Saturday, November 12, 2011

Puerto Princesa Underground River Is A Provisional Wonder

I'm happy and proud (and obviously biased) that the Puerto Princesa Underground River made it to the provisional list of New Wonders. But the word "provisional" bugs me. A quick online dictionary search reveals the following definition: "provided or serving only for the time being".

"The results that I am about to announce are provisional and based on the first count of votes completed today since voting closed at 11:11 GMT. Starting from today, this voting calculation will be checked, validated, and independently verified over the coming weeks. It may be the case that one or more of the provisional winners announced today is not confirmed during this process, and we will issue an update should this happen."
The natural tendency is to think "who cares, as long as my country's in the list". And although I'm quite confident that the PPUR's slot is in the bag, what bothers me is the possibility that one (or even two) of the other wonders could be booted out of the list.

Why was there a rush to announce the "provisional" winners if there is a risk of pissing off one of the participating countries? Imagine the wrath of an "almost winner". It would be terribly awkward... and embarrassing. Pinaasa lang silaA massive protest is almost certain. If that happens, the credibility of the whole thing gets messed up. And winning a "contest" tainted with controversy is less than ideal (as if the "contest" itself isn't controversial enough).

As it is, vocal commenters from non-winning countries have been expressing their disappointment, as expected. 
How the ___ can there be only 7 wonders. Everything in the nature is a wonder in one or other form. We do not have right to pick few places (by vote) and declare them better than all other amazing creations of nature.
Nonetheless, our local campaigners knew from the start that this is a marketing and popularity contest (and a lucrative money-making venture for the founders of the N7W organization). They knew the rules and objectives of the game and played it well.

Thanks to the intensive nationwide vote-getting campaign, the Philippines (or at least a part of the Philippines) has been added to the list of must-see international tourist destinations. So hooray for us!

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