How ex-Star City janitor became 'carnival king'

by Jon Carlos Rodriguez, ABS-CBNnews.com

Posted at Jan 18 2014 12:53 PM | Updated as of Jan 20 2014 06:56 PM

MANILA, Philippines – From scrubbing toilets and cleaning desks, the man now dubbed as the “Carnival King” is living his dream in his hometown of Nueva Ecija.

Ramon Santos is the proud owner of the biggest amusement park north of Manila, the Carron Dream Park in San Isidro.

Photo from My Puhunan Facebook page

But before building the place “where dreams are real,” Santos worked as a janitor in Star City, where he dreamt of building his own amusement park.

“Kapag pumapasok ako noon 6:30 ng umaga, trabaho ko noon maglilinis ng mga mesa at mga basura, pati toilet. Kapag nagtatrabaho ka, pinapangarap mo na balang araw, ikaw na ‘yung mauupo doon sa mesang nililinis mo,” he said.

Santos worked his way up and studied the design, procurement and shipping of carnival rides.

In 1999, Santos was given a break and was allowed to use his personal designs.

His first ride was a 5-meter carousel with 12 horses.

Photo from My Puhunan Facebook page

Santos then worked as a middleman and designed carnival rides, including trains used in shopping malls.

For a train sold at P1 million, it could earn around P3.6 million in a month, he said.

The Carron Dream Park, which features carousels, roller coasters and other rides and attractions, has become a popular tourist spot in the province.

But aside from giving joy to the park’s visitors, Santos said he also gets fulfillment from the employment opportunities he is able to provide to the people of Nueva Ecija.

“‘Yung pakiramdam na nakakapagpasaya tayo hindi lang ng mga customers na sumasakay sa rides, kundi ‘yung mga tao din na gumagawa. ‘Yung mga empleyado namin mga taga-rito. Dati nagsasaka sila, ngayon naturuan namin sila ng ibang skills,” Santos said.

“’Yung aking dalawang paa laging nakatungtong sa lupa. Hindi mo lang dapat iniisip kung ano ang mayroon ka kung hindi ano ang pwede mo ibahagi sa iba,” he added.