PH creative industries showcased at World Expo 2020 in Dubai

Published October 6, 2021, 3:10 PM

by Betheena Unite

The Philippines has built a huge coral reef-inspired pavilion to showcase its creative industries at the World Expo 2020 in Dubai.

CORAL REEF-INSPIRED PAVILION– Philippine Ambassador to the United Arab Emirates Hjayceelyn M. Quintana (3rd from right) opens the Philippines ‘Bangkóta’ Pavilion at the World Expo 2020 Dubai on Oct. 1,2021. Joining the ribbon-cutting ceremony were DTI Assistant Secretary Rosvi Gatos (3rd from left), Consul General Paul Raymund Cortes (2nd from right), and Architect Royal Pineda (2nd from left) as members of the Filipino community in the UAE witness the event. (Photo courtesy of the Abu Dhabi Philippine Embassy)

Philippine Ambassador to the United Arab Emirates Hjayceelyn M. Quintana led the opening of the Philippines “Bangkóta” Pavilion at the start of the world’s fair on Oct. 1. It will run until the end of March 2022.

The pavilion is named Bangkóta, the ancient Tagalog word for coral reef, which is also the design inspiration for the structure. The theme evokes the idea that “the Filipino, like a coral reef, grows into colonies, spreads out all over the world, connected by migration, travel, and technology.”

Bangkóta sits on a 3,163 sqm area within the Expo site which as a whole covers an area as big as 600 football fields.

The Philippines is one of the countries with a self-built pavilion among 192 participating nations in the international fair dubbed as the most digitally-advanced World Expo in history.

Through the Bangkóta, the country highlights its creative industries such as architecture, landscape architecture, content curation, arts multimedia, music, dance, film, fashion, animation, game development, artisanal objects, food, photography, and performing arts.

“Today, as we opened the doors of the Bangkóta Pavilion, we have six months to show the world that the time has come for a new way of thinking about who we are as a people,” Quintana said as she spoke before the Filipino community during the opening of the pavilion.

“We will see in the thought-provoking halls of the Bangkóta the depth, authenticity, and inherent freedom to create in every Filipino. Indeed, if we want to understand the concepts represented in the curves and lines of the Bangkota, we have to change old mindsets in looking at ourselves and in the way that we represent ourselves,” the ambassador added.

She further said that the Bangkóta would teach us new ideas, and create new images “that will help us face the future with confidence.”

World Expos are one of the oldest and largest international events that take place every five years that showcase the achievements of nations.

The first in the Arab region where there are two million Filipinos residing and working, the World Expo 2020 Dubai provides a platform for the Philippines to project a strong presence in the global stage, Quintana said.

The Philippines has participated in previous Expos particularly the ones in Seattle, New York, Osaka, Brisbane, Vancouver, Seville, Hannover, and Shanghai.