(File photo)

Palawan has been voted by an international magazine as the second top island in the world.

Readers and frequent travelers voted the province into the second spot in the survey of the “Top 15 Islands in the World” of Travel+Leisure.

Palawan got a score of 90.87 percent, an improvement from its sixth spot ranking last year when it got 90.04.

Sri Lanka, Bali, and the Maldives are the other top islands in the world.

“The Philippine islands of Cebu, Palawan, and Boracay are longtime favorites, thanks to the top-notch reef and wreck diving, white-sand beaches, hiking trails with waterfalls and welcoming locals. Five-star lodgings with water views and doting service abound, from the Shangri-La Boracay Resort & Spa to El Nido’s four eco-friendly, waterfront Palawan properties,” it added.

Provincial information officer Winston Arzaga said Monday it was an achievement for Palawan that faced an environmental crackdown in El Nido last year.

“Malaking achievement ‘to, last year pang anim tayo ‘di ba? It is also an indication na talagang natututukan ang tourism industry sa Palawan. Of course, mahalaga ang role ng business establishments, drivers, boatmen, tour guides and other stakeholders dito kasi sila ang frontline. Actually, sila ang mukha ng industriya. Siguro we need to work harder pa para maabot ang first spot,” he said.

Arzaga said that having a mass environmental crackdown in the towns of El Nido and Coron also became a factor why Palawan only landed on the sixth place in 2018.

He said reports that it might be closed then had affected its ranking.

“Yes, naging negative ‘yon lalo na sa mga nababalita na baka ipasara. Kung booking agency ka, of course, you will not advise you clients to go to El Nido na baka ipasara. Baka masayang lang. Malaking effect talaga ‘yon ang nangyari, pero ngayo bumalik na tayo sa dati,” he added.

Travel+Leisure also voted Amanpulo on Pamalican Island as among the Top Resort Hotels in Southeast Asia, landing in the 11th spot with a score of 92.96.

Earlier, TripAdvisor’s 2019 Traveler’s Choice Awards also voted Boracay and El Nido as among the best beaches in the Asia.

Two more beaches in El Nido, Palawan were also cited in the list, namely Nacpan Beach and Las Cabañas Beach ranking 13th and 22nd in the region.