Araneta Coliseum in Manila - Philippines
The Araneta Coliseum, also called the Big Dome, is recognized as the biggest indoor coliseum in Southeast Asia. With a seating capacity of over 16,500, it has been the scene of some of the most memorable shows in the Philippines.
The history of the Araneta Coliseum began in 1952 when business magnate J. Amado Araneta bought several hectares of land in Cubao. His goal was to develop not just a shopping and dining enclave, but to also build the largest coliseum in Southeast Asia. Development of the edifice began in 1957 and was completed two years later. The moniker Big Dome by the way, was earned due to the size, which reaches over 350 ft in diameter. The entire complex occupies over 130,000 sq ft.
Since that time, the Araneta Coliseum has become one of the top tourist attractions in the Philippines, as several history making events have taken place there. Among the most significant were boxing matches featuring the Filipino Junior Lightweight Champion Gabriel Flash Elorde, and of course, the clash between Muhammad Ali and Smokin Joe Frazier dubbed Thrilla in Manila.
Other sporting events that are held regularly at the tourist attractions in the Philippines are basketball games, from both the professional (PBA) and the collegiate ranks (UAAP and NCAA). There are also times when the venue is used as a staging ground for cockfighting, professional wrestling and ice skating.
Concerts and live shows are also held at the Araneta Coliseum. The music channel MTV has performed a show there, and so have several popular artists, from rappers to pop stars, both local and foreign.
If you are interested in going to the Araneta Coliseum the most comfortable way would be to board a bus going to Pasay City. After being dropped off at the bus station, go on another bus marked Cubao, where you will be led to Farmers Plaza, which is linked to the coliseum itself.
An alternative is to use the MRT (Metro Rail Transit). If you are in Pasay just go to the MRT station (it is at Taft Avenue) and inform the cashier you are going to Araneta-Cubao MRT station. When you get off at that point, you can walk over to Farmers Plaza. From there, it would be impossible to miss the Big Dome. The cost will vary depending on how far you are, but you should at least have 200 Php ($5 or more).
If you are planning a vacation in the Philippines, spending time at the Araneta Coliseum can be a great idea, as you not only have the opportunity to watch several foreign acts, but also local events that give you a taste of Philippine artistry.