The Philippine government has announced that the construction of the Philippines Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai has already reached 87 per cent completion.
The Philippine Department of Trade and Industry (PDTI) and commissioner general secretary, Ramon Lopez, said that ‘Bangkóta’ is on track of its scheduled handover in March 2021, with the teams involved exerting full efforts. Bangkóta also highlights the country’s passion for sustainability - sourcing the majority of its materials from the local markets of the UAE. According to Lopez, such readily available materials are among the contributing factors that led to them staying on track of their schedule despite the movement restrictions caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
“I am immensely proud of our team for their efficiency and hard work. Their sheer determination to showcase the beauty of the Philippines through our pavilion has made it possible for us to be on time for its unveiling at the upcoming Expo 2020,” said Lopez. “The Pavilion’s concept, including the materials to be used, has been well thought of by the creators, a reason it became easier for the team to go ahead and build the design. While recent restrictions brought about by the pandemic posed a challenge, they also unleashed within the team their resourcefulness and creativity—allowing them to pull such magnificent work without any delays.”
Lopez added: “We extend our deepest gratitude to the team behind Expo 2020 for their efficiency that made it easier for us to actualise our pavilion. Their assistance, including logistical and administrative support like technical advice and facilitation of permits and clearances, have been greatly instrumental in helping us stay on track of our schedule.”
Omar Shehadeh, chief international participants officer, International Participants at Expo 2020 Dubai, also commended the efficiency of the team in terms of the construction of the pavilion, saying: “The sheer passion of the people behind the Philippines Pavilion is truly commendable, and I am honoured to have witnessed their creativity and hard work coming to life through Bangkóta. I am confident that Filipinos in the UAE will be further proud of their identity once they get to witness what the Philippine team has prepared for them in the upcoming Expo 2020.”
Philippine ambassador to the UAE, Hjayceelyn Quintana, for her part, expressed her pride for the team behind the pavilion, saying: “I am very proud of the Philippines Expo team for the magnificent creativity they have unleashed in the creation of Bangkóta. This will boost the name of our country at Expo 2020 and will no doubt create a strong presence for our community in what will be the largest event ever held in the Mena region. I am looking forward to the unveiling of our very own national pavilion and I am confident that it will create countless opportunities for Filipinos to thrive, shine, and cement their impact across various sectors globally.”
The design of the Bangkóta Pavilion, or “coral reef” in ancient Tagalog, honours the natural resources that the Philippines has to offer, specifically the architectural character of the coral reefs native to the archipelago. Designed by Budji+Royal Architecture+Design and curated by Marian Pastor-Roces, the 1,386-square-metre pavilion reimagines the Filipinos as a coral reef, interconnecting not only with each other but also with the world, thereby making them an extensive global community. Secretary Lopez underscored that not only will the splendour of Bangkóta be witnessed by the world, it will also be showcased to the Filipinos back home, as the pavilion will be brought to Clark Freeport Zone in Pampanga once Expo 2020 concludes.
According to PDTI assistant secretary, Rosvi Gaetos, who also serves as the alternate commissioner General of Bangkóta, the pavilion promises to showcase the Filipino diaspora spread throughout the world through travel, migration and technology. “Bangkóta will deploy leading-edge art, architecture, and design to present a nation bound by zealous interconnectivity, a culture of compassion, and a tropical, fevered imagination. It highlights the progressive development of the nation through the state-of-the-art portals that promise immersive experiences for visitors—allowing them to embark on a journey of discovery of the nature of the Philippines,” she said.
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