Why the Filipino is like the coral reef

Published October 16, 2021, 8:10 PM

by Manila Bulletin

A glimpse into Bangkota, the Philippine Pavilion at World Expo 2020 Dubai

FILIPINOS REPRESENT Philippine Ambassador to the United Arab Emirates Hjayceelyn M. Quintana (third from right) opens the Philippine Pavilion, Bangkota at the World Expo 2020 Dubai, together with DTI assistant secretary Rosvi Gatos (third from left), Consul General Paul Raymund Cortes (second from right), and Architect Royal Pineda (second from left) (Abu Dhabi PE photo)

Philippine Ambassador to the United Arab Emirates Hjayceelyn M. Quintana led the opening of the Philippines’ Bangkota Pavilion at World Expo 2020 Dubai at the start of the world’s fair, which will run until end of March 2022.

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

Located in the sustainability district of the Expo site, which as a whole covers an area as big as 600 football fields, the pavilion sits on 3,163 square meters. 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, spread out all over the world, connected by migration, travel, and technology.”

World Expos are one of the oldest and largest international events that take place every five years to showcase the achievements of nations. Through the Bangkóta, the Philippines 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 the performing arts.

FILIPINO HEROES IN DUBAI Filipino medical frontliners in the UAE Philippine Pavilion (Abu Dhabi PE photo)

Joining the Philippine ambassador at the ribbon-cutting ceremony were Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) assistant secretary Rosario Virginia (Rosvi) Gaetos, alternate commissioner general for Philippine Expo participation, Consul General Paul Cortes, and architect Royal Pineda, the Bangkóta Pavilion’s over-all artistic and thematic director.  A crowd of about 500 Filipino residents in the UAE attended the opening event with the Filipino Social Club (FilSoc) choir providing musical entertainment.

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.

Speaking before the Filipino community, Ambassador Quintana said, “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. 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 Bangkota finds its place in the World Expo, teaching us new ideas, creating new images that will help us face the future with confidence.”

Ambassador Quintana commended the visionary leadership of the host country, the UAE, for its determination and serious efforts to ensure that the expo is safe as the world gathers again for this once-in-a-lifetime experience.

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

FILIPINO HEROES IN DUBAI Filipino medical frontliners in the UAE Philippine Pavilion (Abu Dhabi PE photo)

 
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