By SHIENA M BARRAMEDA
NAGA CITY: Three of the tourist spots of Bicol Region are listed among the final 25 to be included among the top ten best natural tourist destinations in the Philippines in an online competition.
The competition dubbed Philippine Gems aims to showcase the country's many pristine natural tourist attractions to increase the awareness and appreciation for these sites in order to eventually boost economic activity in the tourism industry according to the description posted on the website of project proponent Isla Lipana & Co, a Philippine member of multinational services firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) based in London, England.
The tourism spots in Bicol that were listed in the top 25 are the Calaguas Island in CamNorte, Caramoan in CamSur, and Donsol in Sorsogon.
Calaguas Island, CamNorte is dubbed by organizers as the "concealed white beach of Bicol" for its pristine beaches.
Caramoan, CamSur is tagged as "Favorite Survivor series destination," while people are invited to swim in Donsol, Sorsogon the "Kingdom of Butandings (Whale sharks)."
Tourism offices in the provinces of CamSur, CamNorte, and Sorsogon are now doing the rounds of campaigning for their own entries through social networks and information drives to garner more votes until the end of voting period pegged on August 9
Voting started last June 26 simultaneously with Isla Lipana & Co.'s leadership turnover event at Makati Shangri-La.
Voting mechanics allows public to vote online for their top ten among the 25 finalist by visiting www.philippinegems.com.
The ten sites that will receive the most number of votes will then be recognized in no particular order, except for the top tourist attraction that will garner the highest number of votes, organizers say.
Other candidates in the competition are: Apo Island, Negros Oriental; Apo Reef Natural Park, Occidental Mindoro, Batanes Island; Biri Island Rock, San Bernardino Strait; Bucas Grande Island, Surigao del Norte; Busuanga and Coron, Palawan; Cagayan de Oro City, Misamis Oriental; Camiguin Province; Camotes Islands, Cebu; Danjugan Island, Negros Occidental; Kapurpurawan Rock Formation, Ilocos Norte; Lake Sebu, South Cotabato; Mt. Kanlaon, Negros; Mt. Pinatubo, Zambales; Mt. Pulag, Benguet; Pagudpud Beach, Ilocos Norte; Panglao Island, Bohol; Siargao Island, Surigao del Norte; Sagada, Mountain Province; Siquijor Island; Taytay, Palawan and Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park, Palawan. – Bicol Mail