New Clark City hosts inaugural duathlon race

Photo caption: Duathletes display their healthy competitive spirit at the gunstart of the New Clark City Duathlon on Sunday, 17 July 2022.

CAPAS, TARLAC. The New Clark City (NCC), eyed to become the premier sports epicenter for training and racing events in the country, opened its doors to its first duathlon race on 17 July 2022.

Jointly organized by the Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) and the GoClark Sports and Events, around 650 enthusiasts were welcomed and had participated in this multi-sports competition that tested their individual strength, endurance and grit.

“Itong duathlon is actually encouraging people—kahit regular athletes, kahit couch potato—pwede pong gawin ito para po ma-encourage sila na maging active ‘yung lifestyle nila, at para kung sakali man na may pinaghahandaan silang ibang events. Maganda rin po ito para sa kalusugan nila,” explained Jumbo Tayag, GoClark race director.

Photo caption: Actress Kim Chiu was spotted among the participants of the NCC Duathlon at the New Clark City in Capas, Tarlac. Chiu, an advocate of active and healthy lifestyle, finishes 17th in the NCC Short Female 30-39 year-old category.

The NCC Duathlon is the second major sports event held at the New Clark City this year, after its reopening last May from a series of lockdowns, stricter border regulations, and restrictions in mobility brought about by the two-year pandemic.

This event also marked as first for GoClark in NCC this year, following the successful New Clark City Triathlon it co-hosted with BCDA in October 2019.

BCDA Senior Vice President for Corporate Services Arrey Perez thanked GoClark for holding the duathlon at the New Clark City.

“Ito ang kagandahan. We have the private sector that supports our advocacies particularly in promoting wellness and sports development of the country. ‘Yung mga katulad ni Jumbo with Go Clark, they hold a lot of events dito sa Clark – the Clark Zone and the New Clark City,” SVP Perez emphasized.

Photo caption: BCDA SVP Arrey Perez joined the NCC Duathlon as a means to “lead by example” to fellow government workers. SVP Arrey said that he took the activity as an opportunity to inspect the facilities in New Clark City.

For his part, Atty. Roseller Rodriguez, the municipal mayor of Capas, Tarlac, extended his warm welcome to the race participants, and expressed pride and gratitude to the event organizers for choosing New Clark City as its sporting destination.

“We take pride in hosting another exciting athletic event for our race enthusiasts—New Clark City Duathlon. Hats off to the organizers for the hard work that goes into coordinating this meticulously detailed event. To the participants, we sincerely admire the focus and discipline,” said Mayor Rodriguez through his representative Maita Claire Bartolome.

The NCC Duathlon had three race categories. NCC Long is a 12 kilometer (km) run, a 50 km bike and a 6 km race. The NCC Short covers a 6 km run, a 25 km bike, and a 3 km run. There is also an NCC Long Two-Person Relay covering a distance of 12 km run, 50 km bike, and 6 km run, with an all-male, all-female and mixed divisions. Meanwhile, the NCC Long and NCC Short are competed in different age brackets.

During the run course, race participants toured around the whole National Government Administrative Center and took the River Park and the New Clark City Athletics Stadium. On the other hand, the bike course covered the New Clark City to Clark International Airport, and the New Clark City to Subic-Clark Expressway access roads.

Photo caption: Around 650 professional and amateur duathletes participated in a test of strength and endurance during the New Clark City Duathlon on 17 July 2022.

Upcoming Races

Aside from the NCC Duathlon, two more sporting events are being scheduled by GoClark in the New Clark City within the year. The Clark Cycling Classic is set on August 27 and 28, featuring individual and team trial and gravel race. The New Clark City Triathlon, on the other hand, is expected to take place on September 24 and 25, marking the return of triathlon activities, and would feature adult and kids aquathlon.

Delighted racers

Meanwhile, duathlon participants, professionals and amateurs alike, expressed satisfaction in the way the event was handled, as well as their delight in using the facilities of the New Clark City.

“Nagagamit po ang lahat ng mga facilities. Napakalinis at napaka-world class ng New Clark City,” remarked Liam James David who ranked 2nd in the NCC Short Junior Elite Men category.

“The event is so awesome. It was my first race and it was so beautiful. Ang ganda ng pagka-organize,” said Andrew Lloyd Alomarde, a first-time duathlete under the NCC Short race.

Photo caption: The Elites. Top racers from the Elite Men and Women categories wear their victory smiles during the awarding ceremony of the New Clark City Duathlon on 17 July 2022. (Per rank and category) Elite Men category: Raymund Torio (1st place), John Leerams Chicano (2nd place), and John Patrick Ciron (3rd place). Elite Women category: Merry Joy Trupa (1st place), Elaine Quismundo (2nd place) and Pawie Fornea (3rd place).
(Photo courtesy: GoClark)

New Clark City hailed as next top tourist destination in Luzon

Photo caption: BCDA Senior Vice President for Conversion and Development Engr. Joshua M. Bingcang discusses developments inside New Clark City, as well as opportunities for tourism investments during the recent Central Luzon Tourism Investment Summit and Business Exchange. BCDA photo

Highlighting New Clark City’s potential as the next choice tourist destination in Luzon, the Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) recently pitched this 9,450-hectare greenfield development to investors in the travel and tourism industry.

BCDA Senior Vice President for Conversion and Development Engr. Joshua M. Bingcang during the recent Central Luzon Tourism Investment Summit and Business Exchange (CLTISBEX) urged local and foreign investors to explore opportunities in New Clark City, especially in the field of ecotourism.

The summit was attended by 36 investors and agencies from the Philippines, Singapore, China, Japan and South Korea.

“BCDA is always open to tourism investments in New Clark City. Given its strategic location, rich biodiversity and vast open spaces, it is the perfect place for eco-theme parks and ecotourism projects,” Bingcang said.

He said BCDA also continuously looks for partners to increase mixed-use, retail, and food and beverage establishments in New Clark City.

In line with the vision to make New Clark City as the country’s next green, sustainable and smart urban center, BCDA’s master plan proposes that only 40 percent of the total land area will be built on, leaving 60 percent for forests, open spaces and parks. This makes New Clark City the perfect hot spot for ecotourism and outdoor recreational facilities.

Currently, New Clark City is already home to the 4.5-hectare River Park, which features a 1.4-kilometer walkway along the Cutcut River. There are also plans to develop the 44.8-hectare Central Park at the heart of the city, which will be one of the largest public parks in the country once completed.

The next tourist haven

During his presentation, Bingcang cited the qualities that make New Clark City a promising tourist and investment haven in the region.

For one, he said New Clark City’s strategic location, high elevation, and disaster-resilient features help ensure its resiliency against natural calamities, such as typhoons, earthquakes, tsunamis and volcanic eruptions.

Connectivity is also a main feature of New Clark City, with a network of infrastructure projects already existing or in the pipeline to make it a globally competitive destination.

This includes the Clark International Airport (CRK) and its new passenger terminal, which became operational on May 2. With state-of-the-art facilities, contactless features and inclusive amenities, the world-class gateway is expected to boost tourism arrivals in Central Luzon.

New Clark City will also become more accessible upon the completion of the North-South Commuter Railway.

Crucial road infrastructure projects are also being developed in the area, including the New Clark City to Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway Access Road, and the New Clark City to CRK Airport Access Road. There are also plans to develop a public transportation system inside New Clark City as locators and residents increase.

This rising metropolis stands to benefit from the Luzon Bypass Infrastructure Project (LBIP) by BCDA and the Department of Information Communications and Technology (DICT). Through the LBIP, special economic zones including Clark and New Clark City will be equipped with 500,000 megabytes per second (MBps) every year.

“We are already getting there. We’ve accomplished much of the infrastructure development. Our roads are already complete. The national government said let’s do all the design in accordance with the long-term requirement. We should already future-proof it,” Bingcang said.

 

2-time Olympic Medalist Kayla Sanchez eyes training in New Clark City

Impressed with its facilities and amenities, two-time Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games Medalist Kayla Sanchez has expressed interest in training at the New Clark City Aquatics Center in Tarlac, as she hopes to represent the Philippines at the Paris Olympics in 2024.

“It has the best facilities I have ever seen. It’s breathtaking. The view and the location – I have no words. When you’re actually in the facility itself, it just has everything you need. I am so excited to be able to train here,” 21-year-old Sanchez said after testing the waters of the New Clark City Aquatics Center.

Raised in Canada and born in Singapore to Filipino parents, Sanchez is eyed as the Philippines’ best hope to end a 90-year medal drought in Olympic swimming as she targets to compete for the Philippines at the Paris Olympics in 2024.

The double Tokyo Olympics medalist, together with around 30 invited young Filipino swimmers from the Philippine Swimming Incorporated (PSI) on Saturday, July 9, trained and had a friendly relay at the New Clark City Aquatics Center. Some of its features are a whole-body air dryer, the Swiss Timing sports equipment, year-round water temperature of 26 degrees Celsius, and its accessibility to the 525-unit Athletes’ Village.

Photo caption: Young Filipino swimmers from Central Luzon are more than happy to train at the New Clark City Aquatics Center with no other than Double Olympic Medalist Kayla Sanchez.

“May this serve as affirmation for Kayla and to the young Filipino swimmers who are with us today that there is promise for the Philippines and its athletes here to train, compete and succeed at the highest level,” said Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) Senior Vice President for Corporate Services Group Arrey A. Perez.

New Clark City was the main venue of the 2019 Southeast Asian (SEA) Games, where the athletics and aquatic events were held. Nineteen SEA Games records were broken in the competition pool during the 30th SEA Games. In December 2020, the New Clark City was cited as the 2019 Sports Tourism Venue of the Year at the 4th Philippine Sports Tourism Awards.

Photo caption: BCDA SVP Arrey A. Perez welcomes Ms. Sanchez, PSI President Lani Velasco and 30 young Filipino swimmers in New Clark City Aquatics Center

“With the arrival of Kayla to the team, PSI seeks to ensure that she will be equipped to achieve her goals in the same way that PSI does for its current roster of athletes. This includes training in world class facilities like the New Clark City. So we are happy to be here today to present to you Kayla, but also to show to her the world-class facilities here in New Clark City,” said PSI President Lani Velasco.

The New Clark City Aquatics Center is the only Fédération Internationale de Natation (FINA)-approved swimming facility in the Philippines. With a total seating capacity of 2,000, it features a 10-lane competition pool, eight-lane training pool and a diving pool.

The competition pool, the training pool, and the diving well were designed and installed by Myrtha Pools –– an official FINA partner and leading builder of made-to-measure competition pools. The New Clark City Aquatics Center is part of the National Government Administrative Center Phase 1 project.

BCDA, Filinvest invite Singapore execs to invest in New Clark City

BCDA Senior Vice President Engr. Joshua M. Bingcang presents to Singaporean businessmen the investment opportunities available in New Clark City during an investment roadshow, entitled “The Sustainable Futurecity of the Philippines” at the Carlton Hotel Singapore. BCDA photo

The Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) and its partner, Filinvest Land Inc. (FLI) recently wooed Singaporean investors to set up shop in New Clark City, particularly at the 288-hectare mixed-use, industrial township project that is being developed within the rising metropolis.

Speaking at the investment roadshow entitled, “The Sustainable Futurecity of the Philippines,” held in Singapore last June 27, FLI President Tristaneil Las Marias urged more than 50 potential locators to consider the Filinvest Innovation Park as their next investment destination.

“We are here today to present a business case. We hope we can convince you to partner with us and choose us, more particularly, our New Clark City Innovation Park project for your next business expansion in the Philippines,” Las Marias said.

With an area of 120 hectares, the Filinvest Innovation Park forms part of BCDA and FLI’s 288-hectare township project in New Clark City. This master planned development is envisioned to be a sustainable, resilient and future-ready hub in Central Luzon.

FLI Senior Vice President Francis Ceballos presented the status of the project, and highlighted the industrial park’s readiness to welcome locators. Particularly, the FLI official said construction power is now ready and available at the park. Water and wastewater utilities, meanwhile, will commence commercial service by early 2023. The first batch of ready-built factories will likewise be available by next year.

“Phase 1 (of the Filinvest Innovation Park) is now ready to accept locators looking to construct their own facilities, particularly, companies involved in the fields of logistics, e-commerce, light manufacturing, and data center operations,” Ceballos added.

The roadshow was well-received by Singaporean investors, with some expressing interest to visit New Clark City for a tour.

“We are quite pleased with the keen interest of the event’s attendees in New Clark City, in general, and Filinvest New Clark City, in particular, especially for the Filinvest Innovation Park as a location for establishing future industrial facilities in the Philippines,” Ceballos said.

Filinvest Land Inc. Senior Vice President Francis Ceballos briefs business leaders and decision makers of Singaporean firms about the status of the Filinvest Innovation Park in New Clark City. BCDA photo

Investment opportunities in New Clark City

During the roadshow, BCDA Senior Vice President for Conversion and Development Engr. Joshua Bingcang gave updates on New Clark City and told Singaporean investors that the state-run corporation is looking for private sector partners to implement various projects in the area.

“We are already at the Phase 1 of development. We are done with planning, we are already at the implementation stage. We have investment opportunities that are very much welcome for our business partners,” he said.

Among the investment opportunities he presented are the establishment of: a multi-modal transport hub; eco-theme parks and ecotourism spots; mixed-use, retail, and food and beverage establishments; research and knowledge-based pharmaceutical and medical facilities; and a data center colocation facility.

BCDA is also looking for partners for the implementation of the New Clark City Pilot Affordable Housing project, the New Clark City Common ICT corridor, and the Solid Waste Management and Waste-to-Energy project; the provision of estate management services; and the operations and maintenance of its sports facilities.

Competitive investment destination

To further entice investors to consider New Clark City, Board of Investments Governor Angelica Mapua-Cayas laid out the advantages that make the Philippines a competitive investment destination in the Southeast Asian region.

Mapua-Cayas briefed delegates on the major economic reforms passed during the Duterte administration that served as game changers for the Philippine investment climate, including the Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprises Act, Retail Trade Liberalization Act, Foreign Investments Act, and the Public Services Act.

Meanwhile, Hi-P International Pte. Ltd. Chief Operating Officer Jeffrey Tan attested to the Singaporean firm’s positive experience in investing in the Philippines. The electronics manufacturing service provider set up its facilities at the First Philippine Industrial Park in Batangas back in 2020, and is registered with the Philippine Economic Zone Authority.

He listed six encouraging signs for the company since setting up shop in the Philippines two years ago: (1) fast and efficient business and company registration; (2) availability of good industrial parks with ready buildings suitable for manufacturing; (3) attractive tax incentives; (4) fast improving infrastructure; (5) good living environment for expats; and (6) abundance of skilled workers in manufacturing sectors.

Philippine Ambassador to Singapore Joseph del Mar Yap said the Philippine Embassy in Singapore and the Philippine Trade and Investment Center-Singapore (PTIC-SG) are ready to help investors who are eyeing to do business in the Philippines.

“As both the Philippines and Singapore fully reopen our borders, we look forward to more robust cooperation, trade and business, tourism and mutual exchange between our two countries. There are many promising areas of mutual cooperation between the Philippines and Singapore–smart city and digital technology, financial technology, sustainable industries, renewable energy, consumer sector, just to name a few,” he said.

The investment roadshow is part of BCDA and FLI’s aggressive marketing efforts to bring New Clark City closer to the international business community, with the end goal of attracting more businesses to Clark. It was a collaborative effort by the BCDA, FLI, PTIC-SG, Philippine Embassy in Singapore, Singapore Business Federation and Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

GoClark returns to New Clark City; hosts Duathlon race on July 17

Pursuing their shared vision of positioning Clark as the premier destination for cycling and running, the Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA), and GoClark Sports and Events will be hosting the first New Clark City (NCC) Duathlon race this July 17.

Around 650 professional and amateur duathletes are expected to participate in a test of strength and endurance, with New Clark City’s iconic sports facilities and extensive road network as backdrop.

The event signals GoClark’s return to New Clark City after two and a half years, following the hosting of the New Clark City Triathlon back in October 2019.

It is the first of three GoClark-organized events lined up in New Clark City this year, to be followed by the Clark Cycling Classic on August 27 to 28, and the New Clark City Multisport Weekend on September 24 to 25.

“The New Clark City Duathlon will be our inaugural duathlon race with New Clark City as the venue partner. It will also be the third leg of Clark’s Duathlete of the Year Race Series,” said Jumbo Tayag, GoClark race director.

“The series is aimed at supporting and highlighting Duathlon Elites and is part of GoClark’s program of developing and finding grassroots talents in the sport. Through the series, we also aim to highlight Clark and New Clark City as premier training and racing destinations for cycling, running, duathlon and triathlon,” he added.

BCDA Senior Vice President for Corporate Services Arrey Perez welcomed GoClark’s return to New Clark City, as well as the hundreds of athletes who will compete during the event.

“We hope this exposure will stir up more interest in the sport and expand the talent pool to choose from for decades to come. Our country abounds in talent; and that talent just needs to be nurtured. And what better place for this to happen than here in New Clark City–the home of future champions,” Perez said.

The New Clark City Duathlon will have three categories: NCC Long, a 12 kilometer (km) run-50 km bike-six km run race; NCC Short, a six km run- 25 km bike- 3k run course; and the NCC Long Two-Person Relay.

Duathletes will compete in different age groups. All finishers will receive a four-inch Finisher’s medal, while the top three of each group will receive additional plaques. The event will be highlighted by the ELITE races, to be joined by members of the National Team training pool.

The run course will take participants around the whole National Government Administrative Center compound and will feature the River Park and the New Clark City Athletics Stadium. The bike course, meanwhile, will cover the New Clark City to Clark International Airport and the New Clark City to Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway access roads, which were constructed even amid challenges brought about by the pandemic.

“Since New Clark City played host to the 2019 Southeast Asian Games, the facilities are world-class. The BCDA also built a massive network of roads that can be used for cycling, duathlon and triathlons,” Tayag said.

Comeback of multisport events in Clark

GoClark Sports and Events aims to promote an active lifestyle by organizing a series of endurance and multisport events in Clark, which is now dubbed as the “Duathlon Capital of the Philippines.”

This year, GoClark has already organized three events at the Clark Freeport Zone–Clark Duathlon Classic, Clark Triathlon Classic and TriFactor Philippines Duathlon–all of which got strong participation from duathletes and triathletes.

“All three prior races have been well-participated and this is a good sign that people are starting to get comfortable with these events. Nevertheless, the virus is not going anywhere, and we still have the responsibility to wear our masks when necessary.  Of course, one of our advocacies is getting into an active lifestyle, and this helps combat any virus if we are strong and healthy,” Tayag said.

To keep this momentum going, GoClark will be holding more events in Clark and New Clark City this year.

The Clark Cycling Classic to be held on August 27 to 28 will feature individual and team trial cycling courses and a Gravel race. The New Clark City Multisport Weekend, which will take place on September 24 to 25, will be highlighted by the return of the New Clark City Triathlon.

“We hope that through this race and upcoming sporting events, more homegrown athletes will emerge as stronger individuals who can serve as examples to their families, communities, and the Filipino nation,” Perez said.

New Clark City cited as model for sustainability in ULI PH forum

The Urban Land Institute (ULI) Philippines recently featured New Clark City in Capas, Tarlac as a model and benchmark for the Philippines’ future cities, after charting a more sustainable course in addressing pressing urbanization challenges such as flooding, traffic, congestion, as well as air and water pollution.

After two years of strict lockdowns and restrictions, ULI Philippines recently held its first major hybrid conference entitled, “Past, Present & Future – Evolution of Cities.” ULI Philippines, an organization of real estate and urban development professionals, showcased New Clark City’s experience in ensuring that its development adheres to sustainable principles. Local and international industry leaders engaged in discussions on business development and sustainability goals in the green metropolis of the future.

“BCDA has joined forces with global leaders AECOM Singapore, Surbana Jurong, Nippon Koei, Philkoei International, and Japan Overseas Infrastructure Investment Corporation for Transport and Urban Development (JOIN) to realize the vision of making New Clark City the first smart, green, sustainable, disaster-resilient and socially inclusive metropolis in the Philippines,” said Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Aileen R. Zosa, who served as a panelist in the conference.

About 70% of the 9,450-hectare New Clark City is being preserved for green and eco-tourism ventures, while the remaining 30% is buildable. A sustainability unit in BCDA is also being created to ensure the integration of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in New Clark City programs and projects.

In June this year, Ms. Zosa was designated as the Chief Sustainability Officer of BCDA, tasked to provide guidance and direction in the design and implementation of a sustainability strategy for BCDA as well as its subsidiaries and affiliates.

BCDA EVP & COO Aileen R. Zosa serves as a panelist at the ULI Philippines 2022 Conference Past, Present & Future – Evolution of Cities
“At New Clark City, we are not going to bulldoze hills or mountains. Instead, we are going to develop the area following the lay of the land. This will be the new frontier of development,” Ms. Zosa said.

‘Benchmark’ for open public spaces

A sprawling green and open recreational space – complete with a floating lakeside stage, pedestrian bridge, retention pond and other features – will be built within the rising metropolis. This will become the largest open public space to be built in the Philippines after over 50 years.

Dr. Rebecca Shah, Political Counselor and Head of Prosperity Communications and Bilateral of British Embassy Manila, said during the conference: “The New Clark City Central Park design integrates the overall open space network of the city providing inclusive prosperity, increased resilience, accessibility and sustainability that we hope will serve as a model, a benchmark for Filipino homes nationwide.”

“Given its size and scale, we hope it demonstrates and pioneers green, inclusive, and safe open and public spaces in the country. The park’s lake feature will function both as a water retention pond to help in flood mitigation and water resources management, as well as an ecologically managed wet biotope to help in the preservation of important ecological areas and natural habitat,” Dr. Shah added.

The British Embassy Manila, through the United Kingdom Foreign and Commonwealth Development Office (UK FCDO), signed a memorandum of understanding with BCDA in September 2020 for the development of an integrated sustainability plan for New Clark City. This plan covers the Central Park design, a 33.89-hectare affordable housing project, and the establishment of a sustainability unit in New Clark City.

Study tour

On June 24, New Clark City welcomed a group of delegates and guests from ULI Philippines 2022 Conference, giving them the opportunity to bike around, explore and study the sustainable principles of its world-class and climate-responsive facilities and public spaces.

The visiting group, which includes representatives from the land use and real estate development disciplines, toured the world-class New Clark City Athletics Stadium and Aquatics Center, as well as the local attraction River Park, using locally sourced and sustainable bicycles from Bambike.

ULI Philippines Chairperson Atty. Jean de Castro, who also serves as chief executive officer of ESCA Inc., said: “What I really love about New Clark City is that it prioritizes open spaces. When we were able to do our bike tour, the activity showed how bikeable and walkable New Clark City is and how it is close to nature even against high-end structures.”

“What you’re bringing is a community. You’re bringing all of these things together – allowing home for government agencies, schools, residences, among others. New Clark City is a mixture of giving attention to local consumers and communities as well as being a global attraction,” said De Castro.

Founded in 1936, ULI facilitates the open exchange of ideas, information, and experience among local, national, and international industry leaders and policy makers dedicated to creating better places.