CLARK FREEPORT – As early as 5 a.m. Saturday, people started gathering outside the Aqua Planet here anticipating its opening to the public at 9 a.m.
A few minutes before the hour, more than a thousand people were already estimated at the front gates of the water theme park with some coming from as far as Pangasinan in the north and San Pedro, Laguna in the south.
Lucina Marcelo from Binangonan, Rizal said they came early after seeing Aqua Planet in social media and news reports.There were 11 of them, she said.
Jun Servidal said he and his nine companions came from San Pedro, Laguna. He said they learned about Aqua Planet on Facebook.
Marivic Pumento, 66, from Novaliches, Quezon City said she came to know about Aqua Planet on Facebook.She said there were 10 families in their big group which included her children, nieces and nephews and grandchildren.
Bamban Councilor John G. Sales was also among those who were outside waiting for the opening of Aqua Plan et with six of his family members. He said he was with Bamban, Tarlac Mayor Jon Feliciano who was invited as one of the guests in the opening.
Russel Reyes from Pulilan, Bulacan came with 12 companions. She said she learned about Aqua Planet also on Facebook.
Milet Almoyte from Quezon City and others from San Andres, Manila came with their family members who said they were all excited.
Guest of honor, Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (PAGCor) chairperson Andrea Domingo described Aqua Planet as “the best, really the best water theme park that I have seen even compared to the other water theme parks that I have seen in the US and other countries.”
“Kaya proud na proud kami hindi lang dahil ito ay isa sa mga requirements ng PAGCor na magkaroon ng world-class theme park kundi bilang isang Kapampangan na first class talaga … (That is why we are very proud not just because this is one of the requirements of PAGCor to have a world class theme park but also as a Kapampangan that is really first class…),” Domingo said.
Dr. Irineo “Bong” Alvaro Jr., chair and CEO of BBI Group of Companies and MEDAL Consortium, Inc. was on hand to welcome the first opening day for business.
BBI is the owner and developer of the 10-hect- are Aqua Planet as well as the nearby grand Midori Hotel and Casino.
Aqua Planet is a P2.5-billion water theme park located at the north- western section of this freeport. It is touted as one of the biggest of its kind in Asia.
It held its three-day ceremonial lighting and soft opening event from November 23 to 25 and since then catered mostly to several large groups including Aetas, orphans, Marawi soldiers and their families, church groups and others.
On Saturday, it was finally opened to the public.