Palawan’s Underground River celebrates 3rd ‘New7Wonders of Nature’ declaration

PUERTO PRICESA CITY — The Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park (PPSRNP) kicked off a bunch of events and activities on Friday to celebrate the third year since it was declared as a “New7Wonders of Nature.”

PPSRNP, also known as the Puerto Princesa Underground River, was declared as part of the “New7Wonders of Nature” on Nov. 11, 2011 and has since intensified conservation efforts as it welcomes more tourists.

Protected Area and World Heritage Site manager Elizabeth Maclang expressed hope that celebrations such as this would help make bigger impact on the river’s universal value, especially as the river is home to one of the world’s most impressive cave systems.

The river’s cave systems feature limestones, forests and distinctive wildlife. It is located approximately 76 kilometers northwest of Puerto Princesa City.

Although the PPSRNP was declared as a “New7Wonders of Nature” in 2011, the annual celebration of such declaration was begun only in 2014.

Events and activities lined up include a PPSRNP International Bird Photography Race and a search for its Ecotourism Ambassador in what is described as an “unconventional” beauty pageant, the Department of Tourism-Mimaropa (DOT 4-B) said.

In schools, quiz shows open to all high school students were held to gauge the knowledge of local Puerto Princesa youth about the PPSRNP.

There was also a so-called SayawitCompetition meant to promote their hometown wonder in the form of dance and music.

These events are part of the annual Mimaropa Festival celebration which has a lineup of events that include street-dancing competition, agriculture-tourism-trade fair and crowning of Festival King and Queen, among others.

Other activities include a Business-to-Business Meeting with Philippine Tour Operators (PHILTOA), National Association of Independent Travel Agents (NAITAS) and Taiwanese Travel Agents with the DOT Accredited Properties and Tour Operators in the region.

The region of Mimaropa or Region IV-B is composed of five provinces, namely Mindoro Occidental, Mindoro Oriental, Marinduque, Romblon and Palawan. Azer Parrocha/