Hosting the Motocross Masters of Asia for the past years may have been successful, but Puerto Princesa Mayor Edward S. Hagedorn sees this year’s staging of the event - Puerto Princesa International Motocross Grand Prix, as the most important yet in their thrust to boost local tourism and fortify its claim as the Sports Tourism Capital of the Philippines.
That’s because the Puerto Princesa, Palawan, Subterranean River National Park or more commonly known as the Underground River is the number one leading contender in the “New Seven Wonders of the World” on-line survey and hailed by the Philippine Department of Tourism (DOT).
With the foreign delegates covering the Motocross Masters of Asia and the UK crew of Star Sports and ESPN beaming the event to over 600 million households worldwide, Hagedorn hopes to showcase the city’s flora and fauna and boost the country’s chances to make it in the list of the New Seven Wonders of the World.
“The Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park or the Underground River is currently the number one leading contender for the New Seven Wonders of the World and we’re hoping to get more support through the foreign visitors coming to the Philippines for the Motocross Masters of Asia,” said Hagedorn.
To date, the PPSRNP is still leading in the live ranking of the N7W under Group E Forests, National Parks and Nature Reserves.
From 222 countries participating, a total of 261 nominees qualified to participate in the second round of voting. The votes of the people all over the world will decide which of these nominees will make it to the top 77 by group categories.
The park features a limestone karat mountain landscape with an 8.2 km. navigable underground river.
Tourists usually get astonished over the limestone stalagmites and stalactite formations like the Holy Family and a giant rose. The underground river is also reputed to be the world's longest as it winds through a cave before flowing directly into the South China Sea.
At the mouth of the cave, a clear lagoon is framed by ancient trees growing right to the water's edge. Monkeys, large monitor lizards, and squirrels find their niche on the beach near the cave.
The foreign delegates of the Motocross Masters of Asia will also be treated to a tour of the City’s nature and historical sights like the Crocodile Farm, Honda Bay, Ulugan Bay, El Nido, the Palawan Museum, the historic Immaculate Conception Cathedral, the Lions Cave, the Cawili Cave and a tour of Puerto Princesa’s aborigines at the Batak Village.
“March is really an opportune time to visit Puerto Princesa City. We will be celebrating our foundation day and the Balayong Festival with a lot of other sports activities,” said Hagedorn.
“Every year, more and more tourists visit Puerto Princesa to enjoy the peaceful ambience, the beauty and splendor of our natural frontiers and scenic spots and get the rare chance to witness the biggest motorsports spectacle in Philipine history, the Motocross Masters of Asia, featuring champion riders from the Asia-Pacific region. Only Puerto Princesa City can do that and we are very proud of it,” Hagedorn added.
Motocross Masters of Asia, supported by the City of Puerto Princesa, Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office, Oakley, Castrol, HJC Helmets, Department of Tourism, Philippine Sports Commission, Negros Navigation Shipping Lines , motorycelphilippines.com and Inside Racing, will feature champion riders from 10 participating countries which includes the Philippines, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Guam, Iran, Thailand, China, the United Kingdom and Mongolia.
Up for grabs is the Motocross Masters of Asia Cup -- a sterling silver trophy coming from the city’s chief executive and his constituents.