When my friend Maya informed me that she will be taking a vacation from her work in Malaysia and will be going home in the Philippines for the Holidays last year and wanted to meet, I asked her what she wanted us to do for fun. She then told me that we go out of town together for the first time and asked me where do I want to go. The only condition was that it should be a place I know how to get to. 😀
Her first choice was a trip around Ilocos which was a great idea, however, she only told me about her plan more or less 2 weeks before the New Year (2016) and I did not think it would be possible to book for a tour in 2 weeks’ time.
Then I told her about Sandbox at Alviera. Sandbox is an open-air huge playground with exciting attractions. If you are up to outdoor activities, then Sandbox is the one. Attractions include: Aerial Walk Challenge, Avatar One, Adventure Tower, ATV and UTV Rides, and last but not the least, Outdoor Archery.
We went to Sandbox on a Saturday, January 3rd of this year. Once we got there, we were welcomed by a long queue to the entrance/ticket booth. They actually had a quota that day – some rides have a limit to the number of individuals it can accommodate.
Luckily, as some of the groups in the long line have decided to turn back, we were able to reach the ticket booth, hopes and excitement getting up. At the ticket booth, there displayed all the available packages. However, due to the number of people that day, we only were able to try 3 of the attractions.
The Giant Swing
– this was the first ride that we tried. It really is giant! There are 2 giant swings, each can accommodate 1 to 3 passengers. We were 5 in the group (including her siblings) and I paired with her, obviously. Her youngest sister has to find a pair since the 2nd child, their brother has with him his girlfriend.
The Giant Swing experience was something I enjoyed and glad I did but not something I’d want to do again. Hehe! I can likened it to an Anchor’s Away ride. Swinging back and forth 10 meters above the ground is super fun, but the feeling was not. It was like your heart was left in the air or your soul leaving your body every time you swing forth.
– This is most commonly known as the Roller Coaster Zip Line. I am a fan of zip lines but not of roller coasters so it took me 3 attempts before I finally let the man assisting us to let me go. I initially thought this was the scariest, but I was wrong. It also did left me a feeling like the one I felt in the Giant Swing but not so much. But I still do not think I could do it again. Glad that I tried it once in my life time, though. 😉
– This is the jump off from 3 activities – rappelling, roller coaster zipline, and the free fall. The last activity that we tried was the Free Fall. As I was lining up, watching each person hesitate jumping off, made me back out. The jump off was at the 4th level of the Adventure Tower. I went up 4 floors just to went downstairs again due to fright. Hehe! I was so nervous that I was very decided to skip the free fall. I no longer wanted to do it but Maya and her siblings cheered on me, encouraging me, and telling me that compared to the first 2 attractions we did so far, this Free Fall Jump was the easiest. If I were able to survive both the Giant Swing and the Roller Coaster Zipline, then for sure, I’d be able to survive free fall.
So I went upstairs again (4 floors up with no elevator). In the line, nobody wanted to go first. Haha! But I really wanted to get this over and done with so I volunteered to go next right after the first person jumped off.
The personnel assisting and helping me with my harness, is kind enough to tell me safety instructions – where to hold, where to look so as not to be intimidated by the height of the tower from which I’d jump off, up to the time when he had to count to 3 before pushing me lightly. It took us 3 tries before I finally pushed my feet from the platform. And then, whew! I was sliding down. I think I’ll do it again but it will scare me still.
If I ever go back to Sandbox, I want to try the other activities specially the ATV and yes, the Archery! The ATV/UTV where you get to experience riding an all-terrain vehicle. The Outdoor Archery is a must-try for archer-wannabes, like me! Get to experience to be like Oliver Queen in the Arrow series or be Merida from Disney’s Brave.
Here is the video I made during my day at Sanbox with Maya and her siblings. It was indeed a great day and start of the year for us.
How to get there:
1. Coming from Manila, take a bus going to Dau, Pampanga. There are bus terminals in Cubao going that route. Just ask the conductors to be sure.
2. From Dau, take a jeepney going to SM Clark.
3. From SM Clark, take a jeepney (available starting 10AM) bound to Alviera.