The key to KidZania Manila. The executives behind the Philippines’ first-ever family edutainment center dressed in their dream jobs at the trade launch of Kidzania Manila. In photo are (rightmost) KidZania Global Chief Operating Officer Andres Fabre turning over the key to Kidzania Manila to (second from right) Play Innovations President and CEO Maricel Pangilinan-Arenas; they were joined by (from left) Fernando Zobel de Ayala, vice chairman of Fort Bonifacio Development Corp.; Play Innovations Chairman Eugenio Lopez III, and Play Innovations Board Member Charo Santos-Concio.Some of the biggest names in Philippine business were among the first to a glimpse of KidZania during Kidzania Manila’s business launch held at the Rockwell Tent in Makati City.
KidZania Manila is a Php1 billion project of ABS-CBN Corporation subsidiary, Play Innovations. The Philippines’ first-ever family edutainment center is being developed by the Fort Bonifacio Development Corporation (FBDC) in a 6,000sqm property at the Bonifacio Global City in Taguig. Construction of Kidzania Manila has already begun and is set to open in November 2014.
Say “Kai!” Play Innovations President and CEO Maricel Pangilinan-Arenas, KidZania Global Chief Operating Officer Andres Fabre, and Play Innovations Industry Partners Director Cecille L. Mariño announced the opening of KidZania Manila in a press luncheon attended by business and education journalists.
On hand to welcome CEOs, VIPs and other celebrities during the event were Andres Fabre, KidZania Global Chief Operating Officer; Eugenio Lopez III, Chairman of Play Innovations, Inc.; Fernando Zobel de Ayala, FBDC Vice Chairman; Charo Santos-Concio, Board Member of Play Innovations, Inc. and Maricel Pangilinan-Arenas, President and CEO of Play Innovations, Inc. and Governor of KidZania Philippines. Nearly all of the guests at the festive occasion came in costume, dressed up as what they would have wanted to grow up to be when they were young.
“We are excited for Filipino children to have fun as they role-play, experiencing how a community works, how to make and manage money, and how to cooperate and work with other people—all of which are necessary for success in the adult world,” said Lopez.
The men and women behind KidZania say “kai” to building a better world for kids. (From left) Fort Bonifacio Development Corp. Vice Chairman Fernando Zobel de Ayala, Play Innovations President and CEO Maricel Pangilinan-Arenas, KidZania Global Chief Operating Officer Andres Fabre, Play Innovations Board Member Charo Santos-Concio, and Play Innovations Chairman Eugenio Lopez III with the child actors.According to Pangilinan-Arenas, the activities at KidZania Manila will be designed to complement classroom learning and some activities will reflect contributions of both urban and rural Filipino industries such as farming and fishing, as well as role-playing jobs focused on natural disaster and calamity preparedness.
Highlights of the event were the entertaining musical numbers from a Philippine children’s theater company , a ceremonial turnover of the key of KidZania Manila from KZ Central Government Minister of State Fabre, to Governor Pangilinan-Arenas. The program also featured kid hosts and field reporters, who interviewed business executives and asked them about their childhood ambitions. (Story/Photos by Veronica Gutierrez)