First Filipino CEO takes over Subic marine theme park

In Photo: Robert Gonzaga (second from left) is the first Filipino CEO of Subic Bay Marine Exploratorium Inc., the operator of Ocean Adventure. He is shown here with other company officials (from left) Susan L. Dudley, Alfredo Alex S. Cruz III and Manuel W. Quijano.

SUBIC BAY FREEPORT—A native Olongapeño has taken over the highest executive position at the Subic Bay Marine Exploratorium Inc. (SBMEI), which operates the popular Ocean Adventure theme park and Camayan Beach Resort in this free port.

Robert Ianne Gonzaga, formerly the firm’s communication director, was elected president of the company during the annual shareholders’ meeting held last month, a statement from the SBMEI said.

Gonzaga, who is the first Filipino CEO of SBMEI, started out in the local broadcast media in Olongapo City, became a news correspondent for the BusinessMirror in 2014, and also wrote for the Philippine Daily Inquirer and an international wire agency.

Gonzaga stepped into the position previously occupied by Scott Sharpe, who founded SBMEI, along with Timothy Desmond and Gail Laule, 17 years ago.

Other officials elected to the SBMEI board of directors were: Jack Lin, chairman; Alfredo Alex S. Cruz III, secretary; Susan L. Dudley, treasurer; and Manuel W. Quijano, board member.

SBMEI, the company that controls Ocean Adventure and Camayan Beach Resort and Hotel, has been in the tourism industry for 17 years as a company providing family-oriented activities and educational entertainment.

It built Ocean Adventure as the first open-water marine theme park in Southeast Asia. The park features animal shows, dolphin, encounters and other animal-encounter programs.

Subsequently, it opened the Camayan Beach Resort nearby, known for its clean beaches and natural setting.

Gonzaga said the SBMEI is now eyeing the opening of its Adventure Beach Water Park this year and will be expanding its tourism activities in the coming years.



Henry Empeño

Henry E. Empeño took up A.B. Journalism at the University of the Philippines in Diliman, Quezon City, but plunged headlong into actual newspaper work without graduating from college.

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