Kids, get ready for KidZania!
Jennifer Ong (The Philippine Star) - February 10, 2015 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Walt Disney once said, “If you can dream it, you can do it.” At KidZania, kids can start working towards their dreams even at the early age of three. KidZania is a magical place, filled with unique opportunities that kids, aged three to 14, can happily and safely explore. It prides itself on being its own nation with a pretty unique language — a form of English punctuated with Ks and Zs. It also operates with its own currency, KidZos. And as you might have guessed, it comes with its own Immigration and PaZZport offices.

Learning it through living it is the experience being offered here and as many as 25 million children have come to be members of the KidZania nation since it first opened in 1996. KidZania first opened in Mexico and to date, there are KidZania centers in various parts of the world, including Japan, Indonesia, Portugal, Korea, United Arab Emirates, Malaysia, Thailand, India, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Chile, and Kuwait.

Opening this summer is KidZania Manila, a play space that’s close to 9,000 sqm. and part of Ayala Mall’s much anticipated Park Triangle at the corner of 11th Avenue and 32nd Street in Bonifacio Global City. As you can imagine, the possibilities for role-play here will be practically limitless. KidZania Manila’s 40 brand partners have ensured that there are at least 100 role-playing activities to keep children plenty busy. Some of the country’s biggest brands will be found inside, helping KidZania create a fun environment that introduces work through play. And the best part is, parents are allowed in KidZania, too!

A place like this is quite invaluable to children. KidZania teaches them to try new things. It teaches them to work with others. It teaches kids to earn and spend money. And with a lot of guidance, it  gently introduces children to the world of grown-ups. As KidZania Philippines state governor Maricel Pangilinan-Arenas said, “ It is our hope that the values and skills they learn here will one day enable them to create a better world. We have seen it in country after country — play at KidZania sparks dreams and confidence, it ignites hearts and minds, empowering children so that they know they can make a difference, they can make their country a better place.”

There’s a variety of media jobs available at KidZania. One can try being a radio broadcaster for two stations, DZMM and MOR. Kids can also go behind the scenes of a television production at the ABS-CBN TV Studio or become news writers. Kids likewise get the chance to work for a magazine at the Metro KidZania Publishing Company and develop their own infomercials at O Shopping.

Honing acting talents for the stage or screen is at the heart of the Star Magic Acting Academy while music is the passion shared by everyone at the Star Music Studio.

Dining is never a problem inside KidZania. Although here, you may have to do some cooking and baking before you eat.  I’m sure no one will complain about making their own pastries at Goldilocks Bake Shop. And kids are encouraged to create their own pizza at the Yellow Cab Pizza Shop. Meanwhile, get to flip and serve burgers at the McDonald’s Burger Shop. And there’s always room for dessert when you can become an ice cream connoisseur at the Magnolia Ice Cream Factory.



At the same time, kids can learn how food works with science to create memorable snacks, drinks, and treats at the Purefoods R&D Center, Cream-O Cookie Factory, Jack n’ Jill Snack Factory, and Coca Cola Bottling Plant. Likewise, they can discover how vitamins are made at the Pascual Product Lab.

In another part of KidZania, kids can also experience the farm life. Learning where food comes from is one of the goals behind The Urban Garden and Farm House store. Here, children get to learn how to grow and harvest produce such as potatoes and strawberries. It also teaches them about becoming ecologically and environmentally responsible.

Renewable power is also introduced to children at KidZania through the First Gen Clean Energy Center. Sure to drive kids crazy is the introduction to automotive science and safety offered at the Honda Car Design and Dealership, Honda Car Assembly as well as the A-1 Driving School. Helping keep cars running here will be a Shell Gas Station.

Education is encouraged everywhere at KidZania. For instance, Centro Escolar University is offering various courses for kids who are aiming for degrees. In addition, culinary arts for kids will be taught at the Lady’s Choice Cooking School and specialized flight training will be offered at the Cebu Pacific Aviation Academy.

Kids who want to develop their hospitality and customer service skills can find work in the various service industry brands at KidZania. Become the ultimate green grocer at the Healthy Options Supermarket. Recommend books at the National Book Store. Become a pharmacist for Mercury Drug. Provide medical and/or baby care at the Metropolitan Hospital ER by Green Cross and Johnson’s Baby Care Center. Care for pets at the Pet Express Vet Clinic. Assist in laundry care at the Champion Laundromat. Become a handy tech assistant at the ABS-CBN Mobile Shop. And handle the transport and logistics of packages and parcels at LBC Express.

Children may also experience public service in various exciting ways at KidZania. Join the firefighter squad and take up residence in the Pioneer Insurance’s Fire Station. Help maintain peace and order as a cop assigned to the KidZania Police Station. Or solve crimes with the help of the Crime Scene Investigation and see the suspects get tried at the Court House.

Every job at the KidZania is actually salaried in KidZos and just like in the real world, kids may be asked to settle their taxes at the Tax Office. Of course, to help children manage their money, they can always open an account at the BPI (Bank of the Philippine Islands) KidZania branch.

At KidZania, life is full of exciting everyday adventures. And helping kids go from adventure to adventure is a City Tour Bus courtesy of Nestle’s Chuckie and Milo along with ABS-CBN Sports. Meanwhile, the Department of Tourism is happily introducing kids to Philippine culture and tourism and giving them a “Kai Saya” experience.

It is important to note that at KidZania, kids have six principal rights that ultimately serve as the governing principles here. After all, every child should have the right to be, to know, to create, to share, to care and, most importantly, to play.

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