More than twice bigger in seating capacity than the heretofore world’s largest enclosed arenas, the Philippine Arena is a giant in both size and significance to Philippine architecture and to the Filipino people. Conceived and designed as a world-class stage for big-tent events such as concerts, conferences, and sports championships, it transcends its architectural specifications by embracing an unintended, but welcome, symbolism – that of resolve, resourcefulness, and rejoicing. The Philippine Arena, for all that it already is, has become an empowering emblem of national pride.
Seating is distributed in a horseshoe-shaped bowl, its mouth, the lowest point of the bowl, serving as the performance area. The shape ensures that each of the arena’s 50,000 seats has an unimpeded, clear view of the stage area. The shape also allows for easy seating capacity reconfiguration – the arena’s capacity can contract down to 25,000 simply by screening off the upper bowl (which has 26,760 seats) from the lower bowl (19,776 seats, excluding stage and choir seats) using drop-down acoustic curtains.