Is it a thrill ride? An observation deck? A contraption that’s utterly useless but totally fun? It’s all of those, and it’s called the Ferris Wheel! Ranging in size from the smallest ones that could only hold two kids in each cab, to the utterly huge ones that punch out of the horizon kilometers away, this is one machine that has fascinated the young and old alike.
Fairly recently, the wheel gained another use – that of a national landmark. Gigantic ferris wheels are now identifiable with the cities where they stand. Among the most famous (and still the most beautiful, I dare say) is the London Eye, and even larger ones came after it, like the Singapore Flyer. Even more humongous ones are in the pipeline, and sooner or later, new progressive countries like China will become virtual ferris wheel farms, with a big one in every major city.
Here in Manila though, that kind of thing would be a luxury that the country could still barely afford, but at least we got something that comes close. Well…not really that close, but it does give a bit of a taste of the real stuff. The Mall of Asia Eye at the Mall of Asia complex in Pasay City may be just under one-third of the Singapore Flyer’s diameter, but it’s tall enough to send acrophobics holding on like glue to metal bars, and the ride is long enough to make it agonizing if you are one. Plus, the fact that it’s a lot slimmer then either the London Eye or the Flyer increases the fear factor by a notch.
If the height doesn’t bother you though, then the 10-minute ride is pretty uneventful. It does give you a soaring view of Pasay City and neighboring Paranaque (which I’m sure would look more beautiful at night than by day), but it’s not tall enough to show you what’s beyond the wall of buildings in Makati and Taguig. But still, few places in the city can give a loftier view to the public.
If you’ve been to the likes of the Singapore Flyer or the London Eye, then the MOA Eye will not really offer anything new, unless you just like to get up there and view the city from atop just for the sake. Still, not everyone in this country will get the chance to set foot on those humongous wheels from other places, and for most, the MOA Eye is a good enough experience.
* Photos taken last March 2012 with Panasonic Lumix LX5.