Kidzania Manila just launched a new attraction last week, their Marine Research Lab together with industry partners Century Tuna and World Wide Fund for Nature-Philippines! It is the only marine child learning experience of its kind among all global Kidzania cities. This one makes a big splash right here in Manila.
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It is designed to be an underwater facility housing models of marine ecosystems and research workstations. The roleplay is for marine conservation while studying the ecosystems and creating solutions for its problems.
You first enter and descend beneath a tuna highway. Anyone remember Finding Nemo... the EAC?
There is a touch pool with limited and selected forms of live marine life that visitors can safely interact with under an Aquarist's supervision.
"It was at a Kidzania summit in Jakarta in November 2012 where we first made the pitch to build marine, agri, and aquaculture themed spaces at Kidzania Manila. I told them the Philippines was an archipelago, dependent in so many ways on the sea for its sustenance, and more importantly, millions of Filipino children had farmer and fisherfolk parents," shares Maricel P. Arenas, Governor of Kidzania Manila.
The job runs for 30 minutes and the establishment can hire 10 marine conservationists at a time. Here, they will learn the basics of marine ecosystems, carry out a mission, monitor and investigate the environment, and present their own findings. They will earn 12 Kidzos (Kidzania money).
They also have an example of polluted sea area so that children can discuss possible solutions to rehabilitate these places.
My grandmother loved the ocean, and my father was who was born her youngest, loved the deep blue as well. She used to bring him along on her fishing trips convinced that my father attracted all the fish to the boat when he was with her. When she didn't have him with her in the boat she was convinced there were no fish.
My Lola couldn't have known at the time that Dad would grow up to be one of the nation's best divemasters (certifying many batches of students including my mother) and National Director of PADI (Professional Association of Diving Instructors). That is the story that fascinates me and is another heartfelt reason why my mother, Kidzania Manila's current Governor, wanted to build an experience for Kidzania that involved our family's deep love for the sea.
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For more information and booking inquiries visit manila.Kidzania.com, North 11th Avenue, Park Triangle Building, BGC Taguig, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, Phone: +632-711KIDZ (5439)
Photographs by the author and from Instagram.com/kidzaniamanila