As one of the many South Cotabateños who really campaigned for Lake Sebu, I am very happy of the result, this will entice more tourists to visit not only Lake Sebu and South Cotabato but other parts of the region as well.
The list of Top 10 Philippine Gems was revealed today October 10, 2013. Topping the list was Calaguas Islands in Camarines Norte, followed at second spot by Lake Sebu in South Cotabato, Palawan's famed Tubbataha Reef and Caramoan Island in Camarines Sur placed third and fourth respectively, while Biri Island Rock Formation in Northern Samar was fifth in the list.
Also included in the Philippine Gems are Mount Kanlaon and Danjugan Island in Negros, Panglao Island located in Bohol, Apo Island in Negros Oriental and Batanes.
Isla Lipana and Co. started with a list of 175 destinations gathered from their employees and online travel bloggers and trimmed down the list to 50. The screening committee then agreed on a shortlist of 25 destinations which were opened to public online voting to determine the ten Philippine Gems.
The Philippine Gems is a corporate social responsibility project of Isla Lipana and Co., it aims to showcase the country's top beautiful destinations to the world especially the many pristine sceneries in the country. The winners now have the privilege of free promotion.
In a press release, Atty. Alexander Cabrera, Isla Lipana & Co. Chairman and Senior Partner said, “The Philippine Gems steers awareness and appreciation for the country’s pristine and natural sites, even the underdeveloped ones. In our modest way, we aim for these places to gain local and international attention, and in due course, greater economic activity.”