Philippine gov't seeks support for Vigan City in seven wonder cities competition
MANILA, July 14 (Xinhua) -- The Philippine government Monday called on Filipinos around the world to support the bid of Vigan City in northern province of Ilocos Sur to become one of the world 's new seven wonder cities.
Secretary Ramon Paje of the Philippine Department of Environment and Natural Resources said Vigan needs the same overwhelming support that made Palawan's Puerto Princesa Underground River (PPUR) one of the New Seven Wonders of Nature in 2012.
Paje, who served as the national campaign manager for the PPUR, said Vigan deserves the Filipinos' full backing.
"It has been wonderfully preserved as one of the few Hispanic towns in the country, with structures intact due to best practices in management, governance, stakeholder involvement, and awareness on cultural heritage," Paje added.
Vigan City is a favorite tourist destination in northern Philippines, famed for its unique colonial architecture lined by cobblestone streets and distinct cuisine. It is the only Philippine town on the list of heritage sites declared by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization ( UNESCO).
UNESCO describes Vigan as "the best-preserved example of a planned Spanish colonial town in Asia."
Vigan is one of more than 1,200 nominees worldwide that has been qualified and shortlisted to the first of three finalist phases for world's new seven wonder cities. The first phase saw the official list of finalist candidates whittled down from 28 to 21 in a global voting that started on Oct. 21, 2013 and ended on July 7, 2014.
The second round of voting will run for three months, from July 7 to Oct. 7, 2014, during which the 21 finalists will be reduced to 14. This list will further be reduced to the official list of seven winners after the final round of voting on Oct. 7-Dec. 7, 2014.