U.S. Navy sailors plan to visit Puerto Princesa Underground River during CARAT 2011

PUERTO PRINCESA CITY, June 29 (PNA) -- More than the navigation and naval operations exercises under the United States-Philippines Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT), Naval Forces West Commodore Edgardo Tamayo has said it is, additionally, about teaching participating Navy sailors to learn about each other’s cultures and traditions, and appreciating the natural wonders that exist in their places.

In a media interview with Tamayo following the opening of CARAT 2011 on Tuesday, he said the U.S. contingent has expressed the interest to visit the Puerto Princesa Underground River (PPUR), the country’s candidate in the world search for the New 7 Wonders of Nature, in Sitio Sabang, Barangay Cabayugan “to appreciate its natural beauty they have heard so much about.”

“Many of the American sailors want to visit the underground river to appreciate the beauty of Puerto Princesa and Palawan,” Tamayo said, adding some of them have Googled it and found it interesting to visit.

But Tamayo can’t say when the visit will happen, and if the media will be allowed to cover it.

Around 800 U.S. Navy sailors are participating in CARAT, and Tamayo said visits need to be scheduled to make sure it won’t disturb the receiving capacity of the river.

He also said they will be encouraged to vote online, or by text for the underground river in the New 7 Wonders of Nature. “If they have cellular phones, good, because they can vote immediately”, he said.

On Wednesday, the American and Filipino sailors are in Barangay Tagabenit, only a few kilometers away from Cabayugan where the river is located, to conduct the first medical-civic action program (Medcap) for over a thousand residents there.

The medcap is part of the afloat readiness and training exercise. (PNA)
DCT/scs/CARF/mec