Philippine Arena Inauguration
Never in my wildest dreams did I think that I'd be able to attend the inauguration of the Philippine Arena, a humongous structure which currently holds the title for being the largest domed indoor arena in the world. The Memet and I were already resigned to the fact that we'd just watch the inauguration on TV. Thank goodness for live streaming. But at around 9pm the night before the inauguration, we received a call from my sister in law's husband. We were going to the inauguration!
We were set to leave at 2am (July 21st), but we got so lost in the excitement (and trying to decide what to wear) that lights out didn't happen until around midnight. We hardly got any sleep at all. Haha!
The Philippine Arena and its surrounding structures in Ciudad de Victoria (City of Victory) are not 100% completed yet. Construction is still ongoing for some of the other structures, while finishing touches are still being done to the Arena, as well as the neighbouring Philippine Stadium. Given that, nothing can take away from its grandeur.
Here are some of the photos that I was able to take from inside the Arena.
The Philippine Arena is said to be able to seat 55,000 people. It's that big. I know several of my friends were able to attend the inauguration as well, but I only saw the ones who were situated as receptionists or event managers at the lobby. The other handful, I did not see at all due to the sheer size of the Arena.
Just look at the background in these two photos below. The people at the topmost seats are like little specks. If not for the two gigantic screens inside the Arena, they're highly unlikely to see what's going on during the program.
A few minutes before 8am, the Iglesia Ni Cristo's Executive Minister, Brother Eduardo V. Manalo arrived at the site's marker. Philippine President Benigno Aquino and his entourage arrived shortly after. The inauguration and unveiling of the marker itself started at 8am and was followed by a short program. The whole thing was done by 9:30am, but we didn't leave the complex until around 11:30am. We had some mingling and picture-taking to do. Haha!
When we were finally able to leave the complex (which proved to be a difficult task if you're not familiar with the site's layout), we headed to UP Technohub in Commonwealth for some much needed food. We were tired, sleepy, and famished. The adrenaline had finally worn off. So, we didn't have any pictures taken during our short and late lunch break at Seafood Island. We all looked haggard. Hahaha!
I was, however, able to steal a photo with my sister in law after we've recharged a bit.
Sorry for my incomplete OOTD photo (shoes not shown in the shot). The Memet was the one who took our photo and after several tries, this one was the best that we could do. We were just too tired. Haha! I was wearing black wedge sandals from Payless. I'll wear it some other time for another OOTD photo. :p
We got home around 3pm and had no choice but to hit the sack. I can only imagine how tired all the other folks were. We were lucky enough to have been given a pass to travel to the inauguration in our own vehicle. The others had to go by bus. And with the sheer volume of the attendees, waiting for their bus to pick them up at their designated bays would have taken a while.
I cannot fathom what it's going to be like on the actual Centennial Celebration this coming July 27. The number of attendees will most likely be more than thrice the attendees of the inauguration. Let's just wait and see. :)
P.S. All photos in this post were taken either by my ancient iPhone 4 or The Memet's iPhone 5S. I didn't bring my DSLR because I wasn't sure if it was allowed. Hehe!