L’Arc in the Metro (kuno): Megaworld’s Arcovia City

Got to hand it to the folks at Megaworld for conceiving some interesting themes for their township developments. Whether it’s the Chinatown-inspired (albeit more of the Singaporean type) Lucky Chinatown-Cityplace Binondo or the faux-Italian McKinley Hill, Megaworld has come to be known for its “inspired” choices which, depending on your taste, can be either somewhat impressive or quite tacky. The same can be said for its most recently-launched township development: Arcovia City.

Located right between E. Rodriguez Jr. Avenue (AKA C-5) in Pasig’s Barangay Ugong on the west and the Marikina River on the east, Arcovia City is a 12.4-hectare residential-commercial development marketed towards the young professional segment of the population. Megaworld’s senior vice president Kevin Tan was quoted with regards to Arcovia City, ” Our vision for this new township is to inspire the young generation to persevere and work harder to attain their own successes and victories in life. There is a deeper story embedded into this development, and we will tell that story through the installations and attractions around the township,”

As far as Megaworld is concerned, one way to tell that “story” is by building a landmark structure that would not only define the township but also serve as an “inspiring” landmark or something. And this landmark is one “inspired” by the Arc de Triomphe in Paris, France, which Megaworld calls the “Arco de Emperador.”

Interestingly, the 19-meter tall arc is designed not by a Filipino but a Spanish sculptor, Gines Serran Pagan and stands in the middle of the property. According to Megaworld, the arc serves as a testament that “anyone with enough passion, hard work, and perseverance can be an ’emperor.'” Or it could also be an excuse for Megaworld to name the arc after the most popular brand of brandy which so happens to be manufactured by a corporate sibling. Wink, wink.

The arc (and the snarks) aside, Arcovia City has some interesting places of. For one, there is the Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen Restaurant which opened early this year, the first branch to open since Popeye established its presence in the country again. There is also a Landers Superstore in the area, which has been generating much of the foot traffic in the township at the moment. Mercato Centrale also has a presence there from Thursday to Sunday afternoons up to past midnight.

At this time of writing Arcovia City is still a work in progress. The commercial area is still unfinished aside from Popeyes and a few others that are already open. It won’t be until 3 years when we see the township take form, for the most part at least.

One Paseo, the office tower being built at Arcovia City

Personally though, I’m interested in the museum Megaworld plans to open there, reportedly at the ground level of the Arco de Emperador. The museum, also designed by Serrano Pagan, is reportedly going to showcase how the arc was built. If that’s all that’s going to be, I’ll be disappointed after the nice work they’ve done with the Chinatown Museum. But until it opens, we’ll just have to wait and see.

Acknowledgements as well to Megaworld, Inquirer, Business Mirror, and Manila Bulletin

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