BCDA Collective | Issue 1 2018

thebcdagroup

BCDA External Newsletter

COLLECTIVE

is a quarterly publication of the

Bases Conversion and Development Authority.

Table of Contents

3 Building the City of the Future

8 Clark Airport: A showcase of modern Filipino sensibility

11 Build Build Build by the Numbers

12 News

15 Building Smart Cities

16 Fast Talk with the New Directors

18 No regrets for Marawi soldier

20 Unwind in Thunderbird Resorts

21 The Silent Workers of La Forge

24 Snapshots of BCDA Events

25 Freeports and Ecozones

31 A Diner's Digest of Matam-ih restaurant

32 Icon: Alab ng Puso

ON THE COVER

A rendering of New Clark City

shows plenty of green space amid

the hustle and bustle of the

new metropolis.

Gregorio D. Garcia III

Chairman

Vivencio B. Dizon

President and CEO

Editor-in-Chief: Leilani Barlongay-Macasaet

Executive Editor: Maricar Gay Savella-Villamil

Managing Editor: Kathrina Charmaine Alvarez

Art Director: Ana Trina Sulit

Associate Editor: Patricia Ruth Cailao

Writers: Michelle San Juan-De Vera, Lanquin Seyer Gacusan

Photographers: Samuel Luke Galivo, Garry Cativo,

Lanquin Seyer Gacusan

Contributors:

Clark Development Corporation

Clark International Airport Corporation

John Hay Management Corporation

Poro Point Management Corporation

Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority

Renders by: Budji + Royal Architecture + Design

Megawide

Circulation: Mareynel Toquero

TheBCDAGroup

Editorial Address:

BCDA Corporate Center

2/F, Bonifacio Technology Center,

31st Street cor. 2nd Ave.

Bonifacio Global City,

Taguig City, Philippines

Contact No.

(632) 575-1700

Fax

(632) 816-0996

E-mail

bcda@bcda.gov.ph

Website

http://www.bcda.gov.ph


B U I L D I N G

T H E C I T Y

OF THE

FUTURE

T O T A K E S O M E

P R E S S U R E O F F

M E T R O M A N I L A ,

A W E L L - P L A N N E D

M E T R O P O L I S R I S E S

J U S T A B O U T

1 0 0 K I L O M E T E R S

N O R T H O F T H E

B U S Y M E G A C I T Y .

THIS IS

NEW CLARK CITY.

By

KATHRINA CHARMAINE ALVAREZ


Every day, we hear horror stories of commuters

taking public transportation in crowded Metro

Manila. Traffic has become so horrendous in

Manila’s major roads that the term “Carmageddon”

has been coined to describe the bumperto-bumper

congestion. The situation also results

in P3.5 billion in lost opportunities a day,

according to the Japan International Cooperation

Agency or JICA. To take some of the pressure

off, a well-planned metropolis rises just

about 100 kilometers north of the busy megacity.

This is New Clark City.

New Clark City, located within the Clark Special

Economic Zone, is envisioned to be a “city of the

future,” a model for future developments in the

country. In partnership with industry-leading

firms from Japan and Singapore, New Clark

City was designed to be the first smart, green,

resilient, and sustainable city in the Philippines.

For Surbana Jurong, one of the partners of the

Bases Conversion and Development Authority

(BCDA), the logical way to develop is “outward”

the neighboring provinces of Metro Manila.

“The way to develop is outward so that you also

have a twin city, or you have a second wing to

a city...I think New Clark City will play that role

vis-a-vis Manila. And I think that this is the right

strategy, and an exciting vision if you want to

grow Manila in exciting ways,” Teo Eng Cheong,

Surbana Jurong’s chief executive officer (International),

says.

New Clark City is the

right strategy, and an

exciting vision if you

want to grow Manila in

exciting ways.

T E O E N G C H E O N G

CEO, Surbana Jurong

4 COLLECTIVE


Connectivity is in Clark,

and connectivity is going to be

enhanced even further in the

very near future.

V I N C E D I Z O N

BCDA President and CEO

Construction of the first phase has started with

government buildings, a river walkway, and a

world-class sports complex to be used for the

country’s hosting of the Southeast Asian Games

in November 2019. Access roads leading up to

New Clark City from the Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway

(SCTEx), and the Clark International

Airport are set to be finished by October 2019,

and January 2020. But the “game-changer”

for BCDA President and Chief Executive Officer

Vivencio Dizon is the Manila-Clark railway

project, which will cut the Manila to Clark travel

time from two hours to just 55 minutes. “Connectivity

is in Clark and connectivity is going

to be enhanced even further in the very near

future,” says Dizon. Not to mention that a new

terminal building at the Clark International Airport

will already be operational in two years,

allowing Clark to accommodate an additional

eight million passengers per annum.

For its transportation infrastructure alone, New

Clark City is a city that functions better.

DISASTER-RESILIENT

With a minimum elevation of 54 meters above

sea level, the 9,450-hectare new metropolis will

likely not experience any flooding, also a typical

problem in most parts of Metro Manila whenever

a typhoon strikes. The master plan for New

Clark City stays true to the vision of creating a

green city but also respects the natural identity

of the area.

Sylvester Wong, vice president for strategies

and development of master planning firm AE-

COLLECTIVE 5


COM, points out a unique factor of New Clark

City -- “the broad expanse of natural community.”

“We looked at how to create resilience in the

city so that it can withstand shocks and stresses;

provide a new walkable, connected place

so that we bring back time to the people of the

Philippines; and

so that it’s a green

place–a place of

breathability,” says

Wong.

S Y L V E S T E R W O N G

Strategically located

in Central

and Development, AECOM

Vice President for Strategies

Luzon, New Clark

City will also house

satellite government offices, and an Integrated

Operations Center and Disaster Risk Recovery

Center to ensure continuous operations and

services in case of natural disasters and calamities.

For MTD Philippines President Engr. Patrick

Nicholas David, building the Philippines’ own

Putrajaya is also about improving efficiency.

“It’s about bringing the government offices together,

bringing the agencies that work together

closer to make sure that there is efficiency in

doing business, efficiency in delivering government

service. Our vision is not for us to travel

around Metro Manila’s traffic just to get our

business done. It’s to make sure that it is efficient,

conducive,

and productive,”

says David. MTD

It’s a green place -

a place of breathability.

Philippines’ parent

company,

MTD Capital Berhad,

was behind

the proposal for

the development

of the National

Government Administrative Center (NGAC).

Apart from government offices, BCDA is also

keen on attracting foreign investors to set up

shop in the new metropolis. After all, New Clark

City, one of the high-impact projects pursued by

the Duterte administration, is also envisioned to

be not just a viable alternative to the capital, but

also the next investment hub in Asia.

6 COLLECTIVE


New Clark City may be an

ambitious project, but it’s

also been long overdue.

PH identity

Architect Royal Pineda, half of the design duo

behind New Clark City, says the project is also

an exhibit of the Philippines’ identity.

“The soul of the Philippines should really be

presented and this is where we believe that

modern Filipino architecture, modern Filipino

sensibility should always be a part of; especially

that this is the face not just of Clark, but the face

of the country. This is the modern face of the

country,” says Pineda.

“We always look for the authenticity of the

place,” Pineda adds. And what could be more

“authentic” in constructing New Clark City

than using lahar or volcanic mudflow from the

Mount Pinatubo eruption back in 1991.

“If you look at the ancient cities of Europe, they are

built with stones and boulders of their places. This

time, in New Clark City or the entire Clark, we are

trying to put it together and give that new fiber of

the city, which is the lahar concrete,” says Pineda.

Even the designs behind the 20,000-seater

Athletic Stadium, and the Aquatics Center

with a 2,000 seating capacity was inspired by

Mount Pinatubo.

New Clark City, formerly the Clark Green City

project, used to be just all talk. Now, the project

is not too far from becoming a reality.

In just six months since Phase 1 of the project

broke ground, MTD says it is 20-percent

complete. The Economic Development, and

Infrastructure clusters led by Finance Secretary

Carlos Dominguez III, and Public Works

Secretary Mark Villar saw first-hand the construction

of New Clark City when they visited

the area in July. For Dominguez, the project is

the “showcase of the Duterte administration’s

economic strategy.”

New Clark City may be an ambitious project,

but it’s also been long overdue.

COLLECTIVE 7


Clark

International

Airport

A S H O W C A S E O F

M O D E R N F I L I P I N O

S E N S I B I L I T Y

By

PATRICIA RUTH CAILAO

8 COLLECTIVE


The expansion of the Clark International Airport

(CRK) is finally making headway after its

conceptualization for more than two decades.

For a long time, infrastructure projects in the

country have been hounded with controversies

and delays. But the present administration at

the Department of Transportation (DOTr) and

the Bases Conversion and Development Authority

(BCDA) vows not to count Clark airport as just

another delayed project. The project is on track

and people are getting closer to witnessing the

airport transform into an alternative global

gateway that would bring in huge investments

in the region and in the whole archipelago.

The Clark International airport operates in a

2,400-hectare land, roughly four times the size

of the entire Ninoy Aquino International Airport

(NAIA) complex in Manila. The average daily passenger

at the Clark airport is 7,000 and served by

a total of 481 weekly flights, 158 of which are international

flights and 323 are domestic routes.

The expansion of the airport, being handled by

the Megawide-GMR consortium, broke ground

in December 2017. The first phase of the project

entails the construction of a 10.2-hectare new,

world-class terminal in the airport which will

increase passenger capacity to eight million per

annum from the existing 4.2 million passengers

per year.

Aside from decongesting NAIA, what’s

promising about the Clark International

Airport is the design that will manifest the

modern Filipino architecture.

COLLECTIVE 9


NEWS

materials will be used in constructing the new

Clark International Airport terminal building as

well as New Clark City. Lahar concrete brought

out by Mt. Pinatubo will be the main fabric and

common component in the said projects.

NATURE-BASED DESIGN

The new terminal’s facade is inspired by the terrains

of Mt. Arayat and the Sierra Madre mountain

range. This will be echoed in the airport’s roofline.

Inside the new terminal, Pampanga’s local cultural

identity is celebrated with the ceiling inspired

by the province’s famous symbols, like

the parol or star lantern.

The Budji+Royal firm is behind the architectural

concept design of the new terminal.

According to Royal Pineda, principal architect

and CEO of the firm, embedding what’s authentic

about the Filipino sensibility in the project’s

design is not enough—there’s also a need to exhibit

a progressive Philippines to invite foreign

investors in Clark.

“Hopefully this time, we really get to present to

the world our modern and present status as a

nation, that we are ready for business,” he said.

Budji+Royal was also tapped by BCDA to design

the sports facilities in New Clark City for the

Philippines’ hosting of the 30th Southeast Asian

Games in 2019.

According to Pineda, advanced and sustainable

Arch. Pineda said that the send-off and welcome

sections at the entrance of the new terminal

will be open areas and surrounded by gardens

called the Tropical Plaza. The Tropical Plaza is

designed to reflect the warmth and friendliness

of Filipinos, he said.

Another local material, the bamboo, will be

used in the airport’s interiors to highlight a

cozy ambiance.

Lahar will also be used in the flooring of the airport

to imitate a terrazzo or marble finish for a

sophisticated look.

The expansion of the Clark International Airport

is expected to boost tourism and investments

in Central Luzon along with other projects

that will provide interconnectivity in the

whole archipelago.

Boarding gates at the new terminal open in the

first half of 2020.

10 COLLECTIVE


NEWS

COLLECTIVE 11


NEWS

“ Solid Backbone

for PH Growth

T

The government’s P8-trillion infrastructure

program under the “Build Build Build” strategy

will fuel economic growth in the country,

said President Rodrigo Duterte.

At the Boao Forum for Asia held in China on

April 10, 2018, the President said Build Build

Build will not only upgrade the country’s infrastructure

but also provide interconnectivity

among communities.

“Our Build, Build, Build program will provide

the solid backbone for growth. This will continue

to upgrade the infrastructure, connect

more people and communities and create

more jobs. Already we have started a threeyear

rolling program amounting to over US$69

billion until 2022,” Duterte said.

Some of the key infrastructure projects of

BCDA under the Build program are the expansion

of the Clark International Airport, and the

construction of the Subic-Clark railway and

the first smart and sustainable metropolis

called the New Clark City.

With all the developments in Clark, economic

managers are envisioning the area as the

“showcase” of the Duterte government’s strategy

to make growth more inclusive.

“It captures what the Build, Build, Build program

aspires to achieve: a coherent national

logistics circuit that will support our country’s

rapid and inclusive development,” Finance

Secretary Carlos “Sonny” Dominguez III said

at the second leg of the Philippine Economic

Briefing held in Clark.

“This, truly, is where the future begins. We envision

this as the hub of agro-industrial activities

as well as the home for cutting-edge technology

companies. Clark, in the near future,

will be the growth driver for Luzon,” he said.

And with Build, Build, Build comes Jobs, Jobs,

Jobs.

On May 29, the Build team launched the Jobs

portal, an online jobs site aimed at consolidating

all employment opportunities from all

concessionaires and construction companies

involved in the government’s flagship infrastructure

program.

12 COLLECTIVE


NEWS

World-class sports facilities

for world-class athletes

Once in a while, there are athletes like boxing

champion Manny Pacquiao, weightlifter Hidilyn

Diaz, and figure skater Michael Martinez,

who, despite the sorry state of Philippine sports,

manage to emerge victorious and win medals

for the country.

And while there are a lot of talented Filipino athletes,

they still need all the support they can get

from the government.

This is why BCDA, together with infrastructure

developer MTD Philippines, is fast tracking the

construction of world-class sports facilities in

New Clark City. MTD commits to finish the Athletic

Stadium and Aquatics Center by mid-October

in 2019, more than a month away from the

opening of the 30th Southeast Asian Games.

The sports facilities form part of the National

Government Administrative Center (NGAC)

Phase 1A that broke ground in January. Barely

six months later, steel columns were already

being installed for the Athletic Stadium. That’s

how fast the construction is at the NGAC.

On July 4, several Cabinet secretaries led by

Finance chief Carlos “Sonny” Dominguez III

personally visited and saw the developments

at NGAC. For Dominguez, the NGAC was an example

of a “quick project.” “We are trying to go

as fast as we can. This is the result,” Dominguez

told the media.

Joining Dominguez were Socioeconomic Planning

Secretary Ernesto Pernia, Transportation

Secretary Arthur Tugade, Public Works Secretary

Mark Villar, and BCDA President and CEO

Vivencio Dizon.

A few days later, Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan

Peter Cayetano led the Philippine SEA Games

Organizing Committee (PHISGOC) in a visit to

the construction site. Cayetano sits as the chairman

of the PHISGOC.

Philippine Olympic Committee president Ricky

Vargas said he was “very moved for the athletes.”

“The athletes will be encouraged by it, moved

by it to even perform better. Parang binihisan

mo sila eh. The athletes get into sports not only

for the love of sports but for many of them it’s

a way out of poverty and you’re showing them

the way how they can excel and helping them in

that process,” Vargas said.

The Athletic Stadium will have a 20,000 seating

capacity, while the Aquatic Center can accommodate

2,000 people. Aside from the two facilities,

an Athletes Village, which can accommodate

1,000 people, is also being constructed.

Indeed, the government’s support–not just

through words–will motivate athletes to work

harder for the flag.

COLLECTIVE 13


NEWS

AFP gets record-high

share from BCDA

Php 8.2 Billion to the AFP during

the first 2 years of the Duterte administration

Committed to its promise of strengthening the

Armed Forces while building great cities, the

Bases Conversion and Development Authority

(BCDA) contributed P8.2 billion to the AFP

during the first two years of the present administration

under President Rodrigo Duterte.

The amount represents 20 percent of the total

P40 billion received by the men and women in

uniform from BCDA since the state-run agency

was created in 1992.

“That just shows everyone how important the

AFP is to this administration. We want this to

just keep on growing and growing. We want that

trend to keep on going up,” said BCDA President

and CEO Vivencio Dizon.

But more than the monetary contributions,

BCDA is also honoring the sacrifices of the men

and women in uniform through other ways.

In April, BCDA, together with the Fort Bonifacio

Development Corporation (FBDC) unveiled the

Alab ng Puso sculpture as a tribute to the services

of the AFP.

Alab ng Puso (Fire in the Heart) sculpted by artist

Daniel dela Cruz portrays an ordinary Filipino

soldier with his weapon set aside, reading a

letter from his family.

For Dizon, the sculpture represents a soldier’s

commitment to put country first above self.

Two of the bravest soldiers who fought in Marawi

know exactly what it means to put country

first above self. BCDA was able to speak to Private

First Class Romeo Esperida Jr. and Corporal

Domingo Torreon, two of the 52 soldiers

who were granted hospitalization assistance by

BCDA in 2017.

Esperida and Torreon were beneficiaries of the

P5-million fund set up by BCDA in honor of the

heroism and bravery of the troops who fought

for the liberation of Marawi City. The fund allowed

injured troops to access medical treatments

at the St. Luke’s Medical Center.

BCDA is planning to make the P5-million allocation

a revolving fund for troops who cannot receive

the needed medical care in military hospitals

due to lack of facilities and doctors.

14 COLLECTIVE


SMART NEWS CITIES

ROADS IN NEW CLARK CITY

First-of-its kind

in the Philippines

By

PATRICIA RUTH CAILAO

Quality roads and an efficient public transportation

system are basic necessities in highly

urbanized cities. But in Metro Manila which is

home to a population of 12.8 million, poorly designed

roads that result in traffic jams and congestion

greet commuters every day.

In a 2017 study, the Japan International Cooperation

Agency (JICA) cited that the daily gridlock

in Metro Manila streets is costing the country

P3.5 billion in lost opportunities per day. And

the said economic cost is likely to reach P5.4 billion

a day in 2035.

Experts say this urban challenge can be blamed

from the lack of infrastructure that has hindered

the country’s growth for decades.

The World Economic Forum’s Competitiveness

Report for 2017-2018 showed the Philippines’

overall infrastructure lagging behind its Southeast

Asian neighbors, with a score of 3.4, seven

being the highest. The ASEAN economies’ infrastructure

performance was assessed in terms

of the quality and availability of roads, railroads,

ports, air transport, electricity, and telephones.

One of BCDA’s high-impact projects, the New

Clark City, will reverse the negative perception

about the country’s infrastructure. The wellplanned

New Clark City is designed to be the

country’s first smart, green, resilient metropolis.

The road network and public transportation

is already part of the first phase of the ongoing

construction.

Roads in New Clark City will be the first of their

kind in the Philippines. One of the primary

roads being built is a 55-meter, four-lane road

network which will have wider and walkable

sidewalks, bike lanes, and carriageways on opposite

sides.

Eco-friendly developments are also embedded

in the city’s road character. Part of the plan is to

have adequate space for street trees and ground

level plantings in its roads with bio-retention

swale to filter water runoff.

Another 55-meter, three-lane primary road will

also be built to include a bus rapid transit system

or a light rail transit envisioned to be the

main mode for mass transportation in the city.

The design of road networks in New Clark City

hopes to encourage riding public transportation,

walking, and cycling. In New Clark City,

everyone will reach their destinations on time

and stress-free.

COLLECTIVE 15


PROFILES

Fast Talk with

the Directors

The Corporate Communication Office gets up

close and personal with BCDA's newest additions

to its corporate family. Get to know the

other side of Board Directors Mr. David Diwa

and Mr. Gerard Camina.

~

Interviews by

MICHELLE SAN JUAN-DE VERA

Who inspires you?

G. Camiña: God, because I owe everything

to Him.

What and where is your favourite place in the

world?

G. Camiña: My farm in Guimaras where we

plant cacao, mangoes and coconuts.

Q: What are you most passionate about?

G. Camiña: Aside from my job, I am passionate

about golf. If I have free time, I usually do golf

four times a week. My home course is in Iloilo

Golf and Country Club but when I am in here in

Manila, I usually play in Villamor Air Base Golf

Course, the Philippine Navy Golf Club and Sta.

Elena Golf and Country Club.

Name one unique trait that you have.

G. Camiña: Loyalty.

What's your secret talent?

G. Camiña: I am very keen into details.

How do you find working in BCDA so far?

G. Camiña: Ooohhh…it’s challenging. BCDA is a

huge organization and I hope I can keep up.

GERARD

CAMINA

~

Date of Appointment:

May 8, 2018

16 COLLECTIVE


PROFILES

Who inspires you?

D. Diwa: Moses. Visionary. Fighter. Builder.

Leader. Faithful.

What and where is your favourite place in

the world?

D. Diwa: A beach in a small sitio in Western

Samar.

DAVID

DIWA

Date of Appointment:

February 7, 2018

What are you most passionate about?

D. Diwa: Helping other people, especially

exploited workers.

Name one unique trait that you have.

D. Diwa: Impulsive at times, especially

towards unfriendly people.

What's your secret talent?

D. Diwa: I can read a 200-page book in

one day.

How do you find working in BCDA so far?

D. Diwa: Ever heard of a labor leader participating

in making decisions about building

railroads, airports, gateway stations or urban

habitat worth billions of pesos in one

or two board meetings? That’s how BCDA

works and I find it truly important, challenging

and fulfilling.

COLLECTIVE 17


HEROES

Photo: PCOO

No regrets for

Marawi soldier

who almost went blind

18 COLLECTIVE

In "Heroes," BCDA tells the stories of ordinary Filipino soldiers

doing extraordinary duties for love of country.

By

KATHRINA CHARMAINE ALVAREZ

OOn February 13, 2018, Private First Class Romeo

Esperida Jr. was awarded the Order of Lapu-

Lapu with the Rank of Kampilan by President

Rodrigo Duterte in a ceremony in Malacaňang.

Dressed in full military gear, Esperida gave his

snappiest salute to his commander-in-chief.

Seeing the photo, it’s a bit difficult to imagine

that just eight months ago, the 27-year-old soldier

was fighting for his life in the battleground

of Marawi City. Marawi was declared “liberated”

in October 2017 by the President after months

of fighting between the Maute Group terrorists

and government troops.


HEROES

Esperida, a member of the 63rd Company of

the Marine Special Operations Group, suffered

severe injuries in a firefight with Maute Group

militants on June 9, 2017, wherein 13 of his

comrades died.

A newspaper report on the incident said Esperida

was “the most injured among the 40 troops

wounded in the clash.” Esperida suffered serious

injuries from a mortar shrapnel which tore

through his leg, arm, groin, and right eye.

Recalling what transpired, Esperida said he felt

that he only had a 50 percent chance of surviving.

“Paunti-unti, nagba-blackout na ako. Yung

tropa, grabe sampal sakin kasi alam na natutulog

na’ko…Hanggang sa pag-evacuate sa’min,

binibira kami ng ISIS.”

“Nag-decide yung officers na pa-withdraw na

kami kasi yung kalaban dumidikit na. Halos talagang

pwersahan na yung ginagawa ng Maute

ISIS fighters,” he said.

Esperida was one of the 52 soldiers granted

hospitalization assistance by BCDA in 2017.

An initial fund of P5 million was set up in honor

of the heroism and bravery of the troops who

fought for the liberation of Marawi City. The

fund allowed injured troops to access medical

treatments at the St. Luke’s Medical Center.

Photo: PCOO

Asked if he regrets

signing up for a task

that almost cost him his

life, Esperida said

without hesitation:

“Wala.”

Esperida was initially brought to Iligan and

Cagayan de Oro before he was transferred to the

V. Luna General Hospital in Quezon City. He said

he was informed of the BCDA fund for wounded

Marawi soldiers, allowing him to have his right

eye operated on at St. Luke’s in Taguig City.

“Okay na rin yung pakiramdam ko ngayon…

Parang normal na,” Esperida told BCDA in May.

Asked if he regrets signing up for a task that

almost cost him his life, Esperida said without

hesitation: “Wala.”

The BCDA is planning to make the P5-million

allocation a revolving fund for troops who cannot

receive the needed medical care in military

hospitals due to lack of facilities and doctors.

COLLECTIVE 19


TRAVEL

Unwind in

Thunderbird

Resorts

By

PATRICIA RUTH CAILAO

The Thunderbird Resorts & Casinos inside the

Poro Point Freeport Zone is one of the most

unique tourist destinations in North Luzon.

This Santorini-inspired resort not just offers a

stunning view of the ocean, but also a number of

luxurious amenities that families will sure enjoy.

Here are top things to do inside the resort:

SWIM

Plunge into Thunderbird’s famous infinity pool

which both kids and adults can enjoy. The infinity

pool also offers a beautiful scenery of

the ocean, the sunset, and the gorgeous Greek

design of the resort. It’s also convenient for visitors

to dine after a quick swim as restaurants

are just a few steps away from the infinity pool.

PLAY

Have a one-of-a-kind golfing experience at The

Cliffs Golf & Beach Club in Thunderbird! Their

3,372 dash yard and 9-hole all-weather golf

course features challenging obstacles of varying

degrees yet boasts well-maintained green

landscape and a breath-taking scenery of the

San Fernando Bay.

Since Thunderbird prioritizes the value of family,

included in their recreational spaces are

rooms such as the Kids’ Club and the Teenagers’

Club with a variety of electronic gaming facilities

for both parents and kids to bond.

WORKOUT

& DE-STRESS

Another way to unwind is to experience the

first-rate amenities in the hotel’s gym inside the

new clubhouse. Guests may also take advantage

of the wide and clean boardwalk/jogging paths

in Thunderbird where they can do their morning

exercise.

Aside from water sports, the resort also has

dedicated areas for playing basketball, volleyball,

and tennis.

INDULGE

Explore good food and various cuisines from

Thunderbird’s restaurants such as Olives

Restaurant that serves Mediterranean breakfast,

lunch and dinner; the Fira Beach Club, a

restobar that serves Japanese food; and Pianosa

Deli Shop that serves high-quality deli products

and mouth-watering pastries.

20 COLLECTIVE


LOCATORS

THE

S I L E N T

WORKERS

TWO YEARS AGO, WU RECALLS,

A TOURISM DEPARTMENT

OFFICER RECOMMENDED THE

E M P L O Y M E N T O F P E R S O N S W I T H

D I S A B I L I T I E S ( P W D S ) . W I T H O U T

A N Y H E S I T A T I O N , T H E C O U P L E

S T A R T E D H I R I N G D E A F W O R K E R S

B E C A U S E , A S T H E Y S A Y ,

WHY NOT?

By

KATHRINA CHARMAINE ALVAREZ

COLLECTIVE 21


LOCATORS

V

Vanessa Ada Cruz works an eight-hour shift,

six days a week, to earn a living for her family.

Wearing a face mask and an apron, she carefully

paints one of the metal frames to be used for

lighting fixtures exported to the US. Vanessa is

one of the 15 Deaf staff employed by La Forge

Designs, Inc. at the Clark Freeport Zone in Pampanga.

Nobody is disabled here.

We are all able to do

the work.

R O M M E L B U N D A L I A N

Chief Designer, La Forge

Rommel Bundalian and his wife, Rossy Wu,

manages La Forge, a partner of US-based company

Varaluz. Varaluz prides itself of producing

“unique” handmade lighting fixtures from

as simple as vanity lights to as something as

high-end as crystal chandeliers. According to

Bundalian, 95 percent of the products sold by

Varaluz are produced in Clark by La Forge—

each stamped with “Made in the Philippines.”

Some of the fixtures they produce even boast of

being eco-friendly as La Forge is also into recycling

shells and glass bottles, among others, for

their pieces. The pieces, sold mostly in the US,

usually range from US$15 to US$2,000. Bundalian

says they once designed a custom-made

lighting fixture for a church in San Francisco,

California measuring eight feet in height. He

says they usually join a biannual trade show in

Dallas, Texas where most of the orders come in.

As the demand for their products grew, La

Forge had to hire more people. Two years ago,

Wu recalls, a Tourism department officer recommended

the employment of persons with

disabilities (PWDs). Without any hesitation, the

couple started hiring Deaf workers because, as

they say, why not?

“I am very flexible. As long as there are more

people, they are healthy, they are willing to

work, [that’s fine]. We found out that these people

not only can work as good as normal people,

but at the same time, they have a very good

heart,” Wu said in an interview.

“They are just people with different abilities instead

of people with disabilities. They make a

good contribution to our company. We feel good

to have a group of workers like them,” she says.

A few meters away from where we spoke with

22 COLLECTIVE


LOCATORS

normal as everybody here. Just like what we

keep telling our workers, nobody is disabled

here. We are all able to do the work,” he says.

La Forge’s owners, a group of young ones—we

were told their ages ranged from 20 to 30 years

old—huddled in a sofa waiting for their turn to

be interviewed.

La Forge’s Human Resources Department Manager

Blue Manansala was holding a clipboard

and a pen. He tells us that they usually converse

with their Deaf staff through writing. Asked

why they chose to work for La Forge, they look

at each other then turn to Vanessa to write what

the group wants to say. She writes: “Because we

want to help [provide] the needs of our families

and for some, our kids. Also, we are here to help

improve the company.”

We then ask if they encounter any difficulties

with work, Vanessa writes that they consider

challenges as “experiences.” “We have learned

to work here in different items, and together

with teams,” she says.

They pose for a group photo with a sign they

made up that said “I love La Forge.”

According to Bundalian, their Deaf employees

do different kinds of work for the company:

frame preparations, sanding, painting, accessory

attachment, and packaging.

“They are treated here as normal persons. We

don’t discriminate. We actually treat them as

“We are all equal. Everybody is happy to mingle

with them. Everybody is trying to learn what

they are doing,” he adds.

Some of their employees have taken the initiative

to learn sign language. “In that sense,

natutulungan din nila yung ibang workers,” Accounting

Manager Merlyn Manalo says.

Manansala says the Deaf workers’ special education

teacher prior to working, “Ma’am May,”

usually visits them often. Some of the Deaf

workers, he says, underwent training with the

Technical Education and Skills Development

Authority (TESDA).

“Sa work, tinuturo, ito gagawin, yun ang gagawin.

Sa communication, parang nahihirapan sila.

Kailangan talaga i-demo,” Manansala says. He

was quick to add that some of the Deaf workers

“excel better in their work stations.”

And for the couple behind La Forge, the more,

the merrier. “If it is possible hire more, why

not?” says Wu.

At the end of our interview, the couple hand out

their business cards to us. We notice the tagline

of their company. It says “we bring light to life.”

This, of course, is true for Vanessa and the 14

others who were welcomed with open arms at

La Forge.

COLLECTIVE 23


Snapshots

A round-up of BCDA's milestones in the past quarter.

APRIL 4

BCDA President and CEO Vivencio Dizon presents developments of New Clark City project to President Rodrigo Duterte.

APRIL 16

Together with the Fort Bonifacio Development

Corporation, BCDA unveils the Alab ng

Puso sculpture as a tribute to the AFP.

APRIL 25 MAY 29

MTD Philippines starts the concrete pouring

at the National Government Administrative

Center in New Clark City.

BCDA transfers the replicated Philippine

Air Force (PAF) facilities and utilities to DND-

PAF through Secretary Delfin Lorenzana.

JULY 4

The economic team holds a site visit in New Clark City to check the

progress of the project's first phase.

JULY 7

Members of the Philippine SEA Games Organizing Committee hold

a site visit in New Clark City to inspect the construction of sports

facilities.

24 COLLECTIVE


FREEPORTS FREEPORTS AND AND ECOZONES

ECOZONES

Five Stars

for Clark Tourism

JULIA IGNACIO

Clark Development Corporation

Imagine scrolling through your social media

feed and chancing upon a post about your

dream destination - blue skies, crystal clear water,

tropical blooms, and a picturesque scenery

of a magnificent island.

Back in the days, traveling for leisure is considered

a luxury. But now, thanks to low-cost flights,

and the government’s resolve to improve infrastructure,

many tourists -- domestic and foreign

alike -- are exploring the Philippines. At Clark in

Pampanga, the influx of tourists created more

opportunities for the hospitality industry.

Just as Clark’s history and culture evolved

throughout the years, the number of businesses

and tourists also increased. International hotel

brands saw the market as the number of passengers

grew from 654,184 in 2010 to 1,514,531

in 2017. That’s a 59-percent increase in just

seven years. These numbers pushed the confidence

of hospitality developers in shaping their

companies’ future in a place like Clark.

Marriott Hotel is one of the leading brands that

saw an opportunity to be part of that progress.

It is the first five-star hotel to rise in Clark. Unknown

to many, the hotel started as a root beer

stand and later became a key player in the hospitality

industry, accommodating the needs of

every tourist around the world. Marriott chose

to expand its reach in offering modern accommodation,

exceptional dining, and contemporary

elegance to travelers of and locals in Central

Luzon.

A $60-million investment with a towering

16-storey structure nestled in the complex of

Widus Hotel and Casino to serve business and

holiday travellers, Marriott is set to change the

landscape of hotel businesses in Clark. With

approximately 260 rooms, the hotel will feature

various facilities and other amenities which will

fulfill your perfect getaway. This prestigious hotel,

which integrates luxury and modernity, is

set to open in September of this year. Alongside

other hotel chains and brands offering a cozy

and friendly vibe, Marriott Hotel will complement

the growth of Clark and of the country in

the coming years.

Developments may have touched the “wanderer”

within many people, but now more than

ever, what’s important is that they get a quick

escape from the strain of life. But for whatever

type of travel, rest assured that there will always

be a nearby hotel in Clark that’s always open

and ready to accommodate.

COLLECTIVE 25


FREEPORTS AND ECOZONES

FREEPORTS AND ECOZONES

Nowhere to go

but up

KARL DE LEON

Clark International Airport Corporation

With the increased number of domestic and

international flights and record-breaking passenger

count, Clark International Airport (CRK)

continues to manifest its much-touted role as

Asia’s next premier gateway as it extends its

wingspan to Northern Luzon.

There is an ongoing effort to further develop the

facilities of Clark International Airport. Divided

into four phases, the expansion is scheduled to

be completed before President Rodrigo Duterte

ends his term in 2022.

The primary stage of the four-phase development,

which started in December 2017, expects

to raise the terminal’s capacity to handle eight

million passengers every year. The said phase

also includes creating two access ways to the

terminal, one of which permits vehicles coming

from the Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (SC-

TEX) to access the terminal without having to enter

the Clark Freeport Zone. The first phase also

includes a separate building to accommodate

meeters and greeters and a bigger parking area.

The succeeding stages would further raise

CRK’s capacity from 22 million travelers, to 46

million, and ultimately to 80 million annually.

There will be a cargo terminal, a hangar for private

planes, and a new runway, which will allow

simultaneous take off and landing.

Clark’s civil flight complex expansion is doable,

what with its sufficient space of 2,367 hectares

(has), which is four times Ninoy Aquino International

Airport’s 600 has.

AIRPORT OF CHOICE

This is why the Clark airport has become an airport

of choice not only for Kapampangans, but

also for those residing in Regions 1, 2, and 3,

the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR), and

some parts of Manila.

With the increased availability of domestic and

international flights and its proximity to the

said target regions, CRK aims and continues

to become more accessible than ever. Clark is

now easier to reach with the Point to Point (P2P)

transport buses that bring travelers from Metro

Manila, Baguio City, Nueva Ecija, and Baler town

in Aurora area to Clark and vice versa.

Last May 24, CRK was able to reach its 1-millionth

passenger count in only five months and

is very likely to break the 1.5 million passenger

count of 2017, and even reach two million passengers

before the year ends. Such milestone

could be attributed with the increased number

of flights for the year 2018.

For CIAC President Alexander Cauguiran, the

goals are clear: to improve the facilities and

enhance the services to cope with the growing

demand of air travel.

Truly, in these times, one must keep moving

forward. Making a change sounds too big of a

task at first, but when one focuses on developing

on what one has been given, the burden of

creating a better Philippines becomes lighter.

With CIAC, there is nowhere to go but up.

26 COLLECTIVE


FREEPORTS AND ECOZONES

PORO POINT BAYWALK

A New

Recreational Haven

By

PORO POINT MANAGEMENT CORPORATION

Bikers and fun run enthusiasts in San Fernando

City, La Union will have something to look forward

to as developments in Poro Point Baywalk

are underway to encourage the conduct of more

recreational activities in the area.

The Department of Public Works and Highways

(DPWH) , in coordination with BCDA and its subsidiary,

the Poro Point Management Corporation

(PPMC), is constructing a 1.3-kilometer access

road leading to the Poro Point Baywalk tourism

and commercial areas. The P92-million project

consists of a bicycle lane, playgrounds, picnic

area, gazebos, amphitheatre and a commercial

strip.

Already, the baywalk has been significant in

boosting tourism and investments in San Fernando

City as the venue of the annual Sillag

Festival of Lights—one of the main events in the

Poro Point Freeport Zone.

The road project will not only improve the

transport experience of the people in the area

but will also immensely benefit the city’s growing

number of health and wellness groups who

frequently use the baywalk to hold their various

activities such as Zumba and fun runs.

Though the road used to be a one-way asphalt

dirt path used only for security cars patrolling

inside the freeport zone, a food house and a

travel tour shop are also in operation to serve

guests and clients coming in the baywalk.

In 2017, the Association of Tourism Industries

and Networks in the City of San Fernando, in

partnership with the local government, had an

innovative way of promoting fitness while observing

religious practice through “Visitkleta

Iglesia” (a spiritual excursion through biking).

The said activity benefited the community of

300 cyclists in the city.

Aside from the wellness groups that would

surely enjoy the said development, PPMC said

that the road project will eventually encourage

more locators to invest, which helps increase

revenues in the freeport zone.

COLLECTIVE 27


FREEPORTS AND ECOZONES

FROM 2 to 52:

Mang Ponce

Recalls the

Old Days of

John Hay

ZYRELLE DEL PRADO

John Hay Management Corporation

HALF A DECADE NOW,

Mang Ponce continues to walk on the same ground though the routes

have changed. Seeing the same pine trees, though some are no longer

standing, gives him a nostalgic feeling.

Half a decade ago and he still talks like he just turned two yesterday.

28 COLLECTIVE


FREEPORTS AND ECOZONES

Mang Ponce Recalls the

Old Days of John Hay

W

“With a knitted bonnet on my head and dressed how

with a layer of thick clothes, I would always get excited

to tag along with my Papa going to his work.”

Mr. Ponciano delos Reyes, Jr. or Mang Ponce as

he is fondly called is talking like it happened

yesterday. Now he is 52 and still walking on the

same grounds when he was a two-year old.

Camp John Hay was ordered by the President

of the United States in October 10, 1903 as a

mountain retreat for its military and civilian

personnel. It was established as a resort and vacation

haven, designed to rejuvenate weary servicemen

from combat in order to regain their

strength and vigor.

“Every gate was jointly guarded by US and Filipino

soldiers. There were sturdy and upright

men in their camouflage uniforms, 360-degrees

of green manicured grass slopes, and a

thick canopy of Benguet pine trees. And, oh,

that piney smell at dawn mixed with the morning

dew is unmatched by the most recommended

air freshener in the metro,” says Mang Ponce.

The Camp was the most spacious and stunning

U.S. military installation during its era. With its

sprawling area of 1,764 hectares, originally, it

was the refuge of a hundred cottages, a hospital, a

chapel, a movie house, mess halls, stores, and various

facilities for some sports and social activities.

A pet project of the US Commanding Generals

who assumed command since 1911, improvements,

renovations, and construction of roads,

hydro-electric plant, and water pumping station

were introduced. These made the Camp

self-sufficient, independent, and advanced

compared to other facilities established during

its time.

“The smell of their bread about to puff in the

oven still lingers in my mind. It’s extraordinary!

Incomparable with our famous pandesal, it

tastes soulful—my stomach would never forget

it battled the hunger with the mouth-watering

taste then.”

“May to June are my favorite months. And my

favorite months come with my favorite line

from my Papa - ‘Get a bag and lets go mushroom

picking. Picking wild mushrooms is one

of my most treasured memories of me and my

Papa. After the rain, we spend the whole afternoon

going on expeditions and it’s like playing

peek-a-boo in between pine trees. If we have

extra, I would trade a portion of it in exchange

for bread in the bakery.”

“Facilities and amenities inside the Camp were

manned by Filipino crewmen. Hence, as a kid, I

was always sought for,” he reminisced.

Half a decade now, Mang Ponce continues to

walk on the same ground though the routes

have changed. Seeing the same pine trees,

though some are no longer standing, gives him

a nostalgic feeling. Half a decade ago and he

still talks like he just turned two yesterday.

“How I wish we could go back through a time

capsule and you could travel with me. I will

show you more trees, more mushrooms, the

best bakery I’ve known, that wonderfully tastyv

loaf, the greener sceneries, the colder climate,

the environmentally-conscious camp.” “Oh

how I wish… If only...,” Mang Ponce says as he

closes his eyes as if to turn back time.

Fast forward to 2018, Mang Ponce, the cottage

attendant, is also an accomplished father to

three wonderful children. He bragged about

his son, Jay-ar, who is now a Certified Public

Accountant, his daughter, Jay Ann, who finished

a bachelor’s degree in Financial Management

and Accountancy, while the youngest, Jo

Anne is still in school under the K-12 program

of the government.

Now, he dreams of having a grandchild.

COLLECTIVE 29


FREEPORTS AND ECOZONES

Subic steps up

as the next Boracay

RUBEN VELORIA

Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority

Tourists don’t need to search far for an alternative

destination following the recent closure of

Boracay Island.

More than an investment haven and industrial

center, Subic offers unforgettable travel experiences

to both local and foreign visitors. In fact,

the former military base draws in more than two

million tourists every year resulting in P56 billion

worth of revenues.

With the influx of tourists, the Subic Bay Metropolitan

Authority (SBMA) has urged tourism operators

in the Subic Bay Freeport to upgrade its

facilities and services in order to take advantage of

the clean-up period in Boracay. SBMA Chairman

and Administrator Wilma Eisma challenged nearby

communities to keep up with the demand by

offering more world-class attractions for visitors.

GO TREKKING

Hike in Subic’s triple canopy forest and be

amazed by the beauty of its beautiful flora and

fauna. Tourists may also take a dip in one of the

many hidden streams fed by waterfalls, or choose

to interact with the local indigenous people who

teaches how to make fire and cook lunch using

bamboo tubes, and drink water from jungle vines.

WATERSPORTS

Summer is not the only time to enjoy watersports

in Subic. People can go swimming, windsurfing,

jet-skiing, parasailing, ride a yacht, go fishing, canoeing

or scuba diving. These activities may also

be enjoyed even during the rainy season.

VISIT THE ZOOBIC SAFARI

Zoobic Safari offers visitors a close encounter

with the largest members of the cat family—the

tigers, and other exotic animals, unlike the other

zoos in the country.

The Zoobic Safari is also home to the best animal

shows and educational entertainment about the

marine life with facilities like the Ocean Adventure

and the Beach Adventure Water Park.

LEARN HISTORY

Visitors may also take pleasure among historical

sites inside the Subic Freeport. These include the

Spanish Gate, San Roque Chapel, Tappan Park,

and other structures built during the Spanish rule.

A lot of underwater treasures can also be found

here in the form of sunken ships and other relics

that are open to divers.

30 COLLECTIVE


FREEPORTS AND DINER’S ECOZONES DIGEST

By:

LANQUIN SEYER GACUSAN

Risen from the ashes at the very heart

of Central Luzon is Clark, a developing

metropolis now becoming one of the

premier locations for local and foreign

businesses repositioning from the

busy and congested Metro Manila.

The Rodriguez family from Capas,

Tarlac found Clark as a perfect and

strategic site to build their diner concept

of serving the best of authentic

Kapampangan cuisine. A few years

back, the Rodriguezes’ plan was only to

franchise an already established food

chain but they wanted to do more—

to give hope to the Aeta and Abelling

tribes of Capas. Their goal was to help

elevate the livelihood of the indigenous

people from their hometown.

Hence, the idea of putting up a restaurant

was born, and Clark’s logistical

location turned the concept into full

circle. The Rodriguezes then relocated

the Aetas and Abellings they hired

from Capas to Clark, and supplied

them with basic needs like housing,

clothing, and food and transportation

allowance, among other things.

Matam-Ih means “delicious” in the Aeta

dialect, which is proven by the food that

they serve. Their wide array of authentic

Kapampangan selection is not only

delicious but also reasonably priced,

perfect for sharing with your special

someone, friends, or family. Their bestseller

meals are the adobong babi (pork

adobo), pritong hito, mustasa at buro

(fried catfish with mustard leaves and

fermented rice), and the bekugan babi

(pork sautéed in shrimp paste). They

also serve soups like braised pork or

beef, and the Filipino favorite sinigang,

and vegetable and grilled/barbecued

viands, and merienda or Filipino afternoon

snack choices.

But if you are into daring food delicacies,

the exotic fares like the betute tugak

(fried stuffed native frog), adobong

salagubang (beetle adobo), and pritong

adobong camaru (fried mole crickets)

should be a sure hit for you. Matam-Ih

also serves dishes using crocodile

meat occasionally. All the dishes at

Matam-Ih are served by the friendly

waiters given local celebrity names like

Anne Curtis and Kris Aquino, and even

international stars like Angelina Jolie

and Brad Pitt.

Not only will Matam-Ih satisfy your taste

buds, it will also surely amaze you with

the inviting ambiance of their restaurant’s

interiors, and the power ballads

belted out by the staff themselves.

Matam-Ih restaurant truly represents

what the Kapampangans are known

for—from the art of cooking to its culture

and history. Matam-Ih should unquestionably

be part of your bucket list

when visiting Pampanga.

Dine at Matam-ih! M. A, Manuel A. Roxas Hwy,

Clark Freeport Zone, Angeles, 2009 Pampanga

COLLECTIVE 31


ALAB NG PUSO

The Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) and the Fort Bonifacio

Development Corporation (FBDC) pay tribute to the sacrifices of the men and women

in uniform through the "Alab ng Puso" sculpture installed at the Bonifacio Global City

in Taguig. The image, sculpted by artist Daniel dela Cruz, portrays an ordinary Filipino

soldier with his weapon set aside, reading a letter from his family.

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