Story & photos by Randy S. Peregrino
SURROUNDED by Pampanga’s vast plains and mountain ranges is Alviera’s popular outdoor adventure park known as Sandbox.
Situated within the property’s expansive estate in Porac, this 2-hectare exclusive outdoor facility offers various attractions for families, group of friends, and even serves as an ideal venue for corporate team-building activities. All it takes is a two-hour drive from Manila to reach this exciting park and, once you get here, you’ll be mesmerized with the picturesque surrounding view of what nature has to offer.
If you’re wondering why it’s called Sandbox, Ayala Land Project Development Associate Manager Leonard Grape simply regarded the fun and adventure that you get from an actual sandbox, only more exciting. “At the same time, because of the region’s character, which is Pampanga province, so we took a play on that. Also, to highlight how it offers fun experiences and adventures.” Aside from being positioned as Alviera’s outdoor and adventure recreational park, Sandbox focuses on assuring every guest the experience of adrenalin rush from the numerous attractions.
Splash Tub and Karting
Raising the level of escapade as a prime tourist hot spot in the province, Sandbox recently opened two new facilities. The Splash Tub One is the park’s first-ever water attraction which offers a refreshing take on outdoor adventure. This 1,200-square meter water facility features 11 various inflated obstacles which include Ball Traverse, Wreckers, Over and Under, to name a few.
The inflatable courses are designed to accommodate both adult and kids. In fact, guests can join the “Aqua Dash” challenge. Here, guests are grouped into four to go through the obstacles for a race challenge to achieve the quickest time. The best part is that prizes are given away every month. Even kids have their own “Little Warriors” category for the challenge. Of course, there’s a lounge pool, shower and changing areas for the visitors. Fees for the Splash Tub are as follow: P250 for Challengers (adults) and P100 for Little Warriors (kids). Both are exclusive of the P100 park entrance fee. But there’s a package worth P600 to access the water facility, other attractions and inclusive of the park entrance fee.
Another fresh attraction is the Karting Complex. Operated by City Kart Racing, the same group behind the famous karting place in Makati, the complex offers rentals, clinics for newbies and even motorbike rentals. We had the opportunity to try out the new and bigger circuit. Evidently, the entire circuit layout is more technically designed to provide realistic curves, hairpins and stretches. Also, there are apexes installed in order to better guide the drivers.
Impressively, the karting circuit is so extensive that it can host international race events. Soon the complex is being eyed to be the venue for big kart racing events in the country. Likewise, the same complex will have a mini-golf course, airsoft and paintball playing fields, which will all open soon. Even equipment will be available for rent on-site. Fees for City Kart rentals are as follow: P450 (one heat on kiddie kart), P450 (one heat on 200cc kart), P700 (one heat on 390cc kart), P700 (one heat on 100cc two strokes) and P600 (one heat for cadets using race karts). One heat is equivalent to 12 minutes. The City Kart Racing is open from Wednesday to Sunday (2 to 6 p.m.).
Other existing attractions and amenities
Aside from the two new attractions, Sandbox is also offering special packages to include the other facilities. There’s Asia’s first roller-coaster zip line known as Avatar One. Imagine zipping through the 180-meter line of zigzags and gradients coming from a 12-meter high starting point. Then there’s country’s tallest swing standing 10 meters high rocking you back and forth. These two facilities also serve as the parks front liners.
Another thrill is the Adventure Tower—a 15-meter tower for wall climbing, rappelling and the heart-pounding free fall. The tower also provides a great vantage point to the entire park. Serving as backdrop to the Sandbox signage is the Areal Walk Challenge facility. With different obstacle paths, guest would have to endure the series of hurdles to test their physical capacity. But for the target-practicing individuals, there’s the archery section where guests can practice their archery skills. But for the outdoor thrill-seekers, Sandbox offers its ATV/UTV (all-terrain vehicles) for that adrenaline-charged outdoors encounter. Guests will follow the tour guide to feel the off-roading adventure going through the Pasig-Potrero river and other rugged paths.
For food and beverage, Sandbox also has a dedicated lane for restaurants and even indoor play areas for toddlers. From Capampangan foods, other menus and drinks, the food outlets are all conducive and enough to accommodate your choosy taste buds. The Sandbox outdoor adventure park is open from Wednesday to Sunday (9 a.m. to 5 p.m.).
The future of Alviera
Alviera is currently expanding the property into a complex. Soon there will be a country club, hotels, a botanical garden and more developments to attract more visitors in the area. “Sandbox is a component of our Alviera estate, which is a master plan community and Sandbox takes on the tourism aspect. When we launched Sandbox, we were happy that it achieved that aspect. Also, Sandbox is our move to position Alviera as a go-to tourism destination,” said Grape. They also envision the estate to be an urban development within a natural environment, where nature would be a part and parcel of Alviera.