21 July 2014
President Benigno S. Aquino III graced the centennial celebration of the founding of Iglesia ni Cristo (INC) with the unveiling ceremony of the Ciudad de Victoria marker and the opening of the Philippine Arena in Bocaue, Bulacan.
In his message, President Aquino acknowledged the Ciudad de Victoria as a venue befitting of its name as it symbolizes the triumphs heralded by the INC starting from its establishment in 1914.
“Kongkretong patunay nga po ang paglulunsad ng Ciudad de Victoria sa diwa ng pagkakaisang nangingibabaw sa INC. Naipatayo ito mula sa buong-pusong paghahandog ng inyong mga kasapi, kaakibat ang hangaring makatulong sa mabubuting gawain at misyon ng Iglesia. Patunay din po ito sa tayog ng mithiing kayang maabot ng mga Pilipino, at sa kakayahan na nating makipagsabayan sa buong mundo,” the President said.
Located in the 50-hectare complex, the Philippine Arena boasts as the world’s largest domed indoor arena which has become the spotlight of the INC’s centennial celebration.
The bowl-shaped structure of the arena was conceptualized to address the need for a bigger venue for gatherings of the growing INC members. Designed by world-renowned architectural firms and engineering companies, the structure can hold a maximum sitting capacity of 55,000. The INC also said that the arena would be open not just for the INC members, but also for the Filipino public and the international community as well.
For its closing ceremony, the President was presented with a copy of the Philippine Arena coffee table book by INC’s Executive Minister Bro. Eduardo Manalo.