A different world

With the modern business infrastructure that spans Bonifacio Global City, a destination that is fast gaining planners’ favour, who would have thought it was once a military base?

A former military operations base, Bonifacio Global City (BGC) in Taguig has been transformed into one of the most modern and best-planned business and lifestyle hubs in the Philippines.

Bonifacio Global City signage at the Fort Strip

This upmarket and self-contained community is pulling in a growing number of corporations and hotels while its safe and well-planned environs are a haven for expatriates and upwardly mobile Filipinos.

All that and BGC’s accessibility – not far from Manila’s international airport and a stone’s throw away from the Makat financial district and the metro’s main EDSA thoroughfare – have captured event planners’ attention.

As Colliers (Philippines) International reported, BGC “remains a strong business/corporate as well as MICE destination” buoyed, among other things, by outsourcing and traditional businesses in the area.

JLL Philippines, meanwhile, noted the “robust space demand” in BGC where building rentals tend to be in “the higher end of the spectrum” due to more construction of Grade A developments”.

BGC is just right for a medium-sized convention centre – the SMX Convention Center Aura, which accommodates up to 1,550 pax in a theatre-set up.

Walid Wafik, vice president and general manager, SMX Convention Center, said SMX Aura hosts events mostly from the consultancy and insurance firms and multi-level marketing industries. Meetings are most common at the venue, followed by conventions and exhibitions.

Walid expects business events in BGC to “grow in a couple of months or within the next year….as the demand for premier venues are also increasing with the fast evolving business landscape in the area”.

Where before big corporations complained of the lack of luxury venues for their meetings and conferences, this has been addressed in part by the opening in recent years of hotels designed for this burgeoning market: Shangri-La at The Fort and Grand Hyatt Manila. In addition, Dusit D2 – The Fort Hotel and Serviced Residences is opening soon with 135 keys and 129 serviced residences.

To cater to growing demand, Seda BGC hotel is expanding with a second tower, allowing its ballroom to expand to 300 seats, its room inventory to total 521 suites and serviced residences, and restaurant to seat up to 220 or six times the original.

Seda BGC has “to keep pace with the surging demand for premier accommodations and facilities in the area,” explained Seda Hotels senior group general manager, Andrea Mastellone.

Utravel and Uevents president and CEO, Jong Serrano, shared that there is a growing demand for business events in BGC, lured by the well-organised community, unique venues, culture hubs, and as a new and alternative venue.

Unique venues also include a bookstore, museums and art theatres, as well as a long list of trendy restaurants and bars. Bonifacio High Street Amphitheater is an open-air stage while BGC Arts Center is comprised of the Maybank Performing Arts Theatre with an auditorium, rehearsal halls, exhibit spaces and the sprawling Alveo Central Plaza and open-air Sun Life Amphitheater.

Another advantage BGC boasts is its green community with well-planned, wide pedestrian streets, parks and trees. It is a great destination for event delegates to hang out post-meeting, with a long list of some of the metro’s best restaurants, bars and night clubs to choose from apart from shopping malls, yoga studios and wellness clinics for the chic crowd.

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