The PICC: Still A National Treasure Beyond Convention at 47

September 27, 2023



Shan Arcega

The Philippine International Convention Center has witnessed five decades worth of history in its lifetime. From celebrating the personal stories of various Filipino generations to the visitation of local and foreign dignitaries, its halls and venues have been the site where great stories were unfurled. For many years, the PICC has evolved alongside the people who have been guests in it. In its 47th year, the story of how PICC kept its grandeur all this time is told from the perspective of three leading personalities who have experienced its flourishing. 

PICC Delegation Building Entrance
The Delegation Building Entrance
The PICC Delegation Lobby
The PICC Delegation Lobby
The Upper Bridgeway 1
The Upper Bridgeway 1
The Upper Bridgeway 2
The Upper Bridgeway 2
Anito by National Artist for Visual Arts Arturo Luz
Anito by National Artist for Visual Arts Arturo Luz

Leandro “Andy” Locsin Jr. On the PICC as an Architectural Masterpiece

Leandro “Andy” Locsin Jr, Administrator and Design Consultant of Leandro V Locsin Partners witnessed the PICC’s creation from a unique lens. Both as the son of National Artist for Architecture Leandro V. Locsin and as a professional embraced by the unique understanding of the principles of space and design employed by the prestigious structure. Seeing it in this way, he enthuses over the different architectural techniques that make the PICC a masterpiece.

“When you walk into the building, and you approach those steps, you’re compressed by that overhang, by the cantilever. You feel that you’re being squeezed, and the moment you walk through the door, suddenly, the space just explodes into the lobby. This modulation of compression and explosion is an architectural approach that brings incredible drama to a space.” 

The diligence of the people maintaining the structure was also an element Locsin pointed out appreciatively. With years of this diligence, the PICC was able to endure better. “Hats off to them,” he says, “because they’ve kept the building in such good condition.”

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Paolo Valenciano on the PICC as a Space for Creating Impactful Experiences

As a live event producer and creative director, Paolo Valenciano shares a dual perspective but not just as a producer and creative director but as an event participant and later an event director who utilizes the space to create impactful experiences.

”When somebody pitches (that this event) is gonna be at the PICC, there is a level of prestige to it. You know that it’s gonna be comfortable for us — the production — because one thing that I really appreciate about this place is that it is very comfortable for production people. There’s a lot of space, it’s pretty to look at, you’ve got the art everywhere.”

Jeremy Barns on the PICC as one of our National Treasures

Director for the National Museum, Jeremy Barns meanwhile emphasizes that the PICC is one of our nation’s trove of treasures in Philippine art, culture, and history. As part of the institution that declared the PICC and its art within as National Cultural Treasures, Barns points out that it aimed to establish something truly international. To him, what is most remarkable is that during the PICC’s inauguration, it was still impactful, powerful, and accessible. 

“Philippine art is certainly something that Filipinos can be proud of.” Barns says, “One really noteworthy example of that is the Philippine International Convention Center.”

Even up to now, the PICC shines as a world-class MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Concerts, Exhibitions) destination full of heritage, art, and history. With its status as a powerful and accessible venue for Filipinos and various guests, it’s a venue beyond convention and stands as a testament to the best that Filipino creativity can offer while telling its own stories. 

Photos courtesy of PICC Manila

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