STA. ROSA, Laguna - Mario Mamon, president of the dreamy Enchanted Kingdom (EK) theme park here, believes that the Philippines had just taken a giant step toward creating a "culture of safety" in the local amusement park and attraction industry.
In fact, Mamon, the current 2nd Vice Chairman of the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA), brought over the heavyweights of the global amusement park and attraction industry to ensure just that.
The big names that included top executives of Hong Kong Disneyland Resort, Sea World Parks and Entertainment as well as safety experts and regulators were the featured speakers in Tuesday's IAAPA Safety Institute - the first in the country.
"This is so groundbreaking for the Philippines because it's the first time that it has ever hosted an international safety institute for amusement parks and attractions," Mamon said.
According to the IAAPA official, the aim of the safety institute is "to create awareness in our country on the importance of safety in the amusement and attraction industry".
Mamon likewise expressed joy over the prospect of networking and best practices-sharing between the speakers and the more than 400 delegates that attended the event at EK's enchanting events place.
"We know that IAAPA is an international association of amusement parks and attractions composed not only small players like Enchanted Kingdom but it also includes the big players like Disneyland, Sea World and Universal Studios.
'Walang nagdadamutan kaya pati yung maliliit, natututo (There is no stinginess over each other's best practices, that's why even the small players can learn)," he said.
Among those who shared their industry knowledge to delegates during the whole-day event were Doug Stagner, corporate senior director of operations, Sea World; Noble Coker, vice president for park operations, Hong Kong Disneyland; Richard Carroll, senior vice president, Jeff Ellis & Associates, Inc.; Darren Lim, deputy director of Singapore-based Building and Construction Authority and Randy Davis, senior vice president, IAAPA's Safety & Advocacy.
"There's no compromise when it comes to safety. We're all in this together" was a recurring line among the speakers, something that Mamon also underscored.