Pelayo: Alvaro’s Aqua Planet testing the waters

ALONG the major thoroughfares in Angeles City are large visual teasers posted strategically and the layout design captures the audience’s attention. Its large-format structures are calculated to command those who are driving, commuting, or passing along the primary arteries of this highly urbanized city. The message has something to do with the highly anticipated ceremonial soft opening of the newest world-class destination in Clark Freeport Zone… the Aqua Planet.

Sitting on a 10-hectare property inside Clark, Philippines, the first phase of Aqua Planet is the country’s most modern water theme park with over 25 attractions. The spiral slides have four spacious tubes with a different speed and course. The park also boasts “Super Bowl” but this attraction has nothing to do with football. It’s actually a four-person raft ride that will start from the top sliding down with some twist and turns before heading for a splash. There’s also a surf machine which lets guests simulate a surfing experience. A race with family and friends can be thrilling at the Octopus Racer. Kids can play around the water at the Mermaid Bay, or just go with the flow at the Lazy River. The dual-wave pool at the Boogie Bay gives swimmers a choice for either a challenging swim on one side or a leisure pool at the other end. And for those who are really into adrenaline-pumping adventure, the four-leaf clover raft ride “Tornado” might just be perfect.

But apart from these spectacular features, there is more than meets the eye on those remarkable images situated in high density locations. Onlookers can’t help but notice the striking photos of the chairman and CEO of BB Group of Companies and Medal Consortium. Yes, Dr. Irineo “Bong” Alvaro’s images are seen on both displays. He was standing on the vertical tarps but on the large billboards, his arms are raised sideways as if making a welcome gesture. The former city councilor and former city administrator’s face is seen publicly again.

The splashy advertisements immediately made locals create a conversation through the grapevine that Dr. Bong Alvaro, who recently took oath as a member of PDP-Laban, might run for office this coming election in 2019.
As world-class Mayor Ed Pamintuan is about to finish his final term, people could only speculate on the prospective politics in Angeles City. Among those names that are resoundingly being mentioned as possible candidates are incumbent Vice Mayor Bryan Nepomuceno and Clark Airport President Alex Cauguiran. There is also a huge group that may be poised to create a movement for Councilor Edu Pamintuan to persuade him to join the race. With the possibility of Alvaro running for mayor, things get more interesting in Angeles.

But Alvaro’s aide-de-camp Jef del Mundo seems to be not too keen yet about his boss engaging in government service. The camp’s current focus is said to be headed at Clark’s sustainable development. About a month ago, Dr. Alvaro has been voted as the Top Clark Investors and Locators Association director, adding a feather to his hat.

The Aqua Planet billboard and posters are not just advertisements. It is a statement about something much bigger with a higher purpose. Last 2009, Cabinet Secretary Ed Pamintuan posted a few tarps around the city wishing everyone happy holidays. The next year he became the mayor. The year 2018 is about to come in less than four weeks. Do not blink after the New Year.
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