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INC's Arena to welcome New Year with concerts, countdown, fireworks

BOCAUE, Bulacan, Philippines — The night skies over the fireworks capital of the country will be the brightest and most colorful as the Iglesia Ni Cristo prepares for a spectacular New Year’s countdown at its Ciudad de Victoria grounds here.

The recently opened Philippine Arena and the Philippine Sports Stadium, which can easily accommodate up to 3 million people, are the venues of the grand countdown, which will be preceded by a series of benefit concerts beginning on Dec. 30. to be staged by the Felix Y. Manalo Foundation.

The concerts have been meant to raise housing funds for residents of Eastern Samar and other provinces hit by Typhoon “Ruby,” this month, said Bessy Fetalvero, building administrator of Ciudad de Victoria.

She said they have prepared for the influx of people from Bocaue and neighboring towns, so traffic should not be as difficult as the volume of motorists the Arena drew in July during the INC’s centennial celebration.

American pop star Chris Brown will be featured in one of the concerts, along with local bands.

When the clock strikes midnight on Dec. 31, a fireworks show will be put up from the Ciudad de Victoria grounds, which can be seen by motorists plying the North Luzon Expressway and by residents of Bocaue and nearby Sta. Maria town.

According to the Maligaya Development Corp. (MDC), which manages the Ciudad de Victoria, a P500-ticket buys people access to the concerts and fireworks show.

The MDC said people could not bring in and drink liquor during the concerts and the countdown. They are also banned from smoking and gambling while inside the Ciudad de Victoria compound.