Olongapo SubicBay BatangGapo Newscenter

Friday, May 14, 2010

Religion-themed park being planned in Subic free port

SUBIC BAY FREE PORT—After dishing out fake killer whales and sea lions at the Ocean Adventure Marine Park and tigers and crocodiles in the Zoobic Safari, this free port is now expected to gain a new niche in tourism: religious pilgrimage.
According to Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority Administrator Armand Arreza, the agency has recently approved a proposal by a nonstock, nonprofit organization to build a new theme park built around the concept of the Holy Land.

Groundbreaking for the project is expected to be held in June.

This “new Jerusalem experience, right here in Central Luzon,” as Arreza described it, is touted to be the first of its kind in Asia.

Arreza said the proposed tourism attraction will be built by the Holy Land Subic Foundation Inc. in a 20-hectare area adjacent to the Subic-Tipo gate of the Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway as the park would capitalize on Subic’s competitive edge in accessibility, as well as security.

“With the Holy Land Subic project, the free port will serve not only as an ecotourism and recreation center, but also as a place for pilgrimage and spiritual rejuvenation,” Arreza added.

As a religion-themed park, Holy Land Subic will feature attractions like “Bible Museum,” an amphitheater for various spiritual plays and stage productions, and separate theaters for children where cartoon shows, storytelling and puppet shows will be held.

Maribi Garcia, founder of the Bethesda Healing Ministry, said these children’s theaters will also have themes like “Noah’s Ark” and “Jonah and the Whale.”

For teenagers and young adults, the company will put up a “David and Goliath” rock-climbing course and a “Trip to Heaven” obstacle run.

Garcia also said that replica models depicting biblical stories will be built all over the place, with themes like “Moses and the Ten Commandments in Mount Sinai” and “Tower of Babel.”

Sculptures portraying the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ will also be part of the replica exhibits.

Aside from the more overt religious content, which is expected to popularize Holy Land Subic as a sanctuary for prayer and reflection, the park will also be a rest and recreation center that would feature a healing and wellness center.

Garcia also said Aeta tribesmen in the Subic Bay Free Port will be hired by Holy Land Subic to serve as forest rangers, jungle guides and foot-massage therapists, among others. Written by Henry Empeño / Correspondent businessmirror.com.ph

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