THREE BAYS in Mati City, Davao Oriental are now officially included in the list of the Most Beautiful Bays in the World Association (MBBWA). MBBWA President Michel Bujold, in a letter received on February 20 by the provincial and city governments, confirmed the declaration of Pujada, Mayo, and Balete Bays as part of the group. “I am pleased to inform you that the Board of Directors has voted in favor of accepting Pujada Bay, but also Mayo and Balete Bays together as a new member of the Most Beautiful Bays in the World Association. Congratulations and welcome,” said Mr. Bujold. The certificates will be awarded during the MBBWA’s annual congress in Morocco in October. Last month, MBBWA officials Guy Rousset and Bruno Bodard visited Mati to validate the application for Pujada Bay, and took notice of the two other bays. Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office head Dolores D. Valdesco, in a press statement Friday, said they are now awaiting the association’s recommendations for preserving the three natural sites. Mati City Mayor Michelle N. Rabat said the listing of the three bays is not only a tourism promotion boost but also serves as a challenge for the local government to do more in protection the environment. “Being included in the list is the least difficult part, staying in the list is more challenging,” she said. Davao Oriental Governor Nelson L. Dayanghirang, for his part, said, “One of the reasons we applied Pujada Bay to the Most Beautiful Bays in the World Club is to share its magnificent assets to the people of the world who would like to experience the natural and cultural richness of our place.” — Carmelito Q. Francisco and Maya M. Padillo