Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Ramon J. P. Paje today expressed appreciation to the Filipino people, particularly the people of Vigan, for the success of Vigan City as one of the New 7 Wonder Cities of the World.

“Once again, we, Filipinos have proven that indeed, there is strength in unity.  By taking the time and effort to vote, our people, both at home and abroad, as well as many of our friends in the international community, we were able to amass the votes needed to propel the City of Vigan to its new status as one of the New Seven Wonder Cities of the World.  Definitely, this is another testimony on the tourism jewels of our country,” Paje said.

Like the successful election of the Puerto Princesa Underground River (PPUR) as one of the New 7 Wonders of Nature in November 2011, Paje expressed confidence that the new title bestowed on Vigan would help boost ongoing efforts to preserve and conserve its “irreplaceable” cultural heritage.

“There’s no doubt this new recognition given to Vigan would further inspire and motivate its people to maintain and reinforce their cultural legacy,” Paje said.

The DENR chief likewise stressed the significance of Vigan’s victory in providing a model of local governance particularly in terms of engaging community participation in heritage conservation and city management.

The DENR chief has committed to cooperate with the Department of Tourism and concerned LGUs to continue in their efforts in protecting the country’s natural heritage for ecotourism purposes.

Vigan City is a favorite tourist destination in Northern Philippines, famed for its unique colonial architecture lined by cobblestone streets, and visited for its distinct cuisine. It is the only Philippine town or city inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List.