Day trip: SandBox in Porac, Pampanga

Conquer your fear of heights at this recreational park in Porac

by Amanda Lago

If you’ve got a fear of heights, SandBox in Porac, Pampanga may just be the perfect place to conquer it. The newly-opened recreational park which is part of the Alviera devlopment by Ayala Land and Leonio Land has only a handful of attractions, but at SandBox, you don’t need a lot – being launched into the air from a height of 33 feet, should be more than enough.

Here are the gravity-defying attractions you can try at SandBox:

Giant Swing

If the swing was your favorite ride on the playground as a child, the Giant Swing will definitely bring back some memories – except instead of going just a few feet off the ground, this one will take you 33 feet high, and instead of your mom being the force behind the swing, it’s a rope, and a hook that is ready to drop you at any moment. The slow ascent is terrifying the higher up you go, and waiting for the drop will perhaps be the most excruciating few seconds of your day, but once you start swinging, the thrill will make you forget all of your fear, not to mention, you’ve got a stunning view of the Porac mountain range right beside you. This is definitely not a ride for the faint of heart, but its almost addicting once you’ve gone.

Individual rate: P100 (about US$2) per ride

Avatar One Rollercoaster Zipline

There are ziplines – you know, when you are casually launched into the air to fly above the ground with only a harness as your lifeline – and there are rollercoaster ziplines – and the one at SandBox happens to be the first one in the country. As the name suggests, the rollercoaster zipline will have you zipping across it in loops and waves instead of a full-on straight line, adding an extra thrill to the fact that you are suspended mid-air. It doesn’t look very high when you’re staring at it from the ground, but once you reach the starting point, you will definitely feel your pulse start to race – and go even faster as you hit wave after wave.

Individual rate: P150 per ride

Adventure Tower

Photo courtesy of Alviera

Definitely another attraction to test one’s bravery, the 5-storey adventure tower provides several activities for thrill seekers. Once you make your way up the 49-foot wall, you can either rappel down, or better yet, jump off the platform and free fall to the ground.

Individual rates: P100 for Free Fall, P50 for Rappel Wall, and P50 for wall climbing

Aerial Walk

A little bit of zipline, a little bit of wall-climbing, and a lot of clambering over rope bridges and nets, this attraction will not only test your bravery in the face of heights, but also your physical strength, agility and flexibility. The course, which can be completed in half an hour, may seem short, but it’s definitely challenging.  

Individual rate: P150 per walk

Essentials

SandBox, Alviera Subdivision, Sapang Uwak road, Porac, Pampanga. Open Tue-Sun, 9 am to 5 pm. Entrance is at P75. Packages are available that include access to any combination of the park’s activities. Rates start at P400.

How to get there 

SandBox is about 30 minutes by car from the Clark International Airport, roughly two hours away from Manila, and an hour away from Quezon City. Get on the North Luzon Expressway (NLEX) in Balintawak, Quezon City from EDSA northbound. From NLEX, exit toward the Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (SCTEX) and then take exit 139 to the Porac Access Road, which will lead you to SandBox. Rent a car from around P3,500 a day for self-drive or about P5,000 with chauffeur. Try Avis Rent a Car.