Words and images by Noel B. Pabalate
“We can do this, don’t be scared, trust me, I’m with you!” These were the encouraging words I told my 12-year-old son, Dylan, before we fell from 30 feet above the ground. No, we were not escaping from zombies at a building’s rooftop; we were trying out Alviera’s SandBox Giant Swing. Oh boy, we raised our arms and screamed our lungs out as we felt our knees shaking over and over as we swung back and forth. Was it scary? It was… fun!
After the Giant Swing we hurried to try the Avatar One, the roller coaster zipline, where a line was building up. This time, my son was eager to try it without me encouraging him so much. What got him excited was that the zipline doesn’t just zip straight to the other end, like how Batman usually does when zipping from one building to another building. Instead, we zigzag-ed left and right, up and down starting from 12 meters high. And so the 180-meter zigzag zipline gave us an awesomely thrilling ride. I bet Batman haven’t experienced.
We were not able to try other activities in SanBox like the Aerial Walk Challenge (an adventure course on a high ropes of nets and walkways) and Adventure Tower (a five-story structure consist of rappelling, wall climbing, and free fall) because a bad news came that a typhoon is speeding up its way. SandBox management considers its guests safety first so they had to cut the activity before sundown.
Actually, it was drizzling when we came to Alviera in Porac, Pamapanga, but we didn’t mind when we saw what was in store for us at the Hero Camp event, a pre-Halloween celebration of Alviera. The event made the kids experience being a superhero like their favorite characters from Marvel and DC comics rather than dressing up like zombies in the The Walking Dead.
They say if you want to become a superhero, you have to wear a mask, so that enemies won’t know your identity and they won’t be able to hurt your love ones. That’s why the first activity station we tried is the Costume Crafting Corner. We were gathered in one table not to eat but to design our Robin masks in own our own creative way. Now, we know how Spiderman felt when he created his costume with trials and errors.
After that, we unleashed our fighting skills at the Monster Obstacle Course. We role-played as Hawkeye and Green Arrow by using a bow and arrow to hit the zombie target in just two minutes at the Aqtiv Archery maze. My seven-year-old daughter Dionne kept on telling me that she enjoyed archery so much, although most of her arrows are off target. For her, this was the best part of the day because she became one of her favorite Disney characters, the brave Merida, even for just 120 seconds.
The Alviera Hero Camp paved the way for me and my wife Haidee to help our kids overcome their fear and become like their favorite heroes doing stunts they thought only possible in animated movies. This family adventure is now one of our unforgettable bonding experiences because we realized that there is fun in fear, a thrill you and your parents can experience, too, in Sandbox.
Perhaps, there are things like riding a roller coaster that you’re too afraid trying, even if your parents are the ones pushing you to try it. Yes, you’re scared, and that’s normal. But trust your parents when they encourage you because in the first place, they would never let anything harm you. They won’t let you do anything that’s not safe. They just want you to overcome your fears so in the long run you get to enjoy the things you were initially afraid of.