Not quite glamping

A NOTCH above “roughing it” but not so fancy as “glamping” is what Ayala Land’s Alviera property in Pampanga is offering by the end of May.

Dubbed the Alviera Brightscape Campfest, the property’s first summer camp will be held at the SandBox adventure park. Offering thrill rides like a giant swing and a roller coaster zipline and activities like stargazing, survival skill tutorials and a concert, it’s a far cry from really being one with nature but it is promised to be just as fun. From May 30-31, campers will be provided with tents, free access to SandBox attractions, and a hearty breakfast come morning.

Other activities include kite-flying, a puppet theater performance, and drumming (led by the Adinkra Lumads Djembe community). Learn flow arts (poi, hoops and other props) with Flow Arts Philippines.

Capping it all off are special performances from the Lumad community and the Flow Arts people and a concert called Brightscape Music Jam featuring Barbie Almalbis, Imago, Quest, The Ransom Collective, Chocolate Factory, Brisom, Absolute Play, and the Lumads.

This overnight campfest is meant to give people a glimpse of what will be the 1,125 hectare (ha) Alviera property. If the public’s reception of SandBox since it was opened last year is any indication, Alviera is expecting the event to be very successful.

The camp organizer, Travel Factor, said they are preparing for 1,500 people to show up and join the fun. “I’m honestly quite surprised with the [SandBox’s] reception. I mean, it’s in the middle of nowhere, it’s a desert, it’s so hot, yet we offer something unique at the same time familiar. It sort of entices more people,” John R. Estacio, Alviera general manager, told BusinessWorld during a press conference on April 30.

Though Brightscape is not exactly “glamping” (glamour camping), Mr. Estacio hinted that they will be showing what the word really means in the future. Alviera, dubbed the “Nuvali of the North” (Nuvali is Ayala Land’s township located in Sta. Rosa, Laguna), is planned to become a mixed-use township with a Central Business District (CBD), a commercial area, an industrial park, a country club, university zones, a residential neighborhood, and a 300-ha river walkway park (including SandBox in the middle of the CBD).

But unlike Nuvali which was all about “sustainable development,” Alviera would be “rawer” as it is envisioned to be all about “urban-nature.” Huge tracts of land will be kept as is, with developments occurring only in designated places. “No development at all [in] the natural parts. That’s why we hosted Brightscape because it’s a glimpse of what you’ll eventually see [in Alviera],” Mr. Estacio explained. And because Porac, Pampanga where the property is located is not very urban, the company intends to keep the laid-back and more relaxed quality of a place that is far away from the city. “[We’re doing] things you do not associate with urban development. We would like to keep the area as raw as possible, as pristine, especially the mountainous areas,” he said. Mr. Estacio said that they are currently building the residential subdivision under the Avida brand which he said is already 80% sold since the launch in December.

Likewise, the industrial park launched in January already sold all the 18 lots, each measuring 1 ha to 1.4 ha, that will create around 4,000 jobs. Miriam College from Manila and Holy Angel University of Pampanga are also going to rise there in the future. Brightscape Campfest packages are available at The Day Adventurer (day-trip) is P1,990 per person and the Weekend Camper (overnight) is P2,990. Both packages include round trip transportation from Manila to Alviera (with travel insurance), free use of the SandBox, field day activities, the concert and an event kit. Overnighters have access to tents, breakfast and campsite-exclusive activities.

Tickets are also available via for P1,000 for the day-trip and P1,500 for overnight (sans transportation, event kit and tents, etc). — Zsarlene B. Chua –
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