Off to Manila Bay? It is too polluted and already congested with people taking a free dip. How about the beach resorts in Zambales and La Union? Too far for those who are uncomfortable in taking a road trip out of Metro Manila, a trip which will take several hours before arriving at your destination.
How about the nearby province of Bulacan? For that ideal, stress-freesummer destination closer to Metro Manila, there are many resorts scattered all over Bulacan to choose from.
The land-locked province of Bulacan may not be blessed with beaches and natural waves, but the so-called “tsunami” wave swimming pools that are found in some of its 115 resorts have been attracting tourists from Metro Manila and other nearby provinces these past summers.
Elizabeth Alonzo, Bulacan tourism officer, said that pool resorts scattered around the province accommodate from 1,000 to 5,000 visitors each day, with many of the resorts taking in as much as 10,000 people during weekends and holidays.
Alonzo stressed that Bulacan’s pool resorts earn from P20 million to P40 million a month during summer season. So far, 15 pool resorts have designed their service packages around the very popular wave pools. Bulacan’s pool resorts started investing in the so-called wave pool technology way back in 2002.
The 8-Waves Waterpark and Resort, located near the boundary of Baliwag and San Rafael towns, started the first-ever wave pools. Then Villa Concepcion in the town of Pandi followed soon after, which drew more pool resorts to try out this new, crowd-drawing attraction.
Fifteen is not a small number. There are now a lot of pool resorts with wave pools, which is why the province of Bulacan has been called the wave pool capital of the Philippines.
The wave pools and pool resorts in Bulacan have begun attracting tourists because they are much closer and accessible than the beaches of Ilocos and Pangasinan, a relief for the residents of Metro Manila and Central Luzon.
The Amana Waterpark Resort in Pandi town, Bulacan, has the largest andbiggest wave pool in Bulacan so far, which it markets and boasts as “tsunami waves.” This wave pool technology can whip up seven- to eight-foot waves and this attraction is available to tourists from 10 a.m. to 12 noon and from 2 to 4 p.m. The waves are said to dance to popular songs played on the sound system’s speakers placed around the pool. Amana Waterpark Resort is considered by many as one of the most exciting waterparks in Southeast Asia. It offers some of the most impressive amenities found in a swimming pool resort. It has seven themed pools in various shapes and designs, two of which are located indoor. Life-sized statues of popular movie and television characters like the Avengers (Iron Man, Thor, Hulk), Justice League (Batman, Superman, WonderWoman), Dragon Ball Z, Disney and Marvel offer tourists something amusing to look at and to pose for photo souvenirs.
The resort also boasts a 3,500 square meter wave pool that generates tsunami-like waves, so far the biggest in the Philippines. The thrill of swimming and splashing in these artificially-generated waves will surely bring out the child in anyone.
During the peak summer season, Amana Waterpark has a special treat forvisitors during the weekends. From 1:30 to 3:00 in the afternoon, there is a
special presentation that features hip-hop dancers, professional acrobats and magicians whose performances are very entertaining.
Visitors can bring food and water, but soft drinks and alcoholic beverages have a corresponding corkage fee. For the safety of all the visitors, management discourages them from using breakable containers for their food and water. Grill stands are available for rent at P100 and videoke units too for P1,000.
For swimming attire, bathing suit, shorts with garter and cycling shorts, and white shirts are preferred. Visitors are discouraged from wearing colored shirts when taking a dip or swimming in the pool.
To prevent injuries and fatal accidents from happening, diving is not allowed and back diving on the edge of the pool is strictly prohibited. Amana Waterpark has two slides at the twin pool area located near the Avatar swimming pool.
For commuters living in Metro Manila, you can take a bus at the bus bay along Farmer’s Market in Cubao, Quezon City, Trinoma bus bay along EDSA, the SM City bus bay also along EDSA or the Baclaran bus terminal bound for Sta. Maria, Bulacan. The fare is P50. Just tell the bus driver or conductor to drop you off at Waltermart in Sta. Maria. From there you can hire a tricycle going to Amana Waterpark. The fare is P120 and the tricycle can accommodate up to three passengers in a single ride.
For those who have a private car, just take the Bocaue exit to Sta. Maria, Bulacan and from there follow the route going to Pandi town. The travel time is around 25 minutes from Sta. Maria.
With less than two hours from Metro Manila, Amana Waterpark is very accessible to commuters and the trip going there is not very stressful. It is truly a fascinating and fun destination this summer that one should not miss out on.