• Thank you, INC, for the Ciudad de Victoria

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    I HAVE no wish to be involved in the current internal, maybe fratricidal, conflict among the officers of the Iglesia Ni Cristo (INC).

    But, as a Filipino, I wish to express my sentiment on the project of INC which, per newspaper reports, appears to be one of the issues which caused the disagreement among its officers, namely, the construction of the Ciudad de Victoria complex with its principal component, Philippine Arena, which straddles four municipalities in Bulacan.

    One group in INC has publicly criticized the incumbent leadership for spending substantial money in the construction of the Ciudad de Victoria/Philippine Arena on the grounds that it is not purely religious related. They say that the money spent for it could have been better used for the construction of more chapels. They reveal, further, that its construction necessitated the sale of certain INC properties to finance the project, which is a departure from the previous practice of INC of acquiring new properties but never selling any it already has.

    I do not know the underlying reason of the INC leadership in undertaking the construction of the Ciudad de Victoria/Philippine Arena. Although, from what I read from the papers, the INC leadership said that it has already constructed some 800 churches/chapels during the tenure of it incumbent Executive Minister Eduardo V. Manalo (which started in 2009) to serve the needs of its expanding membership and that it still continues its other religious, educational and charitable activities.

    But, what I can see are the patent benefits gained by the Philippine government and the Filipio people from the Ciudad de Victoria/Philippine Arena.

    First: It landed the Philippines in the Guinness Book of Records as the location of the world’s largest multi-purpose hall. This is a thumbs up for our country.

    Second: It provides additional income to the national government and a bonanza for the entrepreneurs in at least four local government units (LGUs) in Bulacan in terms of business opportunities.

    And third: More important, it provides the government and the people a ready, suitable venue for extraordinary, large gatherings.

    Inevitably, for example, in the Philippines’ bid to host the 2019 Federation of International Basketball Association (FIBA) World Cup, it will be necessary for the Filipinos to mention the availability of the huge covered hall (gymnasium) in which FIBA’s activities (opening ceremony, final championship games and the closing ceremony, at least) can be held, which is no other than the Philippine Arena because it is the only venue which can accommodate the huge spectators expected to watch live FIBA activities.

    Visibly, too, the INC, which is the owner and operator of the Ciudad de Victoria/Philippine Arena, will reap free, favorable publicity worldwide; and, resultantly, this will enhance in no small measure its prestige!

    I, therefore, rather congratulate the INC leadership for its visionary and patriotic endeavour in putting up and operating the Ciudad de Victoria/Philippine Arena.

    The edifice is a very fitting tribute to its visionary and patriotic Filipino Founder– Ka Felix Manalo — on the occasion of INC’s 101st Founding Anniversary!

    Thank you, INC, for the Ciudad de Victoria/Philippine Arena.

    You do make us Filipinos proud!

    Lawyer Salvador B. Britanico is a former deputy minister of Education, Culture and Sports.

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    31 Comments

      • I am an INC and I am also shocked that you are against it.Di mo ba nakikita yung benefits ng pagkakaroon natin ng Phil. Arena? Di mo ba nakikita ung hirap ng mga kapatid pag walang maayos na venue na pagdarausan ng mga aktibidad? Dapat alam mo na madalas nahihirapan tayong umupa ng malalaking venue dahil na rin minsan ginigipit tayo ng ibang mga tao lalo pa’t alam nila na gagamitin ito sa mga pamamahayag. Kahit na lang sa mga nirerentahang sasakyan pag may aktibidad, marami sa mga bus na nirerentahan di dumarating kahit na bayad na sila sa layunin na huwag maihatid ang kapatid sa dako ng mga aktibidad. Dapat alam mong para sa atin ding lahat ito na mga kaanib sa INC at hindi para basta ipagmalaki o ipagmayabang. You should be ashamed of yourself to be thinking that way about the Arena.

      • hahah, nag ko kunwari lang yan na INC.. pag nag post wagas.. huwag moh na pansinin yan maam ..

      • Samuel M. Roldan on

        OMG non member proud sa Phil. Arena even worldwide..Tapos ikaw member WHY? Naging misyon upang makilala ang INC. Malaking tulong sa pagpapalaganap sa buong mundo. Nagkakaenteres mga tao sa mundo na dati bale wala sa kanila ang INC. Di ba naging madali ang magpalaganap ngayon worldwide ang mga ministro. Hindi sasabihin ng tagaibang bansa sino ka? ano kayo? ngayon pag sinbi INC ang sasabihin nila “common get inside”. Ito pa.. ngayon sa mga mahahalagang okasyon ng INC, nakita mo ba maliit pa ang Phil. Arena. Ginamit pa ang Phil Stadium at NLEX kulang pa. Saan mo papuntahin ang mga kapatid sa mahahalagang okasyon. Mag-isip kayo na naninira lang sa Iglesia. Wala sa inyo ang vision ng tunay na Tagapamahala. Hindi ninyo mahal ang Iglesia. Kung mahal ninyo ang Iglesia hindi nyo sana ginawa ang ginawa ninyo ngayon sa Iglesia na sisikapin po namin ayusin. Sana makapag-isip kayo.

      • Jayjay Tolete on

        Clueless, tama lang na iyan ang ginamit mong alias dahil sa tumpak sa paninindigan mo, CLUELESS, WALANG ALAM.
        CLUELESS ka nga sa layunin ng Pamamahala kung bakit ipinahintulot na maitayo ang PA. ang comment mo ay nagpapatunay na hindi ka tunay na INC kundi kasama ka sa mga tumalikod at lumaban sa Pamamahala.

      • I’m against you either, itatayo ba iyan kung iyan din lang ang magiging problema? Anong silbi ng mga Paid events ng mga concert promoters? Iyan din ang sinabi ni Fallen Angel dun sa interview sa kanya, anu kayo magkapatid or kambal? Yung mga panlilibak or panlalait ng marami noon pa, Iyang Philippine Arena at iba pang straktura na ayaw mo ang ipinangtapat ng INC para mawala ang pangmamaliit nila, na ngayon ay ikinahihiya mo pa din. Magtatanong PALPAK pa. Iyan ang Pagtatanyag ng Diyos sa INC kung nakakalimutan mo na. Paki-SAKSAK sa kinakalawang mong kukote. Ka Boom! He he he ;)

    1. Ambassador Abraham Estavillo on

      Atty. Britanico,
      I was a colleague at the Lyceum of the Philippines being a former professor and I wish to express my profound gratitude for your significant comment on the erection of the Philippine Arena. Your objective evaluation is highly appreciated. May the good Lord showers your with His abundant blessings.

    2. Alfred Guibone on

      Thanks for your article, you expressed the true contributions of the projects, the Philippine Arena, and others for our country, the Philippines.

      The vision of the INC Executive Minister, Brother Eduardo V. Manalo is guided by our Almighty God through the Holy Spirit and not by men.

      These have created envy for some inside and outside of the Church of Christ. For those inside the Church, they accepted the Devil’s insinuations to find human faults, mindless of what God can do to His nation.

      The Church of Christ will emit even more radiances as the DAY OF JUDGMENT is getting very very close, so people of the world could see. Hopefully, they’ll inquire about her pure biblical teachings, be called by God to come aboard, share salvation, and dwell in the Holy City, which is promised to each and everyone of us.

    3. Guinness Book of World Records? Patent benefit to Philippines? First they make you do incredible feats, then they’ll give a piece of paper for proof of your accomplishment. Then they’ll sell their book and then they make money. Where’s the “patent of benefit there”?

      And if the INC is the owner and operator of this/these venues that generate revenues then INC should not be classified as a church it should be INC inc. and should be taxed asides from the tax from the venues itself. The only reason that churches are not supposed to be taxed is that they should distribute the money collected from their parishioners to help/charities and the like.

      But now they are generating money which is the caused of corruption and power struggle from within. Your church is no different from the Church of Scientology now.

      • Hi JOe:

        I am not INC but reacting to your comment, even before you think of the taxes, I am sure INC leadership had thought of this already, the Ciudad de Victoria and the Philippine Arena, though, own by INC will run by another company. This company will handle the bookings of all activities there and they, I am sure, will handle the tax that is due to the government… sobrang nababawan lang ako sa comment mo, sorry.

      • Yes true, sir Ramil.

        Every facility owned by INC that generate income, like the NEU and the New Era General Hospital, is being taxed by the government.

    4. Gemma Gustilo on

      Thank you Mr. Former Ombudsman of Western Visayas Salvador “Buddy” Britanico for your appreciation of the INC’s contribution to the Philippine government and it’s economy, and for publishing this article.
      As an Ilonggo, I am always proud of you.

    5. Jervi Villanueva on

      thank you for publishing these.this is the only article that shows the true side of the church administration. I appreciate this alot.

    6. When the Catholics hold their annual Feast Of Nazarene, the INC never complains about the traffic and inconvenience that they caused.

      Pag INC, hindi okay pag nagcause ng traffic pero pag Catholic Activities ok lang?

      Clap clap clap!

      • totoo naman talaga ang Biblia pagka taglay mo ang pangalan ni Cristo like Iglesia ni Cristo lalaitin ka at uusigin lagi dito sa mundo kaya magtiis tayo mga kapatid kasi ang magtiis hanggang wakas ay siyang maliligtas

    7. Norriel Javier on

      Salamat po Ka Eduardo V. Manalo… Kami po ay lubos na sumasampalataya na sa lahat po ng inyong desisyon tunay po na ang Diyos ang gumagabay… dahil siya po ang naglagay sa inyo sa loob ng Iglesia…
      Salamat din po sa sumulat ng article na ito… dahil yung ibang kababayan natin hindi naiintindihan ang kahalagahan ng Philippine Arena ito ay hindi para lamang sa mga kapatid sa loob ng Iglesia Ni Cristo kundi para ito sa Pilipinas para sa buong Pilipino….

    8. Nestor Pineda on

      Maybe you could buy more lots surrounding your arena and convert them to parking lots / buildings. That way you don’t terribly inconvenience other motorists who are paying to use the NLEX which your kapatids used for parking last July 26.

      • Thank you, Mr. Nestor Pineda, for your comments & suggestions. I hope the brethren will instil more discipline in the future. From where we live across the western side of NLEX fronting the Philippine Arena, there were many vacant lots and spaces unparked. There were just very few time left for the brethren to properly park their vehicles. I am not defending them. We are thankful for the patience of all the motorists that were affected. There was just so little space in this mammoth celebration where the venue was in 2 towns of Bulacan. What would have happened if there was no Ciudad de Victoria? There will be more traffic in Luneta or in Commonwealth Avenue. That is why the Church Administration already purchased a whole town in Scenic, South Dakota because these celebrations will be replicated in other countries as well in the very near future. ^_^

      • yeah.. as if we also enjoy the inconvenience of the feast of your black nazarene. yeah right.

      • Herbert Puedan on

        To Mr. Joe:

        Isaiah 44:11-18 (Good News Translation)
        11 Everyone who worships it will be humiliated. The people who make idols are human beings and nothing more. Let them come and stand trial—they will be terrified and will suffer disgrace.

        12 The metalworker takes a piece of metal and works with it over a fire. His strong arm swings a hammer to pound the metal into shape. As he works, he gets hungry, thirsty, and tired.

        13 The carpenter measures the wood. He outlines a figure with chalk, carves it out with his tools, and makes it in the form of a man, a handsome human figure, to be placed in his house. 14 He might cut down cedars to use, or choose oak or cypress wood from the forest. Or he might plant a laurel tree and wait for the rain to make it grow. 15 A person uses part of a tree for fuel and part of it for making an idol. With one part he builds a fire to warm himself and bake bread; with the other part he makes a god and worships it. 16 With some of the wood he makes a fire; he roasts meat, eats it, and is satisfied. He warms himself and says, “How nice and warm! What a beautiful fire!” 17 The rest of the wood he makes into an idol, and then he bows down and worships it. He prays to it and says, “You are my god—save me!”

        18 Such people ARE TOO STUPID to know what they are doing. They close their eyes and their minds to the truth.

    9. Eddie A. Nasayao on

      Thanks for publishing this article, so that all Filipinos would be informed about Ciudad De Victoria.