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More votes for River Natural Park

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More votes for River Natural Park

By ELLALYN DE VERA

Manila Bulletin
October 6, 2010, 9:55pm

MANILA, Philippines —  Puerto Princesa’s Subterranean River Natural Park, distinctively known as the Underground River, has significantly increased its percentage of global votes in the past four weeks, giving the country’s only entry to the campaign a better a chance of becoming one of the New Seven Wonders of Nature.

Based on the latest ranking of finalists posted on the New7Wonders website this week, the ranking shows the finalists ranked according to how much they have grown their votes in the past four weeks.

The Zurich-based New7Wonders Foundation explained that the current rating is not the ranking of total votes, but the ranking of percentage growth of votes in the past 28 days.

Finalists ranked one to seven this week are Dead Sea (Israel/Jordan/Palestine), Halong Bay (Vietnam), Yushan (Chinese Taipei), Maldives (Maldives), Great Barrier Reef (Australia/Papua New Guinea), Iguazu Falls (Brazil/Argentina), and Puerto Princesa Underground River (Philippines).

The Subterranean River Natural Park is the only Philippine entry that qualified for the global search, which was announced in 2009.

The country's national nominees that did not qualify through from the first phase were Tubbataha Reef (Palawan), Chocolate Hills (Bohol), Mayon Volcano (Albay), Hundred Islands National Park (Pangasinan), Mount Pinatubo (Zambales), and Taal Volcano (Batangas).

From more than 440 participating locations from over 220 countries in 2007, the Underground River was chosen as one of the 28 finalists to be advancing its way for the final voting to determine the Seven New Wonders of Nature. The seven awardees will be announced in November 11, 2011 in a still undisclosed venue.

The Underground River features a limestone karst mountain landscape with an 8.2 kilometer navigable underground river that winds through a cave before flowing directly into the South China Sea.

It also includes major formations of stalactites and stalagmites, and several large chambers, and is known as the longest passable underground river in the world.