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It takes a village to build a community, true. But in the case of the Pasig City township Arcovia City, it’s a master builder that’s doing all of the, well, building. Leave it to property giant Megaworld, arguably the Philippines’ pioneer and leader in developing vibrant and dynamic townships in the country for the past 30 years, to masterplan and master-build an urban address that promises to have a lasting legacy—just like the ones in the developer’s portfolio who rose before it and etched their own legacies.
Megaworld blazed a trail in the industry when it introduced its very first township— and the country’s first as well—with Eastwood City in Quezon City in the late 90s. What began as a mere row of dining establishments soon grew in size and scale with the addition of luxury residential condominiums, office and hotel developments, a modern IT park, and a stand out lifestyle mall—thus, the company’s pioneering live-work-play lifestyle concept was born. The township’s aggressive expansion redefined the way developers in the country approached how integrated developments must be built.
With this proven formula, Megaworld duplicated its success as it introduced more township developments in key cities around the country, the next immediate ones being Forbes Town, McKinley Hill, and McKinley West at Fort Bonifacio in Taguig City, Newport City in Pasay City, and The Mactan Newtown in Cebu—all reaping recognitions left and right from prestigious award-giving organizations both here and outside the country over the past few years.
To date, Megaworld has 25 townships under its name in various parts of the country—nine in Metro Manila, another nine in Luzon, six in the Visayas, and one in Mindanao—all while enjoying the distinction as one of the youngest yet decorated real estate developer. This being the case, who else can best master-plan a township in this side of C5 but Megaworld, the country’s pioneer of the Live-Work-Play concept in the Philippines for the past 30 years.
Arcovia City takes its cue from the master-planning expertise that Megaworld has perfected over the years. Situated along C-5 Road, the 12.3-hectare property is one of the company’s latest developments. What, perhaps, makes Arcovia City a tad different from other townships is the huge, iconic Arco de Emperador standing at its center. Designed after the triumphal arches of old, the 62-feet arch was made by Spanish sculptor Gines Serran Pagan. It was officially unveiled only in February of this year.
In the past months since it’s unveiling, the Arco has become a true head-turner, catching the attention of anyone who makes a turn to Arcovia City, perhaps to take lunch at Popeyes, have merienda at Starbucks, shop at Landers Superstore, or simply to walk around the vast property. Casual passersby are also unable to resist the urge to take a photo of the Arco or to snap a selfie in front of it—and you can take one that captures the entire arch, including the quadriga adorning its top.
The Arco was simply designed to be authentically iconic. Visitors of the township who are looking for real Instagrammable moments need not worry about catching a perfect snapshot with the Arco as part of their frame. The size of this iconic monument, which is said to be the tallest bronze monument in the country at present, makes it easy for people to take selfies, no matter where they are inside the township Built as a testament to how anyone with enough passion, hardwork, and perseverance can be an “emperor,” the Arco’s quadriga (sculpture of the victorious emperador) is set in bronze, with the two angels on the sides plated with two layers of 24-karat gold. “The idea behind the sculpture,” Gines says, “is the celebration of the triumph of personal achievement.”
Because of its make, the Arco will surely last a lifetime or more. And just like any iconic sculpture, it will become part of history, an endearing and iconic monument where moments will be celebrated and memories will be made, where a piece of heritage will be cemented.
“Our vision for this township is to inspire the young generation to persevere and work harder to attain their own successes and victories in life,” says Megaworld chief strategy officer Kevin L. Tan. “There is a deeper story embedded into this development, and we will tell that story through the installations and attractions around the township.”
Among these is a museum that will be housed under the Arco. This will serve as a hall of memory of sorts, where the story of how Gines built the arch will forever be preserved. It’s not Megaworld’s first foray into cultural preservation, having built the Iloilo Museum of Contemporary Art (ILOMOCA), with a sculpture of General Martin Delgado also by Gines fronting it, at the Iloilo Business Park in Mandurriao.
Megaworld has always been known for being unwavering champions of creativity and sustainability through its township developments. From quirky crosswalks and colorful installations, the company is upping the ante for Arcovia City moving forward as it commits to making the Pasig City township a vibrant green development with 1,000 trees planted all over the development. This adds another hard-not-to-love factor for the township to complement the charm of its surrounding environs.
Even the buildings expected to rise around the Arco are designed to enhance the beauty of the monument and for people to create moments around it. One of these is 18 Avenue de Triomphe, a 37-storey residential tower that will have balconies, an outdoor lounge, and a viewing deck overlooking the arch—more spots to take fantastic selfies with the Arco, or panoramas of the Eastwood, Ortigas, and Fort Bonifacio cityscapes, or of the Antipolo mountains.
“We have created [the Arco] as a tourism landmark for Metro Manila that brings out the message of how hard work, passion and perseverance can create a self-made successful man,” says Kevin. “This is how an Emperor is made.”
Written by: Dom Galeon | Manila Bulletin