Bangkota Pavilion takes off - GulfToday

Bangkota Pavilion takes off


The photo has been used for illustrative purpose.

Mariecar Jara-Puyod, Senior Reporter

The Philippine Pavilion that mimics the placid rippling of vast oceans, home to ever-expanding colonies of the coral reef—Bangkota—opened to the general public on Friday morning at the Sustainability District of the Thursday night-inaugurated colossal Expo 2020 Dubai.

Visiting Manila’s Department of Trade and Industry-Trade Promotions Assistant Secretary/Philippine Pavilion Deputy Commissioner General Rosario Virginia Gaetos, Ambassador to the UAE Hjayceelyn M. Quintana, Consul General in Dubai and the Northern Emirates Paul Raymund Cortes, and Commercial Attache-Middle East/Philippine Trade and Investment Centre (Dubai) chief Charmaine Mignon Yalong welcomed the throng of guests and promenaders from 10 a.m.

The three-storey high sunscreen roof-collapsible metal frame, sourced from Dubai alongside all construction materials, enunciates “Ang Kuwento Ng Bangkota Ay Kwento Ng Husay at Talino Ng Pilipino” (“Bangkota—ancient Tagalog for coral reef—is the Narrative of the Filipino Talent, Skill and Wit). From the ground floor to the roof deck is a trail in sculpture, photography and animation of the past, present and future of a people—where the Austronesians are rooted from—and who have progressed by way of 65,000 years of genetic mixing sustained for 4,000 years.

The unveiled Filipino narrative are masterpieces of sculptors Dudley Diaz (Haliya); Dan Raralio (Mystiquecross); Lee Paje (Roots of the Universe); B+C, Baby and Coco Anne (Helix), Riel Jaramillo Hilario (Limokon and Timamanukin); Charlie Co (Soaring High); and Abdulmari Toym Imao (Confluence of Wings).  On exhibition are the Philippine Marine and Bird Life (wildlife photography) by Scott Tuason, Ivan Sarenas and Dr. Tirso Patis; Vessel of Time (sculpture and animation) by Patrick Cabral; and Our Gift to the World (production) by BBDO Guerrero, and Super Past Time (mural) by Dexter Fernandez.

First-time aired was the artfully interpreted jell-ing of man with nature by way of percussion and wind instruments by the Philippines’ Order of National Artist laureate Ramon Pagayon Santos.

At the Dubai launch of the Philippine participation in Expo2020Dubai in third quarter 2019, Philippine Trade and Industry Secretary/Philippine Pavilion Commissioner General Ramon Lopez, architect-designer Royal Pineda and museum curator Marian Roces pointed out the “cultural sustainability” approach whereby Pineda then stated that sustainability in reality is the concept of “Man is Nature” and not “Man and Nature.”

“We cannot become sustainable if we take us as man separate from nature. We have to know what nature is. Filipinos have known ‘practical luxury’ (from way back),” Pineda then said.

In that Dubai launch, Roces who had catapulted the Filipino ingenuity in previous World Expos and brought home the “Best Designed Pavilion” from Aichi, Japan (2006) and Zaragoza, Spain (2008), with architect-designer Ed Calma, reinforced that cultural sustainability also means re-embracing the DNA of the Filipino race.

Interviewed in June 2019, Ambassador Quintana recalled that it was on March 12, 2018 when President Rodrigo Duterte signed the correspondence addressed to UAE Vice President Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum expressing his “full support” to the global landmark event in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia.

On Friday, Philippine Pavilion Deputy Commissioner General Gaetos said it is not only gaining much improved trade and economic relations in various sectors for the Philippines that the Duterte Administration had considered. It is also about giving recognition and importance to the Filipino people who do not just bow down or yield in to challenge but become “a cut above the rest,” and among the illustrious examples are the Filipinos in the UAE “who must be given all the support.”

The Duterte Administration budgeted $7 million (Dhs25,711,000.00/Php357,238,000.00) for the pavilion that sits on a 3,163.23 square meter land. The Dubai-based company in-charge of the construction was the RAQ Contracting LLC.

Members of local and international media also attended the Bangkóta inauguration, which was followed by a guided tour of the pavilion.

Under the banner of “Connecting Minds, Creating the Future” theme, Expo 2020 Dubai runs from 1st October 2021 to 31st March 2022, gathering more than 200 participants including 192 countries. Ticket prices to Expo 2020 start from AED 95.

The Bangkota is the story of every Filipino. It brings together an ensemble of the finest Filipino artists and talents in a variety of artistic facets to mount an epic symphony of nature, art, architecture, and a story of the Filipinos’ 4,000-year journey of cultural sustainability. It is divided into several areas that each mark a different yet interconnected visual experience for the visitors.

Bangkóta is the name and inspiration for the pavilion of Philippines at the World Expo 2020, which will be held from October 1, 2021— March 31, 2022 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

The pavilion, organically shaped like the Bangkóta—the ancient term for “coral reef” in the language Tagalog—updates knowledge about the Philippines, an archipelagic nation that nourished a collective, sea-oriented culture for millennia.

By calling attention to the coral reef-like qualities of Filipinos—such as an inclination for hyper-connectivity—the pavilion offers clues into a people who can build vibrant communities anywhere and everywhere in the world.

Remaining interconnected with each other as Filipinos, even through massive diaspora, the Philippines’ global stage is held together digitally. In the past 4000 years, as their Austronesian ancestors spread throughout island Southeast Asia and then embarked across the Pacific, they were and still are connected by the oceans of the world. The Philippines pavilion evokes this hardy, traveling people in the sustainability District of the Expo, poetically emphasizing cultural sustainability through the millennia. In a plot size of 3163.25 sqm, the pavilion presents contemporary expressions in architecture, art, and design that links the deep past with the future of connectivity for the Filipino.

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