CIUDAD DE VICTORIA INAUGURATION: A REMARKABLY PEACEFUL EVENT
|The Philippine Arena, the world's largest domed arena, is the crowd-favorite centerpiece of Ciudad de Victoria. |
©2014 Mark Anthony Deimoy
Last July 21, 2014, the world witnessed the highly anticipated inauguration of Ciudad de Victoria, the sprawling 75-hectare multipurpose complex owned by the Iglesia Ni Cristo in Bocaue, Bulacan. His Excellency, President Benigno Aquino III, opened the inauguration with the Iglesia Ni Cristo Executive Minister, Brother Eduardo V. Manalo.
The impressive complex is to be the central venue for the Church’s upcoming centennial celebration on July 27, 2014.
|President Benigno Aquino III opened the inauguration. ©2014 Jessica Rae Mayo|
Even before the break of dawn, members of the Iglesia Ni Cristo already arrived in droves at the massive venue, particularly marveling at the complex’s centrepiece, the famous Philippine Arena, billed as the largest domed arena on the planet, with a 55,000 seating capacity.
|In the wee hours of the morning. INC members line up in an orderly manner, waiting for their turn to enter the Philippine Arena. ©2014 Jessica Rae Mayo|
With the colossal crowd that arrived to witness the historical inauguration ceremony, the event was still surprisingly organized and peaceful. The Iglesia ni Cristo, known for its admirable discipline whether in big or small gatherings, showed exemplary orderliness during the entire event. With the deployed security personnel and hundreds of ushers and usherettes, it was a hassle-free occasion to all the attendees, clearly proving that the inauguration was well-prepared and thoroughly planned.
|Former First Lady Imelda Marcos also graced the event. ©2014 Jessica Rae Mayo|
Notable in the inauguration ceremony was the refreshingly equal reception to all the attendees, both members and non-members alike, VIP or non-VIP.
High-esteemed politicians and fan-favorite local celebrities graced the event, thrilled to step foot inside the domed arena. These well-known local figures were excited as everybody else, and it was an extraordinary sight to observe the organizers and receptionists treating all the guests with the same high regard. It is quite normal to be excited and star-struck by these familiar faces among the huge crowd, but nevertheless everyone felt at home.
|Manila Vice Mayor Isko Moreno inside the arena. ©2014 Jessica Rae Mayo|
It was fun to see everybody in awe of the massive Ciudad de Victoria and its regal structures, especially the crowd favourite, The Philippine Arena and its awesome size, making every Filipino who attended, regardless of religious affiliation, proud of this architectural and world-class wonder.
Indeed, the Ciudad de Victoria inauguration ceremony was tranquil, organized, joyful, and well thought-out, making it a huge success. Festivity was also in the air, the excitement palpable and uncontainable, as Christ’s re-established Church nears its 100th year mark on July 27, 2014.
|INC members joyously wave their flags during the inauguration; |
excited for the Church's upcoming centennial anniversary on July 27! ©2014 Jessica Rae Mayo
Last July 21’s hugely successful inauguration of Ciudad de Victoria is another testament of God’s blessings—truly the beginning of an exciting future for the Church, as well as for the rest of the world who are welcome to enjoy the complex’s first-class facilities for sporting events and clean, wholesome entertainment.
The Iglesia Ni Cristo is truly grateful and happy for the numerous anniversary greetings we continue to receive from around the world, including from various religious groups. The Church welcomes everybody to celebrate with us in our joyous centennial year!