These Unseen Photos Reveal the Raw and Unfiltered Beauty of the PICC

Award-winning photojournalist Basilio Sepe captures PICC without the glamour.
IMAGE PICC/ Basilio Sepe

Award-winning photojournalist Basilio Sepe captures the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) in its rarest state: calm, raw, and without the echoing applause of live events.

The pandemic has rendered the destination for important events and glamourous celebrations quiet, and yet its beauty remains. “You would be mesmerized by the architecture. It’s amazing how they have maintained the buildings in such an excellent condition over the years,” says Sepe.

The glass façade of the PICC

Photo by PICC/ Basilio Sepe .

Photo by PICC/ Basilio Sepe .

The PICC, which was designed by the National Artist of the Philippines for Architecture Leandro Locsin, was built in the brutalist style. It was constructed in 23 months and inaugurated in September 1976, becoming the first international convention center in Asia.  

The venue, with its spacious floor area of more than 70,000 square meters and more than 30 meeting rooms, hosts 510 events annually. Sepe, who visited the PICC for the first time for this project, names the Reception Hall as his favorite location. “The chandeliers got my full attention. Staring at them, the feeling was like walking underneath the stars,” he says.

The PICC reception hall chandelier

Photo by PICC/ Basilio Sepe .

Photo by PICC.
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The plenary hall where most university graduations happen

Photo by PICC/ Basilio Sepe.


The Arturo Luz sculpture at the plenary and reception hall lobby

Photo by PICC/ Basilio Sepe.

The upper bridgeway connecting the delegation building to the reception and plenary halls

Photo by PICC/ Basilio Sepe.

Today, the PICC adapts to the challenges of the new normal, equipping its staff with PPE, setting up disinfecting stations in key areas, and enforcing physical distancing protocols. The stricter measures are put in place for the safety of its patrons. “We assure our clients and our guests that we are prepared to provide them with the necessary assistance as we ease into the “new normal” in conducting events,” says Atty. Renato B. Padilla, general manager of the PICC.

PICC staff arranging chairs six feet apart.

Photo by PICC/ Basilio Sepe.

A female staff welcomes guests at the PICC.

Photo by PICC/ Basilio Sepe.

PICC staff in PPEs regularly disinfect the venue.

Photo by PICC/ Basilio Sepe.

“Our physical emotions have been blocked by what we wear on our faces,” adds Sepe. “But we have to look at the brighter side. We need to remember that, [in] someone's eyes, there's still hope left…” 

The Philippine International Convention Center is accepting bookings for meetings and events. For more information, visit 

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