• Expo 2020 Dubai visitors reveled in the festivities of the Philippines’ multiculturally diverse performances all day long
  • Evening gala "Tides of our Soul” commemorated the Philippines' rich and colorful past, conveyed by some of the country's best singers, dancers, and theater performers 

Dubai, United Arab Emirates: The Philippines brought to life its 4,000-year story in its push for cultural sustainability at Expo 2020 Dubai, which witnessed one of its grandest National Day celebrations to date.

From the flag raising ceremony at the Philippines Pavilion and the Al Wasl Plaza, to the magnificent culmination gala presentation at the Jubilee Park, the Philippines added elements of the importance of preserving and retelling the story of their rich cultural history through visual art, immersive music, and impressive artistic performances.

With cheerful smiles and upbeat vibes, the Philippines filled the streets of Expo 2020 Dubai with day-long celebrations of colorful, fun-filled cultural festivities witnessed by thousands of Filipinos come came in from all over the UAE, alongside thousands more of Expo 2020’s visitors last February 11, Friday.

Philippines Department of Trade and Industry Assistant Secretary for the Trade Promotions Group and PH Expo 2020 Dubai Alternate Commissioner General Rosvi C. Gaetos underscored that not only was the one-day event well-attended and received by Filipino expats, it likewise captured the hearts of Expo 2020’s visitors from all around the world.

“It’s always a delight to see our fellow Filipino compatriots who have driven from all seven emirates to converge in Dubai for this momentous occasion that celebrates the pride of our nation. As equally astounding is how Expo 2020 Dubai’s global audiences resonated and responded with smiles and gratitude to all of our events and presentations, and joined in the excitement of our festivities,” said Gaetos.

The Philippine flag was raised twice – both in the Philippines Pavilion and in the Al Wasl Dome on Philippines National Day, with many Filipinos singing the Philippine National Anthem with pride at the world’s largest 360 projection dome. The Al Wasl Plaza likewise flashed the colors of the Philippine flag in a five-minute special light show together with a soundscape experience that will take visitors to the tides of the “Filipino’s soul”.

His Excellency Ahmed bin Ali Al Sayegh, Minister of State, together with ranking UAE officials welcomed the Philippine delegation led by Philippine Minister of Trade and Industry and Chairman of the Philippines Organizing Committee for Expo 2020 Dubai H.E. Ramon Lopez during the opening ceremonies in the afternoon.

Driving cultural sustainability 

The vivid colors of the Philippines' parades and multicultural shows filled the Avenue of Nations at Expo 2020 Dubai. “Tides of our Soul,” or “Daluyong ng Diwa,” an evening gala event that commemorated the Philippines' rich and colorful past, featured some of the country's best singers, dancers, and theater performers in an entertaining, all-out performance.

It is an original production with exceptional content created to complement the essence and design of the Philippines Pavilion. The presentation will impart the importance of traditional Filipino values of perseverance and resilience, as well as our origins and shared vision for the future.

Its central theme of cultural sustainability was well received with a jampacked attendance at the Jubilee stage, as thousands of Filipinos and other audiences joined in unison as they lit up their gadgets in support of this message.

Apart from the celebrations on the 11th, the organizing committee of the Philippines Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai also prepared month-long activations including the weekly ‘Harana Nights’ which will serenade all visitors to the pavilion across all weekends of February. The Philippines Food Festival will also feature 'Bangkóta Meals,' which are delectable, world-class specialties with a fresh twist that will be available at participating Filipino-owned restaurants across the UAE.

On the 12th, Expo 2020 Dubai will also witness two back-to-back activities including the ‘Bangkóta Talks: The Filipino as Austronesians’ hosted by the National Historical Commission of the Philippines within the confines of Philippines Pavilion. This will be held alongside the action-packed ‘Run the World Philippines’ at the Ghaf Circle – a marathon spearheaded by United Architects of the Philippines – Dubai Chapter (UAP-Dubai) in collaboration with the Filipino International Triathletes club.

During the following week, the Philippines will continue its active participation and engagement with local investors and decision makers particularly in the food sector through the country’s official participation at Gulfood 2022 at the Dubai World Trade Centre, from February 13-17.


About The Bangkóta - Philippines Pavilion in Expo 2020 Dubai 

Bangkóta is the name and inspiration for the pavilion of the Philippines at the World Expo 2020, which will be held from October 1, 2021— March 31, 2022 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

The pavilion, organically shaped like the Bangkóta—the ancient term for “coral reef” in the language Tagalog—updates knowledge about the Philippines, an archipelagic nation that nourished a collective, sea-oriented culture for millennia.

By calling attention to the coral reef-like qualities of Filipinos—such as an inclination for hyper-connectivity—the pavilion offers clues into a people who can build vibrant communities anywhere and everywhere in the world.

Remaining interconnected with each other as Filipinos, even through massive diaspora, the Philippines’ global stage is held together digitally. In the past 4000 years, as their Austronesian ancestors spread throughout island Southeast Asia and then embarked across the Pacific, they were and still are connected by the oceans of the world.

The Philippines pavilion evokes this hardy, travelling people in the sustainability District of the Expo, poetically emphasizing cultural sustainability through the millennia. In a plot size of 3163.25 sqm, the pavilion presents contemporary expressions in architecture, art, and design that links the deep past with the future of connectivity for the Filipino.

It is conceptualised and actualised by Architect Royal Pineda of Budji+Royal Architecture+Design and independent curator Marian Pastor Roces, collaborating with unusual synchrony with Assistant Secretary Rosario Virginia Gaetos of the Department of Trade and Industry, who also serves as Alternate Commissioner General of the Philippine Organizing Committee (POC). 

Bangkóta aligns with the theme of this forthcoming Expo 2020 – “Connecting Minds, Creating the Future” – with a riveting image of the Philippines and its people as truly global.

For further media queries, contact: 
Vince Ang
New Perspective Media Group
Email: vince@newperspectivemedia.com 

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