American children's television network Nickelodeon has announced it will build an underwater resort and theme park on an island known as the Philippines' last ecological frontier, alarming environmentalists.
The firm behind SpongeBob SquarePants and Dora the Explorer said the park on Palawan island would be part of a 400-hectare (1,000-acre) undersea development showcasing the area's marine life that would give fans a chance to "interact with the brand and the iconic characters they love".
Palawan was chosen for the development because it "is known to have some of the most beautiful beaches in the world today," Ron Johnson, an executive vice president with Viacom International Media Networks, which owns Nickelodeon, said in a statement emailed to AFP on Tuesday.
Viacom's initial statement announcing the project on Monday said the resort would open in 2020 and feature restaurants and lounges six metres (20 feet) below sea level. - AFP, Manila