Several weeks ago, I was invited to join the first ever Hop On Hop Off launch in BGC. This was the first time I get to try a Hop On Hop Off bus tour in the Philippines. The only other bus I had been on was when I took those Bus Tours To New York from Fredericton. The moment I got the invite, I got curious! Why? I never thought that one can see a lot in BGC. All I know is Burgos Circle, High Street and Serendra. That’s it! I was in for some adventure that day.
We were gathered in Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf before starting the tour. The registration counter of BGC Hop on Hop Off bus tour is located a few steps in CBTL. As of the moment, it’s free until the end of September and will charge Php 25 per ride in the succeeding months. They only have 1 bus so you have to be patient and wait for approximately 30mins to get on the bus again for the next stop. So before you hop on, it is advisable that you know where to go so you can maximize your time.
Anyway, here’s what’s in store for you if you happened to visit BGC and ride the Hop On Hop Off bus. The tour was headed by the well-known cultural activist Carlos Celdran who is also the voice of the “tour guide” that you’ll hear inside the bus. He was able to share his knowledge to us and I better understood and appreciate the place more.
There are 5 Bus Stops around BGC and each stop, there are sites the you can check out on your own pace. You can choose not to hop off if you don’t want to. No pressure! Everything is at your own leisure preference.
1. Bonifacio High Street
The sites near this bus stop are the following:
- Terra 28th – a beautifully designed playground open for all. You’ll love the areas where traditional Filipino games like Piko and Patintero are introduced to the young people today. This is a great alternative to families to bond together and leave those hi-tech gadgets behind for the mean time.
- BHS Central – this is located on the other end of High Street. I’m used to going to Serendra and if you walk straight down the road, you’ll reach the Central. It has a nice landscape and an amphitheater plus a multi-faceted water plaza. I often see kids soaked in water. Hahaha! It has stores like MNG, CottonOn and Ever New but mostly restaurants are situated there. Jamba Juice can be seen there too.
- Track 30th – a jogging path with such a beautifully designed track. It has an exercise lawn and a meditation garden. I super loved the tree structure. Such a great art. If only I lived nearby, I would maximize these free facilities that BGC offer.
2. The Mind Museum
This is known to be a world class science museum. I haven’t been there at the time of the launch but was able to visit the place recently. Will create a separate post for that so watch for it! There is also a Science in the Park area where children can learn while playing. It explains different scientific facts each instrument represents. Pretty good job there! No wonder majority of the schools make this place as their class field trip.
You’ll be able to see different art works as you continue your bus tour. Masterpieces like “Ang Supremo” by Ben-Hur Villanueva, “The Trees” by Reynato Pax Contreras that you can see infront of Burgos Circle and “Pasasalamat” by Ferdie Cacnio are all situated inside the BGC. I never get to appreciate those before up until this bus tour.
3. BGC Offsite/NBC Tent
- BGC Offsite – an outdoor art installation by young contemporary artists. Actually, I witnessed different art works before but didn’t bother to stop and check it out closely. You can actually walk in the grass and see these artworks up close.
- The Fort Entertainment Center – this is commonly known as The Fort Strip. I’m not sure if they really changed it to that name but that’s what I know. Well, similar to High Street, you’ll see restaurants and pubs there.
- Artworks – “Kasaysayan Bawat Oras” by Juan Sajid de Leon Imao and “Balanghai” by Leo Gerardo Leonardo are also seen in this area. These artworks symbolize something and was not built or put there without a purpose. We find ourselves nodding as we realized that there’s more to it than a mere statue.
4. Serendra – should I explain more? Again, a place in BGC where you can find specialty shops and restaurants! You will never get hungry around the area. Hahaha! By the way, it is also known for their residential and condo living.
5. Turf BGC – this is a surprise for me. I never thought that there’s a publicly accessible football turf in the area. RP Team Azkals even practice in this place!
- Crossroads – you’ll get to see this place where the first Starbucks drive-thru is located.
- Transformation by Architect Lor Calma – Its 3 towers made of laminated glasses represents Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. At night, the lights hit through the glasses and passes through cascading water. Another great work of architecture!
We ended the day with a sumptuous meal at Lorenzo’s Way in BGC Central Park. A modern Filipino food served to fill in our empty stomachs. Mr. Manny Blas, BGC’s head of commercial operations was also there to welcome us and give us his insights of BGC’s booming economy and its promotion of having a green environment.
After that wonderful experience, I wanted to buy a condo and live in BGC. If only I have the means to do that! Hahaha! Not all of us can afford to stay and live there but it’s open to everyone who wants to enjoy a green and peaceful surroundings. Less pollution more trees! A beautiful place to live in!
Visit Bonifacio Global City website www.bgc.com.ph for details.
The BGC Hop On, Hop Off bus tour runs every Saturday – Sunday from 4pm-10pm.
Tickets are priced at Php 25 per person after September 2012 and are available at the B-7 Concierge, Bonifacio High Street (near CBTL) and on the bus.
Have you been to BGC on a weekend? Have you tried their Hop On, Hop Off bus tour?