Every November 11, Puerto Princesa City celebrates the day the Puerto Princesa Underground River (PPUR) was named one of the New Seven Wonders of Nature in 2011, placing the famous tourism hotspot among giants such as Jeju Island in Korea and Ha Long Bay in Vietnam.
PPUR Day was established in 2013. Councilor Matthew Mendoza authored Resolution No. 294-2013 urging then-president Benigno Aquino III to declare every November 11th as PPUR Day to commemorate the subterranean river’s inclusion in the New Seven Wonders of Nature.
“During the PPUR anniversary noong November 2013 sa isang pagdiriwang sa Coliseum, naikwento ni Fr. Eugene Elevera na noong nasa Spain siya ay may isang similar na occasion na katulad noong sa PPUR that was celebrated every year. Kaya naisipan namin na mag-file ng isang resolution na kilalanin ang November 11 na PPUR Day,” Mendoza said.
Shortly after the resolution was passed, former president Aquino issued Proclamation No. 816, declaring November 11 as PPUR day. It was then enhanced by the city government through incumbent Mayor Lucilo Bayron, the private sector, and the PPUR Partners Foundation with the inclusion of contests, biodiversity conferences, and by holding a parade to celebrate the PPUR’s natural environment. It is now known as the Subaraw Biodiversity Festival. The first Subaraw event was then held in 2018.
“Malaki ang contribution ng Subaraw Festival sa Puerto Princesa. Ito ay naging isang tourism activity o festival na naging isang paraan para-maka invite ng mga turista, nakakatulong sa paglago ng industriya,” Mendoza added.
The New Seven Wonders of Nature was a campaign held from 2007 to 2011, wherein a global Internet poll was held to vote on their favorite sites of cultural, natural, or historical significance.
Through concerted voting and campaigning efforts of the Puerto Princesa City Mayor Edward Hagedorn, the PPUR became one of the Top 7 sites out of more than 400 participating sites all over the world.
Other seven wonders include Komodo Island in Indonesia, Table Mountain in Cape Town, South Africa, the Amazon River, and the Iguazu Falls in South America.