By John Legaspi

 

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Madam Halimah Yacob (center), President of the Republic of Singapore, together with from left to right, Mr Nestor Tan, President and CEO of BDO, Mr Loh Chin Hua, CEO of Keppel Corporation, Ms Teresita Sy-Coson, Chairperson of BDO, Dr Lee Boon Yang, Chairman of Keppel Corporation, Mr Hans Sy, Chairman of the Executive Committee of SM Prime Holdings and Mr Tan Swee Yiow, CEO of Keppel Land at the opening of The Podium in the Philippines.

Redefining the Ortigas Business District skyline, The Podium, together with its other components, the BDO Corporate Tower and the renewed The Podium West Tower, is all about the art of city living with its sleek, sophisticated design and an extraordinary selection of retail, dining, wellness, and leisure offerings.

First inaugurated in 2002, The Podium Mall has been a premier lifestyle hub, satiating the needs of the Manila’s urban dwellers. Continuing its promise of providing comfort and luxury, the mall went under development in 2017, while The Podium West Tower began in 2015, producing a prime piece of real estate complete with sustainable features recognized by the US Green Building Council.

In conjunction with the 50th diplomatic relations between Singapore and the Philippines, the renovation of The Podium Complex is a partnership between BDO Unibank and Singapore’s Keppel Land Limited. Keppel Group is a multi-business company that aims to provide solutions for sustainable organizations. A partnership tested by time, The Philippines is the first overseas market of the company, opening Keppel Philippines Ship Yacht in Batangas in 1975, then in Subic in 1995.

“We are fortunate to have enforced strong relationships with like-minded partners in the Philippines, such as the SM Group and BDO, with whom we developed The Podium over several phases,” said CEO of Keppel Land Tan Swee Yiow during his speech at the launch of the new additions at The Podium. “Today’s ceremony marks the completion of the entire Podium development, an eco-icon landmark in Ortigas Central Business District.”

We hope to create a piece of Singapore here in The Podium, with a mall having the look and feel of Singaporean mall […] except that we don’t have a budget for the waterfalls [laughs].

Along with Swee Yiow, the launch was also attended by Mohamed Abdullah Alhabshee; Indranee Rajah, second minister for Finance and Education; Dr. Koh Poh Koon, senior minister of State, ministry of Trade and Industry; Silvestre Bello III, secretary of Department of Labor and Employment; Ramon Lopez, secretary of Department of Trade and Industry; Benito Bengzon Jr., undersecretary of Department of Tourism; Mayor Carmelita Aguilar Abalos of Mandaluyong City and senior officials from Singapore and the Philippines; senior management from the Keppel Group led by Dr. Lee Boon Yang, chairman of Keppel Corporation; Loh Chin Hua, CEO of Keppel Corporation, as well as Hans Sy, chairman of the Executive Committee of SM Prime Holdings; Teresita Sy-Coson, chairperson of BDO; and Nestor Tan, president and CEO of BDO. The guest-of-honor was the president of the Republic of Singapore, Madam Halimah Yacob.

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Madam Halimah Yacob, President of the Republic of Singapore, together with Mr Mohamed Abdullah Alhabshee, being briefed on The Podium, an office and retail mixed-use development by Keppel Land and BDO Unibank. Dr Lee Boon Yang (fourth from left), Chairman of Keppel Corporation, Mr Loh Chin Hua, CEO of Keppel Corporation (first from right) and Ms Teresita Sy-Coson (second from right), Chairperson of BDO, were also present.

“More than ever, we also see a more renewed interest of various Singaporean companies to the Philippines,” said Sy-Coson. “We hope to create a piece of Singapore here in The Podium, with a mall having the look and feel of Singaporean mall […] except that we don’t have a budget for the waterfalls [laughs].”

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To add to the friendly festivities of the two countries, The Podium set up the Singaporium, an exclusive lifestyle and food pop-up fair featuring 17 Singaporean brands celebrating fashion, food, and lifestyle of the Lion City. The fair will be at The Podium Mall until Sept. 15.

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