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Your Philippine Arena Guide: How to Get There and More
Everything you need to know about one of the country’s premier music event venues
Along with revenge travel comes revenge music experiences—and 2023 is the time to get to them.
Now that pandemic restrictions have eased up to allow large gatherings, fun pastimes like concerts and music festivals can get back in full swing. In the Philippines, a handful of venues can make those moments worthwhile. One such venue? The Philippine Arena, where the most prominent names and events, including Harry Styles’ Love on Tour concert and BLACKPINK’s BORN PINK tour, are headed. It’s the premier concert venue to know in 2023 and beyond.
How do you prepare for events held here and how do you navigate the enormous complex? Scroll through for answers and to peruse the rest of your Philippine Arena primer.
An Overview of the Philippine Arena
What’s there to know about the venue itself? For starters, the Philippine Arena is located in Ciudad de Victoria, Bulacan. Also known as the Philippine Arena Complex, this venue covers a whopping 140 hectares and features a mix of residential, office, and commercial buildings.
Commissioned in 2011 and completed in 2014, the formation of the arena was spearheaded by Iglesia ni Cristo (INC) executive minister Eduardo Manalo. According to Populous, the company that designed the theater, the Philippine Arena is INC’s gift to Manila, providing a venue for religious events, concerts, and sports tournaments.
The Philippine Arena today can very well accommodate 50,000 people, which makes this the Guinness World Record holder for the largest mixed-use indoor theater. It also boasts an outdoor space that can accommodate an additional 50,000 individuals. Viewing screens are available here, too.
How to Get to the Philippine Arena
The Philippine Arena, roughly 30 kilometers north of Metro Manila, is reachable both via private vehicle and public transit. Here is everything you need to know about the best routes for getting there.
Using a Private Vehicle
Before hitting the road, check the day’s number coding. If you need to take the North Luzon Expressway (NLEX), be sure to also load up your Easytrip RFID so you can access the cashless lanes of the toll booths and treat yourself to a smoother travel experience.
Ciudad de Victoria is along NLEX, so eventgoers from the south must take the expressway, go past the Marilao exit, and keep right until they reach the shoulder road leading to the complex.
Travelers from Metro Manila, meanwhile, get to the Philippine Arena by taking the northbound NLEX. That said, they best expect bottlenecks at the main entrance. Try to avoid traffic jams here by taking the Marilao exit and going along Patubig Road. This route leads to two entries to the Philippine Arena; you can take a left and enter via Duhat or a right via Mahabang Parang.
Last but not least, those coming from northern Luzon and taking the southbound NLEX can find their exit near the complex, which leads into the Ciudad de Victoria Bypass Road (another venue entrance).
Opting for Public Transit
If bringing a private car isn’t an option, here’s a handy commuting guide to the Philippine Arena.
SM North EDSA, TriNoma
Take the P2P bus from the SM North EDSA terminal (in front of the main building) or the TriNoma terminal (across TriNoma and Mindanao Avenue) to Bocaue or Sta. Maria, then a trike to Philippine Arena.
Paranaque Integrated Terminal Exchange (PITX)
PITX buses pass by LRT Buendia, Taft, Lawton, Quiapo, Dangwa, and Andres Bonifacio before they head to the North Luzon Express Terminal (NLET), which is right beside Philippine Arena.
There are bus lines in Cubao that have direct routes to Bocaue. You can find them at either the old Araneta bus terminal or across Farmer’s Market.
Take the bus marked Balagtas-Monumento. Get off at the Bocaue or Sta. Maria stop. Then, take a trike to Philippine Arena.
San Fernando, Pampanga
SM San Fernando offers van rides to Philippine Arena. Alternatively, you can ride a jeep to Apalit and take a jeep to Bocaue Bypass Road.
Source: Commute Tour
While there are countless other variations to these commuting routes, the above options are some of the main hubs you can try out for yourself. Take the one nearest you to ensure an easy, straightforward commute.
Whether you’re bringing your own car with you or taking public transport, note that some arena entrances and exits may be closed depending on the mandate of the event organizers. Make sure to learn about available entrances and exits ahead of time and plan your trip accordingly.
Tips: Heading to the Philippine Arena
Now that you’ve decided on your route, here are some things to keep in mind before heading to the Philippine Arena. What should you do once you get there? What about when you’re ready to leave the venue? Read on!
Grab something to eat beforehand
Ciudad de Victoria has few food options nearby, considering that the complex itself is relatively isolated from commercial establishments in the vicinity. Be sure to eat something substantial before heading over. It’s the best way to maximize your energy and time.
Arrive at the venue early
This should go without saying. 50,000 people headed to the same location is bound to cause traffic jams and delays. Make sure you budget your travel time wisely, allotting enough allowance, especially if you’re commuting. Remember that travel estimation and navigation apps usually don’t account for waiting times in commuter lines.
If bringing a car, park near the exits
A surefire way to ruin the hype of a great concert is to spend hours just trying to exit the venue. If you have a car with you, try to park near the exits to avoid long car lines. (Again, it’s important to note that the Philippine Arena managers sometimes close some entrances and exits, so plan this out well.)
Iron out forms of communication
When joining a massive crowd for events like concerts and music festivals, getting separated from your group is of course a possibility. This is why it’s important to ensure your gadgets are prepped and ready: Make sure your phones are fully charged and are able to send out texts and make calls. On this front, you can take advantage of prepaid promos or postpaid data plans so you’ll have one or two fewer things to worry about when it comes to getting in touch and staying in touch.
All Set? Now, Enjoy Your Next Philippine Arena Concert with Globe
From Spotify to the stadium: with the concert scene revitalized, you can now catch your favorite artists live! Whether you need to book a concert ticket, use data for navigation apps, or stay in touch with your concert group, Globe has got you covered.