Southeast Asian Games (SEAG) athletes and spectators going to the gymnastics events that will run from December 1 to 9 will have a pleasant surprise when they enter the Rizal Memorial Coliseum.
They will have an experience of “Like Stepping Back in Time” as they enter the newly restored heritage building of the Art Deco-styled Rizal Memorial Coliseum in Vito Cruz, Manila.
People will have an amazing treat from its beautifully restored detailed facade, gorgeous lobby, attractive lighting on hallways and everywhere else, and the classically designed fixtures with pastel-colored toilets that those who have seen them say are “to die for”.
This is the first time in 66 years that Rizal Memorial Coliseum has gone through a major rehabilitation.
Renowned heritage conservation expert-architect and University of the Philippines College of Architecture professor Gerard Lico and his team worked tirelessly to painstakingly restore and prepare the venue for the coming opening of the 30th SEAG gymnastic events.
Architect Gerard Lico went on social media to announce the completion of the coliseum ahead of time. “I am pleased to report to the public that we started in July 2019 and we have finished ahead of time. Mind you, this is not just a renovation work but a very complex conservation project which requires a multi-disciplinary team of architects and engineers with intricate coordination on a tight schedule of fewer than 150 days.”
The Rizal Memorial Coliseum, built during pre-World War 2 1934 to host the Far-Eastern Games in Manila, was originally designed by renowned architect Juan Arellano.
The sports complex has been the home of Filipino athletes since it was built and also witnessed significant milestones in Philippine sports as the country hosted games of America’s legendary baseball star Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig, the second Asian Games in 1954, the 1934 Far Eastern Games, and served as a concert venue for the Beatles in 1966.
The structure suffered damages in 1945 and was first rehabilitated in 1953 in preparation for the 2nd Asian Games. It went through a series of minor sprucing up in 1981, 1991, and 2005 when the Philippines last hosted the SEAG.
Surely the venue will be a crowd-drawer-pleaser, a go-to venue for SEA Games spectators. People who come will experience the restored Rizal Memorial Coliseum as the setting of the sporting competitions.
The 85-year-old Rizal Memorial Sports Complex (RMSC) has been declared by the National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP) as a national historic landmark. Its preservation is supported by Manila Mayor Isko Moreno Domagoso.
The RMSC will be the site of the Gymnastics Events of the 30th South East Asian Games hosted by the Philippines from November 30 to December 11, 2019.
World gymnastics champion and 2020 Olympian Carlos Edriel Yulo is headlining the Philippine team in the SEA Games gymnastics events scheduled from December 1 to 9 at the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex.
Women’s gymnastics champion Daniela Reggie Dela Pisa of Cebu, back in the country after her successful European campaign, will also compete and vie for gymnastics golds for the Philippines.
The Philippines is also staging athletics events at the New Clark City Stadium in Capas, Tarlac.
SEND congratulations in the comments below to the renovation team of the Rizal Memorial Coliseum!
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