Asia’s first international convention center looks back at four decades of grand event hosting
For 40 years, the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) bore witness to the greatness of past generations. It served as host to some of the most important events in the Philippines, making this convention center not only a national landmark, but also a shining gem for arts, culture, history and entertainment.
Formally inaugurated on September 5, 1976, PICC is dubbed as Asia’s first international convention center and since then, has established itself as one of the premier event venues in the region.
To commemorate this milestone, PICC threw a fittingly grand celebration at its Reception Hall.
Guests of the anniversary celebration simultaneously looked back at the grandest moments of PICC, some of which include the 1976 IMF-World Bank Meeting, the 3rd Informal Summit of the ASEAN (1999), the 112th Inter-Parliamentary Union Assembly (2005), the 40th ASEAN Ministerial Meeting, Post Ministerial Conference and ASEAN Regional Forum (2007), 45th Annual Meeting of the Board of Governors of the Asian Development Bank (2012) and the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation Meetings in 1996 and 2015.
Likewise, PICC became host to significant events such as the 1992 World Chess Olympiad and the 1994 Miss Universe Pageant. Not to be outdone are the concerts by various renowned international artists like Luciano Pavarotti, Tony Bennett, Michael Buble, Josh Groban, Janet Jackson and the country’s own, Lea Salonga. Religious icons have also graced the halls of the center such as Saint Teresa of Calcutta and Saint John Paul 2nd.
The night also saw an exhibit display of photos from select events, the highlight of which was the handwritten message to PICC by Saint Teresa of Calcutta, who was canonized as a Saint by Pope Francis a day before the PICC anniversary celebration.
Performances and awards
Over dinner, guests were treated to an entertainment spectacle hosted by the Denise Laurel, with performances from Ballet Manila and top balladeer Christian Bautista.
Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Governor and Chairman of the PICC Board of Directors Amando Tetangco, Jr. spoke about PICC’s legacy as well as the Center’s plans for the future.
PICC’s top clients and loyal partners from the private and government sector were recognized for their valuable support for the Center over the years while PICC employees who have worked at the Center for at least twenty years were honored with Service Recognition awards for their hard work, dedication, selfless service, and enduring loyalty.
The first-ever recipient of the award PICC Gem award was given to acclaimed singer-actress Lea Salonga for embodying PICC’s ideals of world-class excellence and global reach, and for showcasing the PICC to the world as the country’s premier event venue. For having eight concerts in the center, Salonga holds the most number of performances in PICC.
Governor Tetangco, Monetary Board Member Armando Suratos, and members of the PICC Board of Directors Pacita Rosalinda Aguirre, Gabriel Cruz, Raquel Garcia, Cristina Sarino and Susan Villar and PICC General Manager Renato Padilla handed out the awards to the honorees.
The night ended on a high note, with a toast to the PICC’s next “40 years and forward.”
Through generations, the PICC has displayed its many facets to host a multitude of events that entertain, celebrate or dignify. Every event held at PICC leave an indelible mark, not only in the Philippines, but also in the international scene.