Our very own Underground River in Puerto Princesa, Palawan made it to the official list of the New 7 Wonders of Nature. Other finalists who made the cut are the Amazon Rainforest in Brazil, Halong Bay in Vietnam, Iguazu Falls in Argentina & Brazil, Jeju Island in South Korea, Komodo National Park in Indonesia and Table Mountain in South Africa.
The results come after a long selection process and series of voting which ended on November 11, 2011. The vote was hosted by the New7Wonders Foundation which is based in Zurich, Switzerland. According to the foundation's website, it is funded by commercial partnerships and licensing and does not rely on government, public or taxpayer money.
To pick the New 7 Wonders of Nature, citizens of the world were asked to nominate sites which they deemed were natural wonders. Four hundred forty contenders came up and after a series of voting, the list was trimmed to 77. The group was then further cut to 28 by a panel of experts and then to 14 finalists. The Amazon Rainforest in Brazil, Halong Bay in Vietnam, Iguazu Falls in Argentina & Brazil, Jeju Island in South Korea, Komodo National Park in Indonesia, Table Mountain in South Africa, the Dead Sea of Israel, Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, the islands of Bu Tinah in the United Arab Emirates, Lebanon’s Jeita Grotto, Tanzania’s Mount Kilimanjaro, Poland’s Masurian Lake District, the Sundurban mangrove forests of Bangladesh and India, and the Puerto Princesa Underground River complete the 14 finalist list.
In the Philippines, a feverish campaign was launched to solicit votes and make the Underground River make it to the final seven. Puerto Princesa Mayor Edward Hagedorn himself spearheaded the campaign. Even President Benigno Aquino, Jr. actively participated in the campaign by visiting the Underground River and encouraging every Filipino to support the country’s official entry by casting their votes through text or online.
According to the New7Wonders Foundation, the voting calculation is now being checked, validated and independently verified, and the confirmed winners will be announced starting early 2012 during the Official Inauguration ceremonies.