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Puerto Princesa Subterranean River in New 7 Wonders of Nature

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New 7 Wonders of NaturePuerto Princesa Subterranean River in Palawan has successfully landed on the top 77 nominees on the New 7 Wonders of Nature (N7WN) international poll. Organizers of the N7WN reported that the top 77 were chosen out of the 261 contenders, after the second phase of the worldwide voting ended in July 7, 2009.

"The success of this campaign wouldn't have been possible without the Filipinos' worldwide support.  We are grateful to the people who voted and heeded our call to promote one of our national treasures," said Tourism Secretary Ace Durano.

According to the N7WN report, from the top 77 nominees, only 28 Official Finalists will be chosen by the N7WN's Panel of Experts.  The announcement of the 28 selected finalists will be made in Zurich at the New7Wonders Foundation headquarters on July 21, 2009 at 12.07 GMT.

"The Palawan Subterranean River has a very good chance of making it to the top 28, considering the criteria of the panel which include unique beauty, diversity, ecological importance, historical legacy, and geographical location," said Undersecretary Eduardo Jarque, Jr., Tourism Planning and Promotions.  Historical legacy refers to the people's relations or deep bond with the site, while geographical location means the even distribution of the contenders between continents and countries.

The top 28 finalists will compete against candidates within their category, which have been classified into 7 groups: Landscapes/Ice Formations, Islands, Mountains/Volcanoes, Caves/Rock Formations/Valleys, Forests/National Parks/Nature Reserves, Lakes/Rivers/Waterfalls, and Seascapes.

After the top 28 selection, voting resumes, while the New7Wonders World Tour visits the finalists to give each a chance to be seen by the whole world.  The final proclamation of the 7 Wonders of Nature will be held in 2011.

Founder and President of New7Wonders, Bernard Weber, said, "The success of lesser-known locations shows that an important New7Wonders goal in this campaign is being achieved—broadening the horizons of the voting public around the world, thus helping us all better appreciate the diversity of our planet."

Renowned as the world's longest underground river, the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park also features a stunning limestone karst mountain landscape.  Inside its large chambers are stalactites and stalagmites formations, while at the mouth of its cave thrives a bustling ecosystem which includes monkeys, large monitor lizards, and squirrels.

The New 7 Wonders of Nature is an ongoing campaign sponsored by the New 7 Wonders Foundation based in Switzerland.  The same group initiated the New 7 Wonders of the World project in 2007.

From the Department of Tourism

The following sites made it to the list:
(source: Ranking © www.new7wonders.com)

   1. Al-hasa Oasis - SAUDI ARABIA
   2. Amazon River - BOLIVIA/ BRAZIL/ COLOMBIA/ ECUADOR/ FRENCH GUIANA/ GUYANA/ PERU/ SURINAME/ VENEZUELA
   3. Angel Falls VENEZUELA
   4. Askania-Nova - UKRAINE
   5. Atacama Desert - CHILE
   6. Azure Window - MALTA
   7. Bay of Fundy - CANADA
   8. Belogradchik Rocks - BULGARIA
   9. Bialowieza Forest - BELARUS/ POLAND
  10. Black Forest - GERMANY
  11. Bu Tinah Shoals- UNITED ARAB EMIRATES
  12. Chicamocha Canyon - COLOMBIA
  13. Christmas Island - CHRISTMAS ISLAND
  14. Cliffs of Moher - IRELAND
  15. Coatepeque Lake- EL SALVADOR
  16. Cocos Island - COSTA RICA
  17. Colca Canyon - PERU
  18. Conchi - ARUBA
  19. Cox's Bazar - BANGLADESH
  20. Dead Sea - ISRAEL/ JORDAN/ PALESTINE
  21. Dean's Blue Hole - BAHAMAS
  22. Djavolja Varos - SERBIA
  23. Douro River Valley - PORTUGAL
  24. Eisriesenwelt - AUSTRIA
  25. El Yunque - PUERTO RICO
  26. Fernando de Noronha - BRAZIL
  27. Galápagos Islands - ECUADOR
  28. Grand Canyon - UNITED STATES
  29. Great Barrier Reef - AUSTRALIA/ PAPUA NEW GUINEA
  30. Ha Long Bay - VIETNAM
  31. Han-Sur-Lesse Caves - BELGIUM
  32. Iguazu Falls - ARGENTINA/ BRAZIL
  33. Jeita Grotto - LEBANON
  34. Jeju Island - KOREA (SOUTH)
  35. Kaieteur Falls - GUYANA
  36. Kaziranga National Park - INDIA
  37. Komodo National Park - INDONESIA
  38. Laguna Colorada - BOLIVIA
  39. Lake Atitlan - GUATEMALA
  40. Lake Bled - SLOVENIA
  41. Lake Ohrid - ALBANIA/ MACEDONIA (FYROM)
  42. Lake Saiful Maluk - PAKISTAN
  43. Lake Saimaa - FINLAND
  44. Lake Titicaca - BOLIVIA/ PERU
  45. Maldives - MALDIVES
  46. Masurian Lakes District - POLAND
  47. Matterhorn/Cervino - ITALY/ SWITZERLAND
  48. Milford Sound - NEW ZEALAND
  49. Mount Kilimanjaro - TANZANIA
  50. Mount Olympus - GREECE
  51. Mud Volcanoes - AZERBAIJAN
  52. Norfolk Island - NORFOLK ISLAND
  53. Ometepe Island - NICARAGUA
  54. Platano Forest - HONDURAS
  55. Pravcice Gate - CZECH REPUBLIC
  56. Puerto Princesa Subterranean River -  PHILIPPINES
  57. Retezat National Park - ROMANIA
  58. Rock of Aphrodite - CYPRUS
  59. Sinharaja Rainforest - SRI LANKA
  60. Sipadan Island - MALAYSIA
  61. Sossusvlei - NAMIBIA
  62. Štrbské Pleso Lake - SLOVAKIA
  63. Sumidero Canyon - MEXICO
  64. Sundarbans Forest - BANGLADESH/ INDIA
  65. Table Mountain - SOUTH AFRICA
  66. Thy National Park - DENMARK
  67. Uluru (Ayers Rock) - AUSTRALIA
  68. Vesuvius - ITALY
  69. Vrelo Caves - MACEDONIA (FYROM)
  70. Wadi Rum  - JORDAN
  71. Yu Shan  - CHINESE TAIPEI