An artist's impression of the Philippine Pavilion at Expo 2020 in Dubai.
PHOTO BY ARCHIVE
DUBAI – Filipinos in the UAE will not be able to visit the Philippine Pavilion in Dubai until next year after Expo 2020 Dubai announced on Monday (May 4) that the global event has been postponed to 2021.
The Expo 2020 in Dubai was going to be the Philippines’ re-entry to World Expo after an eight-year absence in 2020.
On Monday (May 4), Expo 2020 Dubai announced that the World Expo’s governing body has approved the Expo 2020’s postponement due to the coronavirus outbreak. The Expo 2020 will now be held from October 1, 2021 until March 31 2022. The event will still be called Expo 2020.
Expo 2020 will feature 192 country pavilions, including the Philippines’ coral-inspired pavilion that was going to represent the modern Filipino.
The grand launch, which is now expected to happen in 2020, was expected to draw the presence of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte.
Duterte’s senior aide had said that the leader will be visiting the UAE for the unveiling of the Philippine pavilion in Dubai.
“The president is going there,” said Department of Trade and Industry, Department of Trade and Industry undersecretary Abdulgani Macatoman at the launch of the Expo 2020 countdown in Makati City, Philippines in 2019.
Architectural firm Budji Royal, speaking to Expatmedia.net and Philippine officials in Dubai earlier this year, saying that the Philippine pavilion will “reset history” by presenting the modern Filipino.
“We don’t want it to be a museum… What we want to show is the mindset of Filipinos today,” pavilion designer Royal Pineda said to Expatmedia.net in April , adding, “we’re not going to bring the bahay kubo to Dubai.”
“It will be a reset of the mind,” Pineda said. “The idea is to announce to the world that we are now people of innovation.”
The Philippine pavilion is located in the Expo 2020 site’s Sustainability area. The multi-tiered pavilion will sit on a 3,000-square metre area and will house pockets of gardens featuring local flora and fauna, a plaza, a restobar featuring modern Filipino cuisine, viewing decks, exhibition areas, interactive sections and a gift shop.
Pineda said the pavilion design is inspired by the bangkota, an ancient Filipino word for coral reef. The modern pavilion will transport visitors through an “outdoor while indoor” experience where nature, technology and Filipino creativity combine to deliver a unique visitor experience.
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