THE TSUNAMI waves at Amana water park resort. CARMELA REYES-ESTROPE/INQUIRER NORTHERN LUZON
CITY OF MALOLOS—Bulacan may not have been blessed with white sand beaches and genuine waves, but “tsunami” wave pools in some of its 115 resorts have helped draw its share of tourists from Metro Manila and Central Luzon this summer.
Elizabeth Alonzo, Bulacan tourism officer, says the resorts accommodate at least 1,000 to 5,000 guests each daily since temperature readings started to rise, with resorts taking in as much as 10,000 people during weekends and holidays.
Alonzo says Bulacan’s resorts earn from P20 million to P40 million a month during summer. Fifteen resorts have designed their service packages around their wave pools.
Bulacan’s resorts began investing in wave pools in 2002.
The 8-Wave Resort, located in the boundary of Baliwag and San Rafael towns, pioneered the first wave pools here.
Alonzo says Villa Concepcion in Pandi town followed, drawing more resorts to try out the attraction.
“Fifteen is not a small number. That’s a lot of resorts with wave pools, which is why Bulacan has been credited as the wave pool capital of the country,” she says.
The wave pools of Bulacan attract people because these are closer than the beaches of Ilocos and Pangasinan for Metro Manila and Central Luzon residents, says Ronaldo Tiotuico, Central Luzon director of the Department of Tourism (DOT).
The Amana Water Park Resort in Pandi town has the largest and biggest wave pool in Bulacan, which it markets as “tsunami waves.”
This wave pool technology can whip up 7 to 8 feet of waves, and this attraction is available to tourists from 10 a.m. to noon and from 2 to 4 p.m. The waves “dance” to popular tunes.
Tiotuico says wave pools have become the primary attraction of Bulacan in recent years. “Bulacan’s historical sites and old houses have been relegated to the second primary attractions of the province,” he says.
It may explain why resorts like 4K Resort in Sta. Maria, Villa Lorenzo in Pulilan, Agatha Resort in Guiguinto and Jed’s Island Resort in Calumpit have become the subjects of pranks recently.
The National Bureau of Investigation is investigating a series of text messages circulating false information about people supposedly drowning and being electrocuted in these resorts.
Pandi Mayor Enrico Roque, who owns the Amana Water Park, says these text messages may have been intended to discredit the resorts in the province.
“It’s the season for resorts. It’s possible those text messages came from our competitors outside the province,” he says.