travel & lifestyle blog by ruth dela cruz


Play Time and Outdoor Fun at Sandbox

April 16, 2014

I want to start this entry with a disclaimer. I am no thrill-seeker and a daredevil. I don’t always go out and look for exciting, new deadly things to do.

But when the opportunity comes, it is always easy for me to say “yes”. I don’t want to live with regrets thinking how fun/exciting/deadly/exhilarating it would be to jump and enjoy the ride.

Recently, I thought I was playing my life a little too safe. I even hosted a contest to get inspiration from my readers to see what other daring things they tried. I did a quick look at my past to regain the confidence. Looking at these pictures made me miss the carefree kid inside me. 
4×4 Ride in Ilocos 
still the deadliest ride of my life!
(story coming up at – promise!!)
First ATV Experience in Boracay

Free Fall in Tree Top Adventure Subic
Superman Zipline

Unsecured Cable Car Ride in Great Wall, Beijing
(story coming up at – promise!!)

I still get teased by my friend how nervous I was during this ride!
Unfortunately, I don’t have a picture of me riding the Joker ride in EuroStar and the Leviathan Roller Coaster in Wonderland. They are deadly rides! 
I suddenly felt the need to go out, stretch some muscles and try something fun outdoor. 
A week before the opening of Sandbox, members of the media had been invited to visit the place. Most of my blogger friends went and they flooded my walls with updates and pictures. I was easily swayed and I planned of visiting with friends. It has been ages the last time I did something fun and daring. I thought, I am mentally and physically fit to try the activities. 
It is as if the universe had heard me, the invitation to come to the Sandbox opening came just right on time. I immediately said yes while praying that the monthly visitor would not come that day,. Well, it came. but that didn’t stop me. Now, here’s my story:
Click Read More to know more about Sandbox…

What is Sandbox? 
Sanbox is Alviera‘s first main attraction. Ayala Land, Inc, in partnership with Leonia Land launched its latest large-scale, integrated mixed-use development in Porac, Pampanga called Alviera. It is a 1,125 hectare township designed to seamlessly combine urban living with nature. Sandbox is its first main attraction which offers outdoor attractions and adventure courses for all ages. 
It was a quick 1.5 hour drive from Quezon City to Porac, Pampanga. The sun was up, and the clouds served like shades for us. We didn’t waste any time, and as soon as we were done with light (but super delicious) breakfast, we tried the first ride. 
Here is the list of Sandbox rides and our reviews and ratings for each 😉
The Giant Swing (Php100 individual rate)

Fear Factor: 3 out of 5
Fun Factor: 5 out of 5
This swing seems like the crowd’s favorite (at least from the pool of media peeps who were invited the week before the opening). The Giant Swing is the tallest swing at 10-meters high. . 
The experience is same as riding Anchor’s Away

We were the firsts to try it that day, and we just screamed just
for kicks! I suggest that you ride it and free your hands!
Much, much fun!

Sandbox Giant Swing

Yeah, we love it!

Here’s my friend’s brother going solo 🙂

The Adventure Tower
The Adventure Tower is a 15-meters of wall climbing fun, rappeling and free-fall. From the top, you can see the views of Alviera where hobbyists can gather for field sports and other outdoor pursuits like frisbee, RC plane and car activities. 
Wall Climbing Side
Rappeling Side

Free-Fall Side

When my friend and I got to the Adventure Tower, we thought we could do the Wall Rappel (seriously, what was I thinking?).  So, we lined up to get prepared:
Rappel Wall (Php50 individual rate)
Fear Factor: 5 out of 5 (I am a beginner!)
Fun Factor: 2 out of 5 😉 
Difficulty: 5 out of 5! (again, I am a beginner!) 
Boys do the boys’ harness, girls do the girls’ 😉
We were then sent off upstairs
We never realized it was that high!

When we were on top, I was thinking of backing out. But I didn’t want to regret missing the chance. Plus, I thought rappeling is a survival technique, and I had to experience it – if not learn it. 

I was battling with myself as I tried to get in the position.  It was not easy! Leaning back and putting all your weight suspended in the air while holding on to the rope – your life line. 

When I got in this position, I was already hysterical. I regretted going down, and I thought that if I get tired of holding on to the rope, I would drop flat and dead on the ground. I did a Tarzan stunt, and I was hoping a helicopter or superman would save me! 

I forgot that Kuya was right down there to assist 😉

Ok, I am a survivor. 

Wall Climb (Php50 individual rate)
Fear Factor: 2 out of 5
Fun Factor: 5 out of 5
Difficulty Level: 3 out of 5

I was feeling a bit restless after my rappel adventure, so I said pass to the Wall Climb. I thought I can always try it somewhere in Manila. My friends gave it a go:
Seems like they had a fun time. 😉
Free Fall (Php100 individual rate)
Fear Factor: 2 out of 5 (I am comparing it to the Free Fall experience in Tree Top Adventure)
Fun Factor: 3 out of 5
My friend’s brother tried it, and I still have to get their consent before I can post the video 🙂 I want to describe it as if you are part of a big dance production number and you descend from the ledge – a ledge as tall as 15 meters. 
Rollercoaster Zipline (Php150 individual rate)

Fear Factor: 2 out of 5
Fun Factor: 5 out of 5

The Adventure Tower is also the starting point of the Rollercoaster Zipline. They call it, the Avatar, this is the first in Asia and inspired from a ride in United Kingdom (says the facilitator). Yeah, I made a lot of friends from Sandbox. It was cool to get to know them and the kind of work they do at the park 😉
I love how fun the ride is! It is pretty simple and less traumatic than the normal zipline where you zoom over trees. 
Here’s my friend enjoying the ride!

Word of advice:  Hold the rope correctly, and make sure you don’t swirl around (which I unintentionally did), as there might be a tendency that the rope gets tangled – around you. 
Here’s my video 😉 Watch and learn.
Avatar Rollercoaster Zipline at Sandbox
The Aerial Walk (Php150 individual rate)
Fear Factor: 2 out of 5
Fun Factor: 5 out of 5
Difficulty: 5 out of 5

The heat consumed me that morning and we just let the boys try the Aerial Walk. It is a high rope adventure with the added challenge of being in an obstacle course. 
The boys enjoyed this activity so much. I plan to try it the next time we visit 😉 
There was a stage set up on the grounds that afternoon, and I heard that Bamboo was performing for the official opening. Too bad, we missed him since we left after lunch. I told my friend I can always catch Bamboo at home 😉
Our Aeta friends are also in the vicinity to provide assistance and demo about survival tips. In here, he showed how to light a fire. 

Sandbox also offers  ATV and mini-ATV (costs around Php2,500 for 1.5 hours). I was not very keen in trying it out as I have previously experienced driving a mini-ATV. We wanted to try the Mini-Golf (Php150), but it is still a work in progress. There is also a playground where kids can just run and roam around. 
The activity I enjoyed the most was the kite-flying. It was my first time! 
These kids will give/lend you kites for free!
I wish to play with this next time 😉


Bringing in food is not allowed in Sandbox, but you don’t need to worry about getting hungry. There are stalls and kiosks inside Sandbox selling rice toppings, snacks and local food. 

We love this suman creme!
There are also vendors selling fruits, vegetables and pasalubongs. My friend and I bought some vegetables and fruits to help the local farmers. We are not expert at marketing and haggling, but you guys might want to visit to check the goods. It would be nice to help our local farmers. 

Organic Cherry Tomatoes!  Php100/kilo
I bought some as junk food alternative 😉

Coin banks for Php50

Ripe Mangoes at Php80/kilo


  • Wear comfortable clothes – we were lucky that it was a bit cloudy that day, but you might need to cover up or wear sunscreen.
  • There are food stalls inside but might be good to bring bottled water. 
  • Always check and think of your safety. If you are in doubt, always ask. People in Sandbox are very friendly and fun. 
  • There is a medical team stationed in Sandbox (and ready Ambulance, in case of emergency), but it would be wise to bring your own medication. 
  • Manage your expectations. Lines and queues can get crazy and long just like in a regular theme park. Patience is a virtue. 
  • People and kids might get too excited over rides, but always think and check if you are physically and mentally fit. 

Sandbox is only 1.5 hour away from Quezon City, an hour away from Meycauayan, 45 minutes from Subic, 25 minutes from Angeles and 5 minutes from Clark. 
I am still awaiting information on how to get to Sandbox, Porac, Pampanga via commute. It appears that for now, the place is only accessible via private transportation. Sandbox is just next to the Porac exit. 


Entrance free is Php75 and individual rates are posted above for each ride. There are also packages that come with specific rides. Package A is only Php 600 including all adventure rides (except ATV and UTV).

For booking and ticket reservation, check out and

Sandbox is open from Tuesday to Sunday from 9AM to 5PM.

Sandbox is a perfect family adventure place. It has everything for all age groups – playground for kids, obstacle courses for teens, giant swing for lovers, and adventure tower for sports buff. There is even a market and park for moms and grannies. I heard that the developers are looking at setting up salon and spa in the property. In terms of safety, I was able to talk to some of the staff assisting in the rides. It appears that Alviera hired them to look after the safety measures and controls of the park. The adventure rides are good for those starting to embrace extreme sports. They are fun, safe and exciting, but not too intense.

Thank you Stratos PR, Ruth Floresca and Ms. JingGing for the invite. Thank you Diane and Eric for the awesome pictures and videos! Super fun afternoon!

Thank you Sandbox for making me feel like a kid again!
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