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Family fun at Star City

MANILA, Philippines - Star City has always been the favorite theme park of Filipino families. Many have grown up patronizing it with friends, siblings and cousins. So it was through the eyes of children that Kuh Ledesma and Diether Ocampo, and the family of William and Yayo Martinez viewed Star City when they visited during the holiday season.

Star City is the longest-running, free-standing amusement park within Metro Manila. It has become a year-round, weekday and weekend affair. It sprawls, in typically unplanned Filipino fashion, over 35,000 square meters, about one-fourth the size of Hong Kong Disneyland but with just as many rides.

Kuh and Diether started their respective kiddie treats on the obligatory carousel, later moving to other rides such as Telekombat, the Wacky Worm, bump cars, and ferris wheels. They also explored the horror house with its mummy’s tomb and the Viking ship.

The Martinezes, with friends in tow, gamely tried out the sci-fi jungle warfare offered at the newly-opened Laser Blaster tag arena, along with game stations, and several themed arcades like Dino Island — a dinosaur enclave made more exciting with Korean animatrix technology. Like most people who come to Star City, they just had go to Snow World, which provided them with a polar experience and a chilly go on Asia’s longest ice slide.

William and Yayo enjoyed Wild River where passengers sit on dugouts that seem to rise atop a hill and fall rapidly down a water slide.

Star City is open 4 to 11 p.m. on Monday to Thursday, 2 p.m. to 12 midnight on Friday to Sunday.

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