Scenic views of mountains, lush and rugged terrain, rivers and valleys silted with the remnants of lahar, coupled with simple yet exciting attractions designed to give visitors of all ages a heart-pumping experience—all these are in Alviera’s SandBox.
Nestled in Porac, Pampanga, the SandBox is the first of many developments in Ayala Land’s Alviera, an adventure amusement park featuring a wide range of activities and attractions designed to be eco-friendly, a perfect complement to the rugged terrain and wide green plains of Pampanga.
If you’re setting foot in the SandBox for the first time, your attention may immediately be directed toward the Giant Swing. At 10 meters high, it’s the tallest swing in the Philippines, which can accommodate up to three people at the same time. It catapults the riders high above the ground, swinging them back and forth at such an amazing height and enabling them to catch glimpses of Porac’s landscape.
Right next to the Giant Swing is the Aerial Walk Challenge, a high-rope adventure course that will take people through a series of obstacles such as sliding platforms, nets, rope bridges
and walkways that will test their stamina, balance and agility, giving them a core workout and a pulsating adrenaline rush at the same time.
Scaling the obstacles may be grueling and nerve-wracking, but once they get to the top, challengers are rewarded with an invigorating zip-line ride all the way down.
No amusement park is complete without a roller coaster, and the SandBox is no exception. The Adventure Tower also serves as the launching pad for the Avatar One, one of the first roller coaster zip lines in the Philippines and in Asia.
The zip-line course is a lengthy 180 m and starts off at a height of 12 m from the tower before launching off, taking the rider on a path that spirals up and down, turns, and zigzags along the way, providing an authentic roller-coaster experience with a unique twist.
But perhaps one of the most exhilarating experiences in the SandBox comes not from the adrenaline-pumping attractions, but from the ATV ride. It takes visitors off the road and onto a path that showcases the natural beauty of Porac up close, enabling the riders to drive along the foot of mountains and hills, and navigating through the lahar trails, a legacy of the Mount Pinatubo eruption more than two decades ago.
The SandBox also has something to offer to cycling enthusiasts and casual bikers alike with its very own Pump Track, a 5,000-square-meter cycling course set up with small dirt mounds and bumps that enable the bikers to gather momentum with little to no need for pedaling, and instead performing a pumping motion to counteract the terrain, hence the name “Pump Track.”
It is open for all types of bikes, and is divided into several areas, depending on the difficulty and skill level, making it an ideal attraction for casual and hard-core cyclists.
Alviera also has an open field where visitors will be free to pursue recreational activities and sports such as kite-flying, frisbee and soccer, and as a venue for concerts, having already featured a performance by Bamboo Mañalac during the SandBox Adventure KickOff last April 12.
If there is one certainty in the SandBox, it is the fact that you will find yourself latched on to ropes and launched or suspended from heights. The SandBox is fully equipped to ensure the safety of its visitors, and the attractions were constructed under the direction of Kerry Asuncion, a member of the Illinois-based Professional
Ropes Course Association, to meet international standards, with quarterly maintenance performed to ensure the quality and integrity of the facilities.
Mishaps can still occur, though, but the presence of sufficient and capable manpower can minimize unexpected occurrences and assure that the visitors’ safety will not be compromised.
Alviera’s SandBox is open from Tuesday to Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. For booking guidelines and more information, visit the Alviera website at https://www.alviera.ph and on https://www.facebook.com/AlvieraPH.
PHOTOS BY SHOUN DAVID