ANAHEIM, California (The Adobo Chronicles, Los Angeles Bureau) – It is known as the Benham Rise, a 13-million- hectare, seismically active undersea region located east of Luzon, and is 35 meters underwater at its shallowest point off the provinces of Aurora and Isabela. It is said to be wider than Luzon, Samar and Leyte combined.
In April 2012, the UN Convention of the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) recognized and officially approved the Philippines’ claim that Benham Rise is part of its continental shelf and territory. With that, the Philippines’ territory has increased to 43 million hectares from 30 million hectares.
Today, a big announcement from Disneyland: it will build the world’s first underwater theme park on Benham Rise. The park will feature a replica of the Titanic, several snorkeling arenas, a natural aquarium and swimming pool, submarine rides, shops, restaurants and other unique attractions — all under water!
Disney’s announcement is just one of living proof of foreign investors’ confidence in the incoming administration of president-elect Rodrigo Duterte. It is part of the mayor’s overall strategic plan to create jobs for Filipinos, promote Philippine tourism, and create a smoke-free environment that can be enjoyed by domestic and foreign tourists alike.
Duterte also hinted at creating several underwater livable communities at Benham Rise as a way to disperse the overcrowding of Metro Manila and other urban cities, and to solve the nightmarish traffic problems of the country.
Change is coming to the Philippines!