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Magikland: Uncle Sam’s dream brings on the magic

Simplicio Palanca’s dream lives on at Magikland as he turns 98 years old on March 12.*Ronnie Baldonado photo

Magikland in Silay City celebrated the 98th birthday of its chairman, lawyer and visionary Simplicio Palanca, Friday, March 12, by continuing to live his dream of bringing fun and magic to all who visit the park.

The 5-hectare park themed after the ancient Bakunawa legend offers 12 exciting rides for the young and old and many other exciting attractions.

Magikland mascot, Bakunawa, led a parade of the park’s characters who danced to the beat of lively music as guests on a train joined in the fun today, March 12, just as Palanca had envisioned.

Palanca’s nephew, Reynaldo Bantug, AtonLand president and chief executive officer, said it had always been the dream of his Uncle Sam to bring the carnival to Negros to provide amusement for children.

Magikland is the product of Palanca’s lifelong love for entertainment and a desire to share it with people, Bantug said.

“Live the dream and feel the magic” as the Magikland song goes is what Palanca has always believed in.

Palanca, AtonLand chairman, and his grandnephew, Alfredo Abelardo Benitez, also wanted to bring a world-class amusement park, although smaller than those abroad, for the people of Negros and the surrounding islands at rates affordable to many, Bantug said.

Benitez, former Negros Occidental representative and provincial consultant on economic affairs, also envisioned the park to be a tourism hub for Negros and a generator of jobs for local talents, he said.

Magikland, before COVID-19 hit, drew visitors not only from Negros Occidental but from other parts of the country, including foreigners, Bantug said.

In fact, 40 percent of the park’s visitors were from outside Negros, he said.

However, in March last year when the COVID-pandemic hit Magikland stopped operations and gradually reopened in November.

We are under a new normal so all precautions are being taken to keep the park safe for visitors, Bantug said.

All who enter the park must wear masks and face shields, and there are hand washing stations all over the park, he said.

The park has the capacity for more than 3,000 guests but it is only open to half as mandated by the government, he said.

It’s an open air park that ensures the safety of all, Bantug said.

Magikland is open from 1 p.m. to 8 p.m. Fridays to Sundays at special rates.

On weekdays, the park can also be rented for special events.*

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