• Makati shows off entertainment and events side

    Makati shows off entertainment and events side

    Marianne Carandang, Manila, April 25, 2013

    AYALA Land and the Makati Tourism Foundation are banding together to increase Makati's visibility as an arts and culture destination through the year-long Make It Makati campaign, offering up event spaces that can also be booked by groups.

    The campaign is the tagline for Ayala’s ongoing 60 billion peso (US$1.5 billion) redevelopment masterplan for Makati, which began in 2011 and divides the city into six distinct hubs for business, lifestyle, entertainment and transport.

    Said Christian Pirodon, president, Makati Tourism Foundation: “We would like Makati to be known not just as a centre for business, but also as a centre of cultural activity, with historical sites of its own.”

    Pirodon, who is also InterContinental Hotels Group’s area general manager Philippines, added that enhancing Makati’s leisure image would also allow hotels to attract more room nights from families and FITs.

    Its entertainment district, Circuit, opened in January with an events ground, and will be augmented by a sports park due to open in October followed by a 1,500-pax Circuit Theatre for local and international, Broadway-level productions, as well as a number of 300m2 Black Box spaces.

    Retail outlets, dining options and accommodation are still under construction, and Ayala Land president, Antonino Aquino, predicts that about 90 per cent of Circuit will be complete by 2016.

    Two major music festivals will kick off in May: Wanderland Musicfest, targeting 5,000 participants, and Circuit Fest, a skateboard and music festival aiming for a 15,000-strong crowd.

    However, Mel Ignacio, assistant vice president, Ayala Land, said that the arts would not be the sole focus of Circuit. “We don’t want to limit (the Theatre) as an arts venue. We know that in other countries it could be utilised as a conference facility,” she said, adding that surrounding spaces such as rehearsal rooms and meet-and-greet areas would be attractive for private parties. “Our venue packages are designed to accommodate groups of less than 100 people or as large as 15,000-20,000.”

    A foreign bank has already booked Circuit for a cocktails function for an estimated 800-1,200 pax later in the year, while Ayala Land’s Family Day in December expects to welcome 1,500 pax.

    Ignacio also revealed that Ayala Land is looking for a site in Makati for a convention centre.

    Meanwhile, the Makati Tourism Federation is rolling out a new Makati Loop coach tour that will make stops at parks, churches and art galleries; a tourist information kiosk; and a smartphone app to promote Makati.