7 Facts They’re Not Telling You About Philippine Arena

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Long  before its inauguration, the Philippine Arena had already been touted as the biggest indoor arena in the world. It’s a source of pride for all INC members, and an achievement admired by most Filipinos.

The Philippine Arena is actually the centerpiece of Ciudad de Victoria, a 75-hectare tourism enterprise zone in Bocaue and Santa Maria, Bulacan, Philippines.

The spectacular design was made by a Kansas-based architecture firm Populous, while the construction was carried out by Hanwha Engineering and Construction Corp.

Here are another 7 interesting facts you might not know about this innovative mega-structure:

 

1. Philippine Arena versus Singapore’s National Stadium.

Singapore National Stadium
Singapore National Stadium has been hailed in the press as the world’s largest domed structure. Source: Yahoo! Sports

When the National Stadium in Singapore was completed in June, haters were quick to conclude that it is indeed the biggest domed structure in the world and not the Philippine Arena.

But here’s the thing: the two mega-structures are under two different categories. Therefore, comparing them is like trying to compare apples and oranges.

Although both are intended to accommodate sports activities and 55, 000 seats, Philippine Arena and Singapore’s National Stadium are completely different. Ours is an arena which is an enclosed facility used for indoor events. The National Stadium, as its name suggests, is categorized as a stadium which is usually an outdoor location.

The National Stadium also has a retractable roof while Philippine Arena is a fully air-conditioned indoor domed structure.

 

2. Philippine Arena was built “not to make a profit.”

philippine arena time magazine

In an article published by the Philippine Daily Inquirer, a source from Iglesia ni Cristo claimed that the Philippine Arena was built “not to make a profit.” In fact, “it is not even commercialized nor aimed at making money.”

The Philippine Arena is intended to become “a wholesome gathering place for people and an entertainment venue for the whole family, serving as a venue for religious, cultural and sporting events.”

 

3. Philippine Arena was made possible through voluntary offerings of its members.

Iglesia ni Cristo members during the inauguration of Philippine Arena
Iglesia ni Cristo members holding their INC flags during the inauguration of Philippine Arena. Source: DZEM 954Khz (Ang Tinig ng Katotohanan) Facebook page

Isn’t it insulting for the government to see a religious organization outperforming them in building mega-structures such as Philippine Arena?

Anyhow, it just goes to prove that the solidarity of Iglesia ni Cristo members is worth emulating, regardless of your religious affiliation.

The Philippine Arena was made entirely from the INC members’ voluntary offerings. This opposes the existing misconception that INC members are forced to give their tithes regularly.

According to INC members, they consider giving offerings as a duty and not as donation because they can see clearly where their money goes.

 

4. The firm who designed the landscape for Philippine Arena was the same company who landscaped National September 11 Memorial & Museum.

National September 11 Memorial & Museum
The National September 11th Memorial commemorates the victims of the attacks at the Pentagon, at Shanksville, Pennsylvania, and at the World Trade Center site, both on September 11, 2001, and February 26, 1993. Source: PWP Landscape Architecture.

PWP Landscape Architecture is a world-renowned landscaping firm who also beautified several well-known landmarks such as the Jamison Square, the Tanner Fountain in Harvard University, and Marina Bay Sands in Singapore.

 

5. Some people died during its construction.

Accidents do happen, and those involved in the construction of the Philippine Arena were certainly not immune to it.

In July 2013, two construction workers, John Logarta and Peter Libaton, fell to their deaths as they were trying to remove a support in the dome. A few months later, a Korean named Kim Chel Yong, supervisor of the Steel Life Construction Co., died after one of the cables supporting the crane basket he was riding snapped.

No charges have been filed against the arena’s contractor, the Korean company Hanwha Engineering and Construction Corporation.

 

6. Philippine Arena was actually master planned to accommodate 100, 000 people.

Philippine Arena master plan

According to Populous, the Philippine Arena was designed “to enable 50,000 people to gather inside the building and a further 50,000 to gather at a ‘live site’ outside to share in major events.”

The website added that “the overall vision of the masterplan will eventually see inclusion of shopping centres, a hospital and large scale residential developments.”

 

7. Philippine Arena is not closing its doors to other religious organizations.

philippine arena iglesia ni cristo

Asked if they’re open to the idea of letting other religious groups/organizations use the Philippine Arena, INC spokesperson Bro. Edwin Zabala said that their officials “will cross the bridge when we get there.”

He added: “Basta ang rule namin ay dapat di nakaka-offend sa katotohanan at mga pangaral ng Diyos sa Bibliya ang anumang activity na dapat gawin doon.”