A masterplan for Magic Island, a new $12 million theme park in The Philippines was revealed on Sunday. The park will be in Barangay Guinhalaran, Silay City.

Third District Representative Alfredo Benitez is the prime mover of the project. He said, “There’s magic in Negros Island and this theme park is the first step to its discovery. It’s about time that we should look in other directions and harness our resources here in the province, including good food, hardworking and productive labor force, great landscape, and rich history.”

Benitez is a grand nephew of Simplicio Palanca, chairman of Aton Land and Leisure Inc., the company which is developing Magic Island. The park will be sited on a 3.75-hectare plot about 12 kilometers away from Bacolod City. The plan is that the park will open the summer of 2018.

At a groundbreaking ceremony on Sunday, April 2, the masterplan for the project was presented by Ken Quintal of DQA Inc., a leading Philippino environmental design firm. The park is designed to accomodate of up to 3,000 visitors a day. The entrance fee will be P200 (compared to Enchanted Kingdom’s P600).

The masterplan revealed facilities for rides and entertainment, educational and cultural exhibitions and programs together with F&B and merchandise outlets.

15 Rides and Attractions

One of the park’s 15 rides will be the tallest Ferris wheel in the Visayas (one of the Philippines’ 3 main island groups). Other rides include roller coasters and thrill rides, carousels, kiddie rides and go-karts. In addition there will be a haunted house and arcade games. Artistic consultant Peque Gallaga disclosed that Magic Island wil be richly themed, with stories and characters based on local Negrense legends and folklore.

Cesar Mario Mamon is president of The Philippines’ world leading theme park, Enchanted Kingdom. He is also the Founding President of the Philippine Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions.  He said, “We are opening our doors to investors to learn from what we have started almost 25 years ago (in the Enchanted Kingdom, the first theme park in the country).”

Mayor Mark Golez said the development of the theme park in Silay City will contribute to investments in infrastructure, tax revenues, tourism revenues, and community support. He also highlighted that theme parks are highly important in generating demand in the tourism business.

Magic Island, a Catalyst for Tourism

He said, “By providing gateways to heritage, both for locals and visitors, these cultural initiatives shall be accompanied by a social and economic rationale so that the entire theme park project shall be able to work for the improvement of the well-being of the people. We will undertake this project, in part with much consideration on reinforcing a sense of identity for Silay City.”

Reynaldo Bantug, Aton Land president will run the P600-million ($12 million) project. He said the project will create a world class theme park for the people of Negrenses.  “We hope to develop a tourism destination that should serve as catalyst for a rapid tourism growth in the province.”

Adjacent to Magic Island, a further 24.25 hectares will be developed into a planned hotel, residential and commercial area. This will serve the retail and dining needs of visitors to Magic Island.

Negros Occidental Gov. Alfredo Marañon said he expected Magic Island to bring hundreds of jobs to Negros. It will also attract thousands of tourists.

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