Hop on this fun rideBy Mark Sablan
Philippine Daily Inquirer
The Bonifacio Global City (BGC) in Taguig City is turning out to be Metro Manila’s premier district. Offering not just the usual retail shops and restaurants, but also spots and establishments that champion the arts, science, sports, and wellness, BGC proves that it is an exciting destination for anyone and everyone, no matter what one’s passion is.
Recently, BGC launched the Hop On, Hop Off Bus Tour, which takes visitors through the district’s different attractions. This tour, which runs every Saturday and Sunday from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m., makes it easier for visitors to appreciate and enjoy the 240-hectare world-class urban center without the hassles of driving, parking, and even figuring out directions. Just buy a ticket at the B-7 Concierge, Bonifacio High Street or on the bus for only P25 per person, and you can hop on and hop off the bus the whole day.
There are five stops, and the bus arrives at each one approximately at a 30-minute interval.
The first one is Bonifacio High Street, a one-kilometer stretch filled with numerous shopping and dining options. Nearby are Terra 28th and Track 30th, which are theme parks with colorful and innovative installations. Both are perfect for bonding with family and friends, and activities like picnics or jogging.
The second stop is the Mind Museum, the country’s first world-class science museum. A project of the Bonifacio Art Foundation Inc., it has over 250 interactive exhibits, with new displays, activities, and events regularly added.
Not far from the Mind Museum are public art pieces: Monumental sculptures like Ben-Hur Villanueva’s “Ang Supremo,” Ferdie Cacnio’s “Pasasalamat,” and Reynato Paz Contreras’ “The Trees,” which will surely make you appreciate art.
BGC’s Offsite Gallery is yet another stop. It is an alternative gallery where contemporary artists display their work, some of which are installations making use of recycled materials. The exhibits are changed twice a year to make sure people see something new, and to make way for other emerging local artists.
More artwork can be found near the Offsite Gallery, such as Leo Gerardo Leonardo’s “Balanghai” (a kinetic sculpture with sails that respond to the wind) and Juan Sajid de Leon’s “Kasaysayan Sa Bawat Oras” (a brass and cement sundial with seven paper-like doll-like figures that represent the country’s 7,100 islands, and help mark time). Also near is the Fort Strip Entertainment Center, BGC’s first hotspot composed of even more bars and restaurants.
The next stop is Serendra, which, apart from being known for residential condominium living, is also a great destination for food lovers, since it houses restaurants offering various cuisines and other food retail outlets with interesting concepts. Across Serendra is Market! Market!, BGC’s all-inclusive mall. Here you’ll find everything you need and want, from branded items to tiangge specials.
The last stop is Turf BGC, the country’s first-ever publicly-accessible artificial football turf, where you can spot RP teams Azkals and Malditas practicing regularly. If you’re a football fan and you want to play, Friday nights welcome walk-in players who want to kick it out with other enthusiasts from the community.
And then right across is a new addition called Crossroads, a gastronomic haven for busy yuppies and execs. Filled with a variety of food places and coffee shops, it’s perfect for meetings and quick bites. The country’s first ever Starbucks Drive-Thru can also be found here.
According to Manny Blas, BGC’s commercial operations head, they are proud of all the major developments they opened this year, such as the Bonifacio High Street Central, the Mind Museum, and the Crossroads—and that there’s more in the pipeline. “[There’s no better way] to explore all these new developments than through this Hop On, Hop Off bus tour,” he said. “We want you to know more about the places and the things you see in BGC—the interesting facts about it. And hopefully, while enjoying the place comfortable in this Hop On, Hop Off tour, you will discover new things that will feed your passions. After all, we are known as the ‘home of passionate minds.’”