Tubbataha Reef is currently one of the nominees for the New Seven Wonders of the World. I will tell you more about it so that you can see why Tubbataha Reef should be included as one of the New Seven Wonders of the World.
Tubbataha Reef, also known as Tubbataha Reef National Marine Park, has become one of the Philippines’ protected marine sanctuaries ever since it was established on August 11, 1988 through Proclamation No. 306, which prohibits fishing and collecting of corals within the 33,200 hectares of its reefs and surrounding areas. It is located at the Cagayan Ridge in the central region of the Sulu Sea which is 181 kilometers southeast of Puerto Princesa, Palawan. This magnificent coral reef is administered by Cagayancillo, a municipality of Palawan.
Not only is it protected by different Philippine organizations like the Department of National Defense (DND), Provincial Government of Palawan and Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), but it was also declared as a World Heritage Site by the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in 1993, thereby acknowledging its exceptional worldwide value in relation to its rich and diverse marine life species.
The term “tubbataha” is derived from two Samal words which mean “a long reef exposed at low tide”. Tubbataha Reef is comprised of two atolls, North and South. Between the two, the North Atoll is larger, 16 kilometers long and 5 kilometers wide, while the South Atoll is 5 kilometers long and 3 kilometers wide. Each atoll has an islet that protrudes on the water’s surface. These atolls are separated by an 8-kilometer wide deep channel.
There are over a thousand species of marine life which can be found in the reef and many of them are already endangered. Among its amazing marine animals are pawikan or tortoise, manta and eagle rays, clownfish, white and black tip reef sharks, barracudas and schools of jacks and snappers.
With its marvelous and diverse ecosystem, it has become a popular and favorite spot for divers and the number of people who want to explore its beauty has been increasing every year. In fact, dedicated ships that operate during the “Tubbataha Season” are booked years in advance.
Tubbataha Reef does not only provide refuge for marine life but also to birds. At the South Atoll, a large number of seabirds nest there and around the area, tens of thousands of birds rest during their annual migration.
Tubbataha Reef is one of the wonders of the world that shows the unfathomable wisdom of our Creator and we can all show our gratitude and appreciation to these splendid creations by protecting and preserving them for generations to come.