Once upon a time, for kids excited to play, Kidzania Manila was now made to stay! The Manila chapter of this educational theme park chain has risen in the heart of BGC, Taguig at Park Triangle (where the new LEGO store is). They officially opened last Friday, on August 7. Kidzania is, in one sentence, a supervised theme-park for children in the form of an educational mini city run with kids and for kids. Here, children get to play at being adults for the day in a pretend economy, with actual citizenship, jobs, money, and added skills. Adults are not allowed to enter the work establishments with their child (unless under special circumstances, like a child with special needs) to encourage independence and focused learning but parents, guardians, and family are allowed to roam the park and observe their children from large windows. As you can imagine, for many parents, letting go of control is a challenging thought (and in some cases even letting the kids to choose their first activity on their own), believe me, the struggle is REAL, I’ve seen it first hand…it can get colorful LOL and that’s putting it lightly. In Kidzania parents and guardians are highly encouraged to allow of-age children (8 and above) to roam freely, to be, and to choose jobs (minimum working age 4) in this special environment so that their natural inclinations surface. I think Filipino parents are in dire need of this new concept of giving their child enough space to develop independence.
Kai! I do not work at Kidzania Manila, so for any FAQs (questions) regarding scheduling, pricing, and booking you may refer to their official site, manila.kidzania.com . I’ll include limited information at the bottom of the post as well, but please refer to their official website for other park-related questions.
After spotting the G.O.T. Ned Stark Meme on the looming swarm of Kidzania Manila pictures I’ve decided to personally help darken skies. Kidzania Manila, now the 20th Kidzania facility in the world (HQ is Mexico), opened the other day. I’m ever so proud to say that Kidzania Manila is captained by none other than my beloved former advertising head mother, Maricel Pangilinan-Arenas and an entire team badly in need of cucumbers and under-eye concealer at this very moment. How kool is it that to some level I feel like a Kidzanian Royal? Hee. On August 7, a somewhat anti-climactic Friday, after weeks of very intense testing, validation, and inspection by Kidzania’s founding Mexican admin team, Kidzania Manila’s park doors opened to the public.
A Friday opening meant that yesterday’s flood of fun-size “adults” would ultimately pack the park for the weekend and the Saturday line, they say, actually stretched and left the building by afternoon. Yesterday’s August 8 tickets sold out in just under a couple of hours. To be honest, even after being given special access to the park during the stretch of preview days, I myself didn’t plan a major blog feature at first.
I put this one up first simply because I love her outfit. Aww…just there thinking of where to go next.
PLEASE NOTE: I was not asked nor paid to write for Kidzania Manila, I chose to. I initially planned to support the team only via simple sharing on social media, but what changed my mind completely was simple. It was the kids on Day 1 who got me shooting…and the fact that for several hours I noticed that people, myself included, could not help but re-focus outwardly and shoot these munchkins on the move. Let’s put it this way, at Kidzania Manila in the past couple of days, the word “selfie”, I imagine, was not top of mind. Be warned, this is a photo-heavy post with information at the start and a couple of captions here and there. I shot tons but I didn’t shoot ALL the establishments. However, each photo matters and shares a moment, and several of them are discreet. Many actually exclude focus on children’s faces with the exception of my knowing the kids and parents personally or if I was shooting openly in front of them and they didn’t mind. I was also not inside the establishments when I shot these pictures, I was outside alongside onlooking parents. My 50mm lens brought me closer to the scene without being invasive. Click through to see the rest of Kidzania Manila through my eyes while I mention a couple of things here and there. Practically 99% of the photos I shot are candid takeaways from live shifts of first time visitors to Kidzania Manila.