Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Travel Destination: UNESCO Edition

A UNESCO World Heritage Site is a specific site (such as a forest, mountain, lake, desert, monument, building, complex, or city) that has been nominated and confirmed for inclusion on the list maintained by the international World Heritage Programme administered by the UNESCO World Heritage Committee, composed of 21 State Parties (countries) which are elected by the General Assembly of States Parties for a fixed term.

Bucket List
When I first visited the Puerto Princesa Underground River, I was not aware that it is one of the UNESCO Heritage Site declared here in the Philippines. But when I encounter the Sto. Tomas de Villanueva Church or commonly known as Miag-ao Church situated in Miag-ao, Iloilo during my journey to Iloilo last July 2011, I got excited to know the other sites who made it to the list. Below are the eight sites declared by UNESCO as a heritage sites.

Baroque Churches of the Philippines
These four churches were first built by the Spanish in the late 16th century. Their architectural style is unique for its reinterpretation of European Baroque by Chinese and Philippine artisans. They include:

  • San Agustin Church in Manila

  • La Asuncion de la Nuestra Señora in Santa Maria, Ilocos Sur

  • St. Agustine Church in Paoay, Ilocos Norte

  • Sto. Tomas de Villanueva Church in Miag-ao, Iloilo

So far, only the Sto. Tomas de Villanueva Church I've visited out of the four baroque churches of the Philippines. Update as of 11/20/2011. I have visited San Agustin Church during my Manila field trip.

The Historic City of Vigan
Vigan is the best preserved example of Spanish colonial towns in Asia. Its architecture is the conglomeration of cultural elements from the Philippines, China, and Spain, making it unique to the rest of the world.

Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park
This breathtaking landscape features a limestone karst with an underground river that emerges directly into the sea, an example of a full 'mountain-to-sea' ecosystem. It also is a significant habitat for biodiversity preservation. I've visited this site last February 2010. Checked!

Rice Terraces of the Philippine Cordillera
These world-famous rice terraces in Banaue are not only scenes of great beauty, but they also embody the diligence and agricultural knowledge of the Igorot people. I've recently visited this place last December 2012. Checked!

Tubbataha Reef Marine Park
These reef is composed of two atolls, the North and South reefs, which house thousands of marine species, many of which are already endangered.

1. San Agustin Church - checked!
2. La Asuncion de la Nuestra Señora - not yet!
3. St. Agustine Church - not yet!
4. Sto. Tomas de Villanueva Church - checked!
5. The Historic City of Vigan - not yet!
6. Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park - checked!
7. Rice Terraces of the Philippine Cordillera - checked!
8. Tubbataha Reef Marine Park - not yet!

50% visited out of the list. Hehe. I guess I have to include the remaining sites on my future plan. We'll see if I can checked out the two baroque churches and the Vigan town soon! Source

Thank you and God bless us all!

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