Over 5,000 Filipinos showed up to support the Philippine pavilion during the Expo 2020 in Dubai.
Budji + Royal’s Bangkota is a coral colony-like structure that has been shaped like a garden. Its sculptural design and materials—cement steel, titanium, and concrete—have made it one of the most visited sites in the global affair.
[LOOK] Here’s How the PH Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai Became a Hit
Bangkota’s fluid flow of space elevates the senses and brings people into the world of art. The changing lighting design and music by Ramon Santos create an emotionally engaging environment, the Inquirer reported.
“We opened as a blockbuster pavilion, and we’re deliriously happy with the results,” said Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Assistant Secretary Rosvi Gaetos in a phone interview, wearing her other hat as Alternate Commissioner.
The general manager of the Philippine Expo 2020 Dubai will be staying in Dubai until April 2022, it was announced today.
An Opportunity for Global Reach
Expo 2020 is a global event that aims to promote innovation and new ideas. It is divided into three themes: Mobility and Opportunity, Sustainability, and Expo 2020 Manila.
Gaetos said that the objective of the Philippines’ participation in the Dubai World Economic Forum was to build a relationship with the United Arab Emirates that will promote trade and investment.
The event will serve as a platform for Filipinos to promote Philippine food and drinks to the growing number of Filipinos living in the United Arab Emirates. Aside from the food festival, the event also features various other activities such as fashion shows, art galleries, and conferences.
In February, the Ambassador’s Ball will take place, as well as an artists festival. Artefino, a movement that highlights Filipino artisanship, will be featured in a variety showcase in March.
A Taste of the Philippines
Nonetheless, Bangkota has been the country’s distinctive selling feature at the show. “One of DTI’s priorities is to help creative industries. This pavilion has involved over 14 creative sectors. Aside from architecture, we have game development, animation, visual arts, food, history and culture, film, performing arts, etc. The creative industry is an economic force to contend with. Part of our objectives is to promote the Philippines as a highly creative nation,” said Gaetos.
Architect Royal Pineda’s Bangkota is a platform that brings attention to the Philippines’ cultural and arts diversity.
Bangkota is the mesh structure of the Philippines that draws attention to the country’s openness and connectivity. It shows how Filipinos have developed a strong bond with nature despite being dispersed across the globe.
A golden helix, which has names, has become a favorite among Filipinos for selfies. It was created by B+C Design.
This exhibit features the colorful flying men created by Charlie Co. for overseas Filipino workers. Aside from these, it also features a mural made by Dex Fernandez, which shows the OFWs with their flags fluttering around.
The True ‘Bayanihan’ Spirit
The consultants behind the Mangrove Cafe put together a menu that features authentic Filipino food items from San Miguel Corp. and Mama Sita. The food is commonly topped with rice, chicken, or fish.
The beautiful products from the Marahuyo brand have been selling well. This luxury label features Carol de Leon, who created the clothes and accessories for the Middle East market.
Go Lokal is a collection of children’s wear by Common Room. It highlights the creative group’s children’s wear.
Gaetos said that the participation of the Filipinos has made Bangkota shine. Aside from providing materials for the project, Gaetos also cited the help of local contractors and suppliers.
“It’s amazing how the Filipinos came together to help us,” Gaetos said.
The Philippines’ delegation expected a low turnout due to the pandemic. To attract more visitors, they had planned to promote themselves through a campaign called I am Bangkota, which was driven by the members of the Philippine Business Club and the Filipino Social Club.
Gaetos shared, “Life goes on in this pandemic as we try to make the most opportunities. Bangkota is a grand achievement for all of us. Royal (Pineda) and Marian (Roces) did a great job, as with the contractors, suppliers, thousands of artists, skilled laborers and other talents in delivering the pavilion and its experience.”
Catch the video introduction of the Bangkota concept for the Philippine pavilion the Dubai Expo 2020 below: