Philippine Daily Inquirer
The Araneta Center story
THE STORY that is the Araneta Center, a grand 60-year evolution that has run parallel to the growth of Quezon City and momentous events in Philippine history, begins with a retelling of the vision that captured the imagination of tycoon J. Amado Araneta in the 1950s.
Once just a vast, 35-hectare land south of Manila and dominated only by radio towers, the visionary Araneta saw the rise of a central business district, a one-ofa-kind community that would merge business, leisure, entertainment and residential enclaves to excite, surprise and inspire generations.
Today, after six decades of unparalleled success and breakthrough innovations, Araneta Center stands as a testament to how one man’s unwavering vision can truly become reality.
“It all began with my father’s vision,” stated Jorge L. Araneta, chair, CEO and president of the Araneta Group, recalling the memory in front of a crowd of distinguished guests gathered for the inauguration of Gateway Tower. Included in this momentous event were guest of honor President Aquino, top cabinet officials, business leaders and valued business partners of Araneta Center.
“In his mind’s eye, he saw towering edifices and landmarks that would become home to a thriving community of commerce, leisure, entertainment and residential enclaves for generations to come,” Araneta said.
These landmarks were Araneta Coliseum, Ali Mall, Farmers Plaza, Farmers Market, New Frontier Theater and Fiesta Carnival.
Araneta then recounted how every structure, each a critical piece of a master plan of landmarks that radiated outward from J. Amado Araneta’s coliseum, helped shape how the Center evolved and flourished throughout the years.
“In 2004, the construction of Gateway Mall became the catalyst of a modern renaissance of the Center known as Extreme Transformation, which reinvigorated old landmarks and added new structures to complete the CBD of the future,” Araneta remarked.
Fueled by a P30-billion redevelopment budget, the changes within the Center included the modernization of Smart Araneta Coliseum; the birth of Ali Mall Government and Banking Center and Farmers Plaza Bazaar; the upgrade of Farmers Market; the rise of Araneta Center CyberPark Towers; the birth of Manhattan Garden City; the construction of Novotel Araneta Center; the transformation of New Frontier Theater, and the launch of Gateway Tower.
Towering testament to Philippine art
The inauguration of Gateway Tower was the focal point of the 60th anniversary of Araneta Center. Poised as the newest business destination in Quezon City, the pristine tower hosted not only the country’s top movers and shakers, but also a community of Filipino artists celebrating the new home of the country’s first and only Philippine history mural series.
Exhibited in the newly opened Gateway Gallery was “Siningsaysay: Philippine History in Art,” created in partnership with University of the Philippines (UP) and UP Alumni Association.
Another homage to Filipino artistry is the “Monumental” triptych, one of the largest sculptures created by Benedicto Cabrera, or BenCab, Philippine National Artist for the Visual Arts.
It is no wonder that the country’s top BPO players, such as Accenture, AIG, Teletech and Regus, now call Gateway Tower home, while the country’s top retail brands, including Rustan’s, Uniqlo and Marks & Spencer, have secured their presence inside Araneta Center’s premier corporate tower.
With Gateway Tower formally opened as a tribute to the Center’s 60 years of enduring vision, partnership and success, Araneta Center’s momentum toward the future continues.
Araneta unveiled a scale model of the Araneta Center master plan of the future which displayed even more new structures that will form landmarks and fuel commerce for the next generation.
And with every toast raised in celebration during the night, two phrases recaptured the original vision of J. Amado Araneta.
This is the Araneta Center. The story lives on.
For more information on Araneta Center, visit www.aranetacenter.net.