Culture

The Philippines Returns to World Expo 2020 After Nearly a Decade of Absence

The Philippine Pavilion is named Bangkóta, the ancient Filipino word for coral reef.
IMAGE Department of Trade and Industry
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After nearly a decade of absence, the Philippines will once again grace the halls at the World Expo 2020 in Dubai, dubbed “The Greatest Show.” The Philippine Pavilion is named Bangkóta, the ancient Filipino word for coral reef. The Bangkóta represents Filipinos who are like the polyps that make up the coral reefs that are spread by ocean currents across the world to form and nurture thriving communities. 

Like coral polyps, Filipinos have established themselves in different continents, bringing with them their own culture, traditions, and beliefs while nurturing communities that take inspiration from their homeland. According to the Department of Trade and Industry, the intent of Bangkóta is for visitors to gain a better appreciation of the story of Filipinos through their senses and emotions.

The Bangkóta features works of various Filipino artists and photographers: Duddley Diaz's enigmatic sculptures, the upside down forest masterpiece of Lee Paje, a massive sculpture by National Artist Abdulmari Imao, and underwater photographs of Scott "Gutsy" Tuason, among many others.

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The Bangkóta Philippine Pavilion will open at the Expo 2020 Dubai on October 20, 2020. It is helmed by Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez as commissioner-general, assistant Trade Secretary Rosvi Gaetos as alternate commissioner-general, architect Royal Pineda as overall artistic and theme director, and Marian Pastor-Roces as curator. 

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Mario Alvaro Limos
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