By Don Tagala, ABS-CBN North America Bureau
ORLANDO, FL – He was a sugarcane farmer who later sat at the help of the Philippines’ first ever theme park.
But the success story of Enchanted Kingdom’s President and CEO Mario Mamon didn’t just end there.
He would late scale greater heights in America.
On Tuesday, Mamon was inducted as Chairman of the Board of the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA) in Orlando Florida — The first Asian to have done so.
“This is such a big role and achievement because it recognizes the capability of Filipinos in the amusement and attractions industry,” he said.
For years, Mamon has been an active member of IAAPA. It was here where he learned the ropes to build the Philippines’ first world class amusement park.
In return, he told himself he would give back — serving IAAPA’s different committees, until he got the biggest promotion of his life.
2013 IAAPA Chariman Will MOrey said, “Mario Mamom has invested himself in committee work and has shown himself as a person of distinction.”
To his IAAPA friends, he is known as “Super Mario” — one who doesn’t easily give especially during trying times.
Growing the theme park business in a developing country like the Philippines is a tall task, but he has managed to pull it off.
“Life has been tough. Business has suffered. But we’ve been able to turn it around. In fact, we’re planning for an expansion of the facility in the near future,” Mamon added.
Filipino Exhibitors are also making a mark at the IAAPA Attractions Expo — The largest tradeshow of its kind when it comes to amusement parks and attractions.
The Sky Race ride is proudly made in the Philippines.
The creative team behind a pioneering 3D Photo booth is Filipino.
Theme Builder Philippines’s DorothyMercado said, “It’s a small delegation we have here for the IAAPA International so were happy that finally an Asian, specifically a Filipino would be representing us now for the whole year.”
Theme Builders has made a mark by creating some of the most amazing displays seen in OceanPark in Hong Kong, Sentosa in Singapore and a couple of popular Legoland Theme Parks…kababayans who are all proud of the new leaders of the world’s largest association of theme park owners.
3D ME, Creative Directo Sandra Santp said, “Of course we’re proud, the first Filipino of IIAPA is Pinoy and we’re also a Pinoy company so it helps us din to get our name there.
You may contact Don Tagala at firstname.lastname@example.org