Wishing on a fountain
How did this practice of throwing coins in the fountain start? Some say that, in the early days, clean water was very hard to find and when they finally have it, villagers would consider it a gift from their gods.
They would then build a well or a fountain with a small statue of their god lording over the area, making it look like a shrine. Of course, grateful villagers would present gifts or anything of value to these gods, while some would toss a coin, as they pray for something they need.
I remember my childhood years in Cebu, my mother would tell my siblings and me to toss a coin into Fuente Osmena and make a wish each time we were there for our Sunday afternoon stroll.
In my travels as an adult, I have seen this practice all over the world each time I’d pass by a fountain, I’d always see hundreds of coins shimmering in the bottom, even in fountains inside a mall. A small fountain in Changi Airport in Singapore had lots of coins in the bottom as it is in the dancing fountain at the Bellagio in Las Vegas.
The most famous, and also considered the most beautiful fountain, is Fontana di Trevi in Rome. Built at the end of the 21-kilometer Virgo aqueduct, named after the goddess who guides warriors to clean water, the fountain gets an average of 3000 coins (Euros) a day! Thank goodness for this, Caritas has the funds to give food and shelter to the poor.
The surge of coin tossers into the Trevi Fountain started after the hugely popular romantic film, Three Coins In The Fountain, was shown in 1954. In the movie, a local guide told one of the lead characters that if she tossed a coin over her shoulder and if it landed directly into the water, she would return to Rome one day. If she tossed two coins, she would meet a Roman lover and, if she tossed three coins, the Roman lover would marry her.
With such a come-on, it’s small wonder Trevi is the “richest” among all the fountains in the world. But, will it continue to be so?
Just the other night, Okada Manila, the country’s biggest (on a 44-hectare spread) and the most lavish integrated resort development, unveiled what will soon be known as the largest multicolor dancing water fountain in the world.
In a dazzling launch ceremony hosted by Miss Universe 2015 Pia Wurtzbach, the show featured international multi-awarded singer, songwriter and record producer Robin Thicke. Asia’s Got Talent finalist Gerphil Flores also showed off her enviable vocal chords, accompanied by the 40-piece Manila Philharmonic Orchestra.
The dancing fountain, developed by world-famous WET, has 739 water nozzles supported by underwater robots, 2611 colored lights, and 23 speakers across a 9.2-acre man-made fountain lake. Its central design is patterned after the eight-petals of the Sampaguita, our national flower.
At the center of this design, water jets soar high, allowing the projection of abstract videos from both sides, synchronized with the fountain’s performance, creating a breathtaking scene.
The Fountain Show may now be seen for free from any part of the 800-meter long glass corridor surrounding the fountain. This corridor forms a complete circle, connecting one end of Okada Manila to the other. The circular walkway has some of the best restaurants, a total of 40 in the entire property, and shops offering the most coveted retail brands in the world.
Although the 993 luxury accommodations in the hotel component of the integrated resort are not yet officially opened to the public, Management decided to make available 116 de luxe guest rooms simultaneously with the launch to give way to popular clamor from the metro’s well-heeled, who couldn’t wait to experience the designer amenities and cutting edge technologies offered by the hotel in its rooms.
The vast area covered by this brand-new, world-class and extremely mesmerizing dancing fountain will certainly allow more people to watch the show, which is scheduled from 6PM to midnight, hourly.
I’m sure hordes of eager tourists visiting this new attraction at Okada Manila will now start tossing their coins for their wishes, which makes me wonder—will this fountain dislodge Trevi from its perch as the “richest” fountain in the world? Whether or not, Okada Manila’s Fountain will give more of us more opportunities to wish for something, as we toss our coins into the water, or into the machines next door.
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