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Hagedorn launches free tours of 'Underground River' to Puerto Princesa residents PDF Print E-mail

PUERTO PRINCESA CITY, Sept. 4 (PNA) -- Mayor Edward S. Hagedorn recently launched the "U R a Wonder of Nature" (URAWN), the program of the city government that provides free tours to the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park (PPSRNP), more popularly known as "Underground River", at Sitio Sabang, Barangay Cabayugan here.

More than 300 residents, including students of Palawan State University (PSU) and department heads of city offices, attended the launching ceremony.

Hagedorn said that URAWN aims to "make Puerto Princesa residents not strangers in their own city," and to invite more votes to the PPSRNP as a nominee in the search for the New 7 Wonders of Nature.

The park is currently 5th in the website’s live ranking as of Thursday.

During weekends, the city government is offering free rides and entrance fees to the world-famous subterranean river to residents of the 66 barangays of Puerto Princesa.

To avail of the tour, residents should be able to prove that they have already voted for the site in the New 7 Wonders and must be able to show proof of their residency.

City Councilor Rebecca V. Labit, the vice chairman of Task Force URAWN and program coordinator, said that many residents of Puerto Princesa have yet to see the underground river because of high transportation cost and entrance fees.

She said the free tour is only offered during weekends.

The PPSRNP is a must-see site for first time visitors and tourists in Palawan. It is the longest navigable underground river and reputedly the most beautiful subterranean river in the world.

Its main attraction is the 8.2-kilometer Underground River that winds through a spectacular cave before emptying into the South China Sea.

At the mouth of the cave, a clear lagoon is framed by ancient trees growing right to the water's edge. Monkeys, large monitor lizards, and squirrels find their niche on the beach near the cave.

Visitors can also enjoy bird watching, mountain trekking, and exploring the deeper part of the forest.

The park was declared a premier ecotourism destination and has been inscribed in the UNESCO World Heritage list for its outstanding universal value and ecological significance as a natural site of intense beauty. (PNA)

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