Are you a SpongeBob SquarePants fan? Well, you might as well brace yourself in seeing Bikini Bottom in the soon-to-rise Palawan Underwater Them Park.
Bikini Bottom seems to be the next reality in the Philippines as the American children’s network Nickelodeon plans to build an underwater theme park in the renowned island in the Philippines – Palawan. Being the country’s ecological frontline for tourism, the thought of having such thing as Palawan Underwater Theme Park quite stirred the citizen’s attention, especially the environmentalists, both Filipino and foreign.
Having known to have the most beautiful beaches in the world today, Palawan was considered and chosen as the area fit for the said underwater theme park. The executive vice president Ron Johnson with the Viacom International Media Networks which is the owner of Nickelodeon stated the above reason for the selection via an email to AFP last Tuesday, January 10.
Nickelodeon projects the Palawan Underwater Theme Park to open in 2020, covering 400 hectares, 6 meters below sea level, of the island which will showcase the marine life in the area, reported Channel News Asia. The purpose was to give people the chance to “interact with the brand and the iconic characters they love.”
Although the network stated that the building of Palawan Underwater Theme Park will advocate ocean protection, Greenpeace, an environmental group, insists that the structure will destroy Palawan’s world-famous marine ecosystem.
“It’s sad and alarming because a theme park that big will not promote environmental protection by building structure. Why build a viewing deck when you have the whole paradise to enjoy?” said Vince Cinches of Greenpeace Southeast Asia.
Aside from Greenpeace, other environmentalists’ groups and agencies also expressed their concern about the said project considering that the pristine coastlines and forests in the island are actually considered to be among the oldest and most diverse ones in Southeast Asia. Palawan also has two of UNESCO’s World Heritage sites – a subterranean river and the Tubbataha coral reefs.
Trending campaigns against the construction of Palawan Underwater Theme Park includes the famous poster of SpongeBob saying, “DON’T DESTROY MY HOME!”