Forest (9th), which are both shared by India and Bangladesh.
Natural wonders shared by more than one country, like the Ganges and Sundarbans, are exempt from the so-called national qualification requirement and will automatically continue into the next stage of the popularity competition.
The N7W campaign, done mainly through www.new7wonders.com, is aimed at raising awareness and generating more tourism income to help natural treasures to be better preserved for future generations.
New7Wonders Foundation, a non-profit organization based in Switzerland, is the same group that conducted an online search for the New 7 Wonders of the World last year.
From the current nomination round, the search will move on to the national qualification stage next year that would result in a shorter list of qualified nominees. The list will be further pared down to 21 finalists.
The "Official New 7 Wonders of Nature" will be announced in 2011.
source: Philippine Daily Inquirer