For the Manila bid to Wikimania 2016, the local team has chosen the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) as the venue of choice for the conference. Long regarded as the Philippines' premier convention facility, it is also one of the few centrally-located venues in Metro Manila that can handle the conference's size and format.
VIDEO: The PICC's official introduction video (from 2002) is available here on YouTube, providing an overview of the venue's history, facilities and services.
The Philippine International Convention Center is Asia's first purpose-built convention facility, opened in 1976 by former President Ferdinand Marcos in time for the 1976 IMF-World Bank Meeting. Built in a record 23 months on land reclaimed from Manila Bay, the PICC was designed by National Artist for Architecture Leandro V. Locsin, and its architecture complements the Cultural Center of the Philippines complex's trademark brutalist style. While it is located inside the CCP complex, the PICC is managed separately as a government-owned and controlled corporation ultimately under the ownership of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP).
Over the years, the PICC has been host to many conferences, events, concerts and performances both local and foreign, earning its nickname "The Host to the World". Events hosted at the PICC include the 1996 and 2015 APEC Summits, Miss Universe 1994, the awards ceremony of the Filipino Academy of Movie Arts and Sciences Awards (FAMAS Awards, the Filipino Oscars), numerous concerts from famous artists all over the world, and so much more. We hope Wikimania 2016 will be yet another historic event gracing the halls of the PICC.
There are different ways of accessing the CCP complex either using public or private transportation.
- By jeepney - Bright orange jeepneys (₱8.50/$0.19) connect the CCP complex and the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex (RMSC) in Malate, just down the street along Pablo Ocampo Street. These jeepneys stop at designated points in the CCP complex, including the PICC. From the RMSC, it is possible to walk to the Vito Cruz LRT Station at the corner of Pablo Ocampo Street and Taft Avenue, where it is possible to board numerous buses, jeepneys and the LRT to points all over Metro Manila and even to neighboring provinces. There is also a direct Pasay-PICC air-conditioned jeepney (₱10/$0.22) connecting the complex, Makati and Fort Bonifacio in Taguig, passing through Gil Puyat LRT Station and Buendia railway station.
- By bus - A number of bus routes stop at the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas complex at the corner of Pablo Ocampo Street and Roxas Boulevard, with routes connecting the CCP complex to the Baclaran city bus terminal in Parañaque to the south, the Plaza Lawton bus terminal in Ermita to the north, and the northern fringes of Metro Manila and southern Bulacan going east through Malate, Makati and points along Epifanio de los Santos Avenue (EDSA). Buses serving the area are air conditioned, with fares starting at ₱12 ($0.27).
- By taxi - Taxis in Manila are very cheap (by Western standards) and plentiful. A taxi to the PICC from Makati or Intramuros, for example, should cost no more than ₱150 ($3.33), while a taxi from the Ninoy Aquino International Airport should cost between ₱150-170 ($3.33-3.77) if taking a regular taxi. Many taxi drivers speak English and it is safe to hail taxis from the street in major tourist areas such as the CCP complex.
- By car - The PICC provides parking spaces for the use of delegates during conferences, and car passes will be provided to those who will be driving to the venue by car.
The PICC complexEdit
VIRTUAL TOUR: Take a virtual tour of the PICC, with panoramic views of the Main Lobby and the Plenary, Reception and Banquet Halls.
The PICC is divided into three primary buildings: the Delegation Building, the Secretariat Building and the PICC Forum. In addition to these buildings, the PICC also has a Plenary Hall and a Reception Hall which are housed in separate building units. For Wikimania 2016, we intend to use the Plenary and Reception Halls, as well as the meeting rooms in the Secretariat Building.
The following descriptions describe the proposed use of the facility according to the standard Wikimania program, though given the PICC's size (the complex has an area of over 70,000 square meters), there is a lot of room to be flexible with the program should the need arise.
The PICC's "jewel in the crown", the Plenary Hall comfortably sits up to 4,000 people, and has staged many concerts, conferences and conventions.
The Plenary Hall is the PICC's so-called "jewel in the crown", with a seating capacity of up to 4,000 people on two levels, plus a third lounge level for VIPs. In addition to the stage, the Plenary Hall has a drop-down projector screen, dressing rooms and a speaker's lounge backstage.
True to its name, plenary sessions will be held at the Plenary Hall, and attendees will occupy the seats on the first level.
The large PICC Reception Hall can seat up to 2,500 people when arranged for traditional, round-table, sit-down dinners, or double that for cocktail functions.
The Reception Hall, located across from the Plenary Hall, is a smaller hall used for events where the Plenary Hall may be considered too large. Lined with red carpet and with large chandeliers dropping from the ceiling, it has a capacity of 2,500 people when used for sit-down dining functions.
Lunch will be served at the Reception Hall during the main conference days.
Lower Bridgeway and CourtyardEdit
The PICC Courtyard taken from the Upper Bridgeway. The largest open space in the PICC complex, it is surrounded by trees, ponds and sculptures designed by National Artists of the Philippines.
The Plenary and Reception Halls are connected to the Delegation Building by the Lower Bridgeway, a wide covered walkway leading to the registration area and the Main Lobby. The Lower Bridgeway also opens up to the PICC Courtyard, a wide open space with gardens, fountains and sculptures made by esteemed National Artists of the Philippines.
During all five days of the conference, the Courtyard may be used as a lounge space where attendees can congregate and relax at a distance from the sessions, but still near enough to get to the meeting rooms if necessary. Lunch may be served here during the pre-conference.
Attendees arriving at the PICC will be greeted by the Main Lobby's grand staircase and 3,000+ drop lights hanging from the ceiling.
Attendees will enter the PICC complex via the Main Lobby, located in the Delegation Building. A grand staircase and over 3,000 drop lights will be the attendees' first impression of the PICC, as well as paintings and other works of art by National Artists of the Philippines.
The Main Lobby has a dedicated registration area which will also house facilities for the organizing team and conference volunteers.
The registration area is located in the east wing of the Main Lobby. There are also three auxiliary rooms in this area at the back of the registration desk which will house facilities for volunteers, as well as a deposit area for bulky or valuable items.
The Executive Lounge as seen from the Secretariat Building escalators. Booths will be located in the center of the hall, accessible on both sides.
At the end of the grand staircase of the Delegation Building on the second floor are a set of doors leading to the Secretariat Building. Behind the doors is the Executive Lounge, a long hallway with an outdoor balcony on the right, and Banquet Halls A, B and C (elaborated below) on the left.
The Executive Lounge will house the Chapters Village, other booths for free culture initiatives and, should there be enough space, Philippine cultural exhibitions (which may be moved to the Main Lobby otherwise). Informal meetups may also be held here during the pre-conference, and there are also seats throughout the lounge.
Banquet Halls A, B and CEdit
Banquet Halls A, B and C are modular meeting rooms which may be combined to form larger rooms if necessary. Banquet Hall A has a capacity of 104 persons, which Banquet Halls B and C have a capacity of 180 persons each.
During the pre-conference, all three halls will be used for the hackathon. The Banquet Halls will not be used during the main conference, except Banquet Hall C, which will be used for sessions.
Meeting Rooms 2–8Edit
The Secretariat Building houses eight meeting rooms, of which seven are currently available for use (Meeting Room 1 is under renovation). Meeting rooms are flexible, with a capacity between 110 and 500 persons per room. All meeting rooms may be arranged for a variety of seating arrangements, except Meeting Room 4, which has a fixed auditorium setup, and Meeting Rooms 2 and 3 may be combined to form one large room.
All rooms are equipped with projector screens and sound control booths, while a couple of the rooms have simultaneous translation facilities, which may be used should there be sessions to be conducted in other languages.
Sessions during the main conference days will be held at the meeting rooms.
Function Rooms A and BEdit
Function Rooms A and B are smaller meeting rooms used for more intimate gatherings. Each room has a capacity of around 50 persons and may be combined to form one large room.
During the pre-conference, these rooms will be made available for those who need rooms to conduct sessions. These will also serve as pop-up meeting rooms during the main conference, to be used when required.
The Secretariat Building has a Delegates' Lounge, a large space where delegates can relax and congregate before attending sessions. The lounge has views of Manila Bay, and is sealed off from the rest of the Secretariat Building by a glass partition.
The lounge will be made available during all five days of the conference to attendees as a lounge space, as well as a meeting space for informal meet-ups during the pre-conference. Afternoon snacks will also be served here.
For Wikimania's main social events, the bid team has decided to showcase the richness of Manila's history and heritage by using two historic venues.
Opening ceremony: the National MuseumEdit
The Senate Session Hall of the National Museum, formerly the Legislative Building.
The prospective venue for Wikimania 2016's opening ceremony is the National Museum of the Philippines complex along Padre Burgos Avenue in Ermita, conveniently located near major landmarks such as Intramuros, Rizal Park and Manila City Hall. Composed of two buildings, the National Art Gallery and the adjacent Museum of the Filipino People (formerly the Department of Agriculture), and with a third building (formerly the Department of Finance, and later the Department of Tourism) expected to be open by 2016, the museum complex comprises one of the few remaining pieces of neoclassical architecture left standing in Manila, and was previously representative of the entirety of the Philippine government's power and authority.
The bid team initially considered the National Museum as the primary venue for Wikimania, but due to size constraints, it was decided to use the PICC instead. However, to pay homage to our initial decision to host Wikimania at the National Museum, the opening ceremony will be held at the historic Senate Session Hall of the National Art Gallery, previously the home of the Congress of the Philippines from 1946 to 1972, and the colonial National Assembly of the Philippines before then. Subject to approval by the administration of the National Museum, we should be able to secure the venue for free as the National Museum allows offers use of their facilities for free to non-governmental organizations, of which Wikimedia Philippines is one, for educational purposes.
Closing party: Paco ParkEdit
The gardens of Paco Park and the St. Pancratius Chapel, the proposed venue for the closing party.
For the closing party, the bid team decided to return to Wikimedia Philippines' roots by holding the event at Paco Park in Paco. Opened in 1822 as Manila's municipal cemetery, it housed the remains of prominent Filipinos, including GOMBURZA (Filipino priests involved in the 1872 Cavite Mutiny) and José Rizal, until 1966, when it was ultimately converted into a park.
Paco Park has played host to numerous events, such as the weekly "Paco Park Presents" musical show sponsored by the German Embassy in Manila, and in 2011, it served as the assembly area for Wikipedia Takes Manila. It is also a very popular venue for both weddings and wedding receptions in part due to its masterfully landscaped gardens (designed by National Artist for Architecture Ildefonso Santos, Jr.), and the park's size will easily accommodate large numbers of Wikimania attendees for such an event.