Sorsogon Governor Francis Escudero (File photo)

LEGAZPI CITY – Sorsogon Governor Francis Escudero on Wednesday welcomed the tagging of Sorsogon province as "Best place to discover Philippines wildlife" by one of the most esteemed travel magazines in the world, Condé Nast Traveller.

Favored by tourists for its abounding wildlife, Sorsogon has been ranked among the 10 most beautiful islands in the Philippines, alongside global favorites Boracay in Aklan province and El Nido in Palawan.

Conde Nast Traveller ranked Sorsogon eighth among the best islands in the country. Boracay, Siargao and El Nido took the Top 3 spots, in that order. Coron and Pamalican, both in Palawan, were in fourth and fifth spots, followed by Calaguas, Balesin, Sorsogon, San Juan (La Union), and Puerto Princesa.

A statement issued by Escudero's office quoted Condé Nast Traveller as saying: “In many ways, Sorsogon is the best place to discover the Philippines’ vibrant wildlife – one of the richest in the world. It is perfect for those looking to add a bit of adventure to their Philippines sojourn. Here, you can swim with manta rays and giant ‘Butandings’ (whale sharks), hike the Bulusan Volcano National Park, or sail along the Donsol River.“

Donsol in Sorsogon is famous for its safe and friendly “butanding” interaction, where tourists are allowed to swim with the whale sharks without touching or feeding them.

“A relatively-unknown spot, the Donsol River is a wonderfully ethereal boating experience, as its idyllic rural landscape gets transformed by hundreds of thousands of fireflies that illuminate the riverbank once night falls,” Conde Nast Traveller also said.

Escudero, meanwhile, said the province is not only rich in wildlife but also history and these had been pushing domestic tourism to help spur the local economy post-pandemic.

“Ang turismo ay hindi simpleng magagandang tanawin lamang; ang turismo ay hindi simpleng magagandang beach o magagandang edipisyo o masasarap ng pagkain lamang. Higit sa lahat ng iyon, ang turismo ay tungkol sa kwento na pwedeng sabihin sa bawat lugar. Hindi man ganun ka-tanyag ang kwento tungkol sa lalawigan ng Sorsogon, tiyak kong kakaiba ang kwentong sasabihan namin dahil ang kwentong iyon ay tungkol sa amin at hindi pwedeng ihalintulad sa ibang lugar. (Tourism is not just about beautiful places, it's not just about beaches or delicious foods. Most importantly, tourism is about the story of every place. The story of Sorsogon may not be that famous, but for sure, it is different and cannot be compared to other places),” he said.

Escudero, who is seeking a Senate comeback, said the key to promoting the Philippines is to tell the stories of each place, which the province is doing through the Sorsogon Museum and Heritage Center. (PNA)