Mabuhay is a traditional Philippine expression of warm welcome and glad tidings for friends and visitors alike.
The project is funded by Batumi International Container Terminal LLC (BICT), the Georgian subsidiary of International Container Terminal Services, Inc. of the Philippines. BICT operates the container terminal in the Port of Batumi, and represents the largest Philippine investment in Georgia.
The Philippine – Georgia Friendship Park, is the first park that will officially celebrate Georgia’s friendship with another country. It features eco‐friendly structures such as wooden houses, mazes, slides, benches and tables that will provide leisure, fun, and enjoyment for families who visit Tbilisi Zoo.
Nikoloz Gogoli, BICTL CEO and managing director, said: “We have Philippine roots, but Georgia is our home, and Tbilisi our capital city. Donating this friendship park is our small way of rebuilding the city for the sake of our children and their future. With this new park, we hope children and parents alike can have a recreational space to bond and connect for many years to come. We also hope that this park validates the friendship between Georgia and the Philippines.”
Honorary Philippine Consul General Teimuraz Chichinadze expressed support for the project: “As a Georgian, it has been an honor to serve the Philippines and Filipino people. I am very proud and happy about the initiative to build this park. We will support this 100 percent.”
“We have worked very hard to develop relations between the Philippines and Georgia. This park symbolizes the strong ties of friendship that bind our two countries. BICT, and its parent ICTSI, are world‐class companies. BICT has been doing an excellent job in Batumi. This is a special gift to Georgia from the Philippines,” said Georgian Honorary Consul Thelmo Luis Cunanan Jr.
Tbilisi Zoo Director Zurab Gurielidz likewise expressed elation: “It is a challenge to develop Tbilisi Zoo. We have worked for many years to give Georgians a wonderful place to learn about wildlife and enjoy this with their families. I am so happy that our brothers and sisters from the Philippines have reached out to us with this beautiful gesture. I am very touched. God bless the Philippines. God bless Georgia.”
“This park is very special. It is a symbol of the rebirth of Tbilisi Zoo after the devastating flood that hit the capital last June and caused massive damage to the zoo,” said Mzia Sharasidze, Tbilisi Zoo public relations and media manager. “We are very grateful to friends in the Philippines for their friendship and this special gift, which Georgian families will enjoy for years to come.”
Batumi International Container Terminal (BICT) is a subsidiary of International Container Terminal Services, Inc. (ICTSI), is in the business of port operations, management and development. ICTSI’s portfolio of terminals and projects spans developed and emerging market economies in the Asia Pacific, the Americas, Europe and the Middle East, and Africa. ICTSI has received global acclaim for its public-private partnerships with governments divesting of their port assets to the private sector.
On the cover photo (From L-R):
BICT CEO and Managing Director Nikoloz Gogoli joins Tbilisi Mayor Davit Narmania, Honororary Consul of Georgia; Hon. Thelmo Luis Cunanan Jr., Georgia Business and Friendship Association, Inc. – Chairman of the Philippines Levan Akhvlediani; Tbilisi Zoo Director Zurab Gurieldze, and Consul General A.H. of the Philippines; Hon. Teimuraz Chichinadze during the inauguration of the Philippine – Georgia Friendship Park on 1 June at the Tbilisi Zoo.