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05/11/2009: Philippines in National Geographic’s 25 Best New Travel Destinations in the World for 2010; Ancient Cultures, Structures and Biodiversity Cited

Washington, DC 05 November 2009 - The Philippines was named “One of 25 Best New Trips in the World in 2010” by National Geographic which cited the Philippines’ ancient cultures, structures and biodiversity as key reasons to visit the country.

In its November 2009 Adventure issue, the DC-based National Geographic described the Philippines as harboring “as many islands as the Caribbean and some of the most spectacular reefs on the planet” adding that travel organizations have “finally gotten wise.”

National Geographic presented the “25 brand new adventures, all of them just right for right now.”  The list is directed at “travelers who want their dollars to do more – for others, for the planet and for themselves.”

Philippine Ambassador to the United States Willy C. Gaa said the inclusion of the Philippines in the list shows the global community is “taking note of the natural and cultural wonders in the country as well as the efforts to protect and preserve them.”

According to the article, Wilderness Travel is organizing a trip to the Philippines in May which will “lead clients high into the 4,000 foot Cordillera Central then deep into the world most biodiverse marine environment.”

Wilderness Travel is a company of and for travelers whose trip members are mostly repeat travelers or referrals from past members.  These include “naturalists, authors, ecologists, archeologists, art historians, teachers and mountaineers.”

The 12 day trip to the Philippines costs $3,300.

On its website www.wildernesstravel.com, the Philippines is described as a country which boasts breathtaking hikes among ancient rice terraces and scenic mountain landscapes, cultural encounters with Ifugao people and world-class snorkeling in the “Coral Triangle.”

According to Wilderness Travel, the Philippine journey explores “the emerald world of the Ifugao hilltribe people – steeped in ancient tradition- who have transformed the precipitous mountainsides of their homeland into steeply contoured rice terraces, complete with ingenious irrigation systems dating back 2,000 years.

The trip then takes travelers to Cabilao island in the Visayas to view “stunning coral reefs” that are part of the famed “Coral Triangle,” the world’s greatest concentration of marine biodiversity.

The Philippines has been promoting its cultural and natural wonders as preferred travel destinations for global tourists. The Embassy of the Philippines works closely with the National Geographic in raising awareness on the importance of sustainable development and ecological protection.

During President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo’s Official visit to Washington, D.C. in August 2009, she delivered a talk at the National Geographic Headquarters in the US capital, underscoring the Government’s efforts in and urging international support for preserving, promoting and protecting biodiversity in the Coral Triangle. END