BOHOL’S famed Chocolate Hills is back in the running to become one of the New 7 Wonders of Nature after contest organizers took it out from the final list of nominees two weeks ago.
Bohol Gov. Erico Aumentado said the Chocolate Hills was put back in the list by the New 7 Wonders of Nature (N7W), a non-government organization, which launched the search, after he complied with the contest’s final requirement, which was to set up an official support committee for Bohol's natural wonder.
Aumentado appointed the Bohol Provincial Tourism Council as the official nominator of the Chocolate Hills as a requirements of the N7W.
The NGO also required a commitment of support from the local government unit (LGU).
Aumentado said the LGU support group would organize a global working committee which would support Chocolate Hills to be part of the new seven wonders of nature.
“They (N7W) had restored Chocolate Hills and the previous votes were still counted after we complied with everything (requirements),” Aumentado said.
The Chocolate Hills consist of at least 1,268 domed limestone hills that turn brown under the summer sun and are spread in the towns of Carmen, Batuan and Sagbayan, Bohol.
The hills measuring 30 to 50 meters high have already been considered as among the National Geological Monuments of the country because of its scientific value and geographical uniqueness.
Aumentado said he appreciated the support from the Cebu provincial government and President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
“It would be an honor for Bohol if Chocolate Hills could make it to the top of the seven wonders list. Not only will it promote Bohol's tourism industry but also the Philippines,” Aumentado said.
The nomination, according to the governor, can also promote the country as a favorite eco-tourism destination in the world.
Cebu Provincial Board Member Victor Maambong asked the Cebuanos to cast their votes for the Chocolate Hills.
He said it would be a source of pride and a boost to local tourism if the Chocolate Hills were to become one of the seven wonders of the world.
“It is not only a (source of) national pride but (it will) also (boost) the prospect of promoting eco-tourism in the country...,” said Maambong in a draft resolution that will be submitted to the PB session on Monday.
If approved, Maambong wanted copies of his resolution sent to all the barangays in the province and the Department of Tourism.
Aside from the Chocolate Hills, Maambong said the Tubbataha Reef in the Sulu Sea and the Underground River in Puerto Princesa, Palawan also deserve the Cebuanos’ support.
The reef is a Unesco World Heritage Site because of its globally renowned bio-diversity. Its two atolls lie on the Cagayan ridge and encompasses roughly 100,000 hectares of corals and over a thousand species of marine life.
In the initial results of the online polls for the New 7 Wonders of Nature, the Tubbataha Reef ranked 7th place while the Chocolate Hills was 9th. The Puerto Princesa Underground River was number 20.
The need to massively campaign on the local destinations especially the Chocolate Hills was also among the concerns discussed in a local security meeting called by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo at the Malacañang sa Sugbu during her visit last Monday.
Those who wants to cast their votes for the Philippine's entries can log on to www.new7wonders.com.
“It is fitting that we encourage and exhort all Cebuanos to cast their votes for the new seven wonders of nature in the world,” said Maambong in his draft resolution.