In the beginning of the poll, only 2 sites from the Philippines are contending in the Top 10 namely the Tubbataha Reef in Palawan and the Chocolate Hills in Bohol. Other Philippine tourist spots were outside the Top 77 at that time.
Now, four of them have made it to the Top 10 list as the coclusion of the worldwide search for the â€œSeven Wonders of Natureâ€ are getting nigh.
Senators Pia Cayetano and Richard Gordon attributed the latest development to the â€œonline powerâ€ of Filipinos.
As of yesterday, Tubbataha Reef in Palawan was in second place, followed by Chocolate Hills in Bohol (fourth place), Puerto Princesa Subterranean River, also in Palawan (sixth) and Mayon Volcano in Bicol (10th).
Cayetano hailed Filipinos here and abroad for taking time to go online and acknowledged the critical role played by local governments, environmentalists and non-government organizations in encouraging more Filipinos and even foreigners to vote for the Philippine nominees.
â€œI hope this strong show of support is reflective of a deeper appreciation of our responsibilities as a people not only to promote, but also to save our natural resources from various threats,â€ said Cayetano, chairperson of the Senate committee on environment and natural resources.
For his part, Gordon said â€œthis is one contest where Filipinos all around the world can participate in and where victory is practically assured.â€
The search for the Seven Wonders of Nature is organized by the non-profit New Seven Wonders Foundation, which also undertook the â€œNew Seven Wonders of the Worldâ€ search last year.
The aim of the search is to create public awareness and contribute to the protection of the worldâ€™s natural heritage and foster respect for cultural diversity.
The list of nominees and the mechanics for voting are posted on the pollâ€™s official website www.new7wonders.com while the live rankings can be viewed here.
Filipinos can still vote online for the Philippine bets until Dec. 31, after which the Top 77 nominees will be submitted to a panel of experts that will put together a shortlist of 21 finalists by January 2009.
A second round of popular voting for the 21 finalists will then follow until the end of 2009, with the Top Seven nominees being officially declared the new â€œSeven Wonders of Natureâ€ by year 2010.
Here’s the current Top 10 as of June 10, 2008 (click to enlarge):