Chocolate Hills Is Back On Track

After going missing under mysterious circumstances, Bohol's pride, the Chocolate Hills, is back in the Top 10 (down 3 notches from 6 to 9) in the ongoing quest for the New 7 Wonders of Nature. When it went missing from the list a couple of weeks ago, lots of Bol-anons wanting to vote for the famous hills were asking what has happened. The good governor and the 1st district congressman also got involved and queried several organisations, including the organisers themselves (New7Wonders Foundation), on why Chocolate Hills was taken off from the list.

I tried to dig out possible reasons in the web and came across the story of the delisting of Ha Long Bay, still on top of the list at the moment, which is found in Vietnam. I found it from the Press section of the organiser's website (http://www.new7wonders.com/). The news story cited the reason for its delisting as the infringement of the organiser's copyrights. Apparently, some of the bay's supporters have used, for commercial purposes, contents from the organiser's website without its expressed permission. The bay's main organising committee had acted positively on the New7Wonders Foundation's demand for their supporters to stop these acts. Since then Ha Long Bay is back on the list.

After reading Ha Long Bay's story, I thought something similar might have happened to our Chocolate Hills. It is not, and the reason for its delisting was that it has no Official Supporting Committee (OSC) set up. I am outraged to find this out, to say the least! What were all those press releases to support the hills all about? They even came out in the organiser's website. It was mind numbing to know that nobody thought about filling in a one-page form to set up the OSC. This is supposed to be a basic requirement as set out in the nomination process!

All is well now that Chocolate Hills is back on the list and still sitting in the Top 10. But, at a cost! We are at no. 9, the reason being that when the hills were out for a week the Filipino people were voting for Tubbataha Reefs and the newcomer Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park. There is a positive side here though, as that unfortunate week helped the newcomer a lot. Now there are three natural wonders from the Philippines that are in the Top 77.

Lessons must be learnt still from this daft error. There might be similar campaigns in the future wherein we can tell the world that we have great natural wonders in Bohol and the Philippines in general. The journey towards being named as one of New 7 Wonders of Nature is still long. Bol-anons unite! This is essentially a popularity contest and we are up against much bigger nations with much larger populations. Strategy-wise, it may help the newly set up OSC to read on the voting analysis on the results from the first campaign. It may help in this campaign.

Ahong awhag sa tanang Bol-anon sa tibuok kalibutan, botohan ta sa way pagduha-duha and Chocolate Hills para mamahimung usa sa New 7 Wonders of Nature! Ajaw usab kalimti pagbotar sa Tubbataha Reefs ug sa Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park. Pwede gani diay nga ang imong botohan puro mag-gikan sa Asia.

Ako, inubanan sa akong kapikas sa kinabuhi ug kaparyentihan, ning-boto na (hagbahay pa), kamo?

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