20220210 Philippines Pavilion
Philippines Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai. Image Credit: Christian Borbon/Gulf News

Dubai: Thousands of Filipinos are expected to wave the Philippine flag at Expo 2020 Dubai for the Philippines Pavilion National Day on Friday, February 11.

Organisers are inviting visitors “to experience a grand presentation of music, dance, and colourful performances.” There are free roundtrip tickets (Dubai-Manila-Dubai) via Philippine Airlines to be won at the onset of the Philippines National Day grand show.

Here are the highlights on the day:

Filipino food fiesta at Philippines Pavilion (10am-10pm) – different Filipino restaurants and franchisees come together in the spirit of Bayanihan (Filipino custom denoting communal unity and cooperation) to offer favourite Filipino dishes to guests.

Philippine flag raising at Philippines Pavilion (12pm) – to be attended by officials, dignitaries, community leaders.

National parade at Avenue of Nations (12.45pm) – the country’s culture will be highlighted in a grand parade of traditional costumes and music around the Avenue of Nations.

Official ceremony and cultural performance at Al Wasl Plaza (4.15pm) Flag raising, sining of the national anthems and official speeches by UAE and Philippines officials

Philippine flag projection at Al Wasl Plaza (6.45pm) - The Philippine flag will be projected at the Al Wasl Dome for approximately five minutes in honour of the Philippines National Day.

Gala show at Jubilee Park (7pm) – Titled Daluyong ng Diwa or Tides of Our Soul is an original show of exceptional content, featuring the Philippines’ outstanding artists and performers.

Talks on Philippine history

The National Day celebrations continue the following day, February 12, with Bangkóta Talks, The Filipino as Austronesian. Filipino historians Ambeth Ocampo and Xiao Chua, as well as Bangkóta curator Marian Pastor Roces will share scientific data, expertise and insights to reinforce the pavilion’s overall message about Filipino emergence having taken place over thousands of years.

According to the organisers, “All three speakers will take the opportunity presented by the 500th anniversary of the circumnavigation of the globe by Ferdinand Magellan, which coincides with the Expo 2020 Dubai, to deepen the Philippine story all the way to cultural beginnings of Filipinos around 4,000 years ago”.

This event is a collaboration between the Philippine Organising Committee for the Philippines’ participation in Expo 2020 Dubai, led by the Department of Trade and Industry, and the National Quincentennial Committee and the National Historical Commission of the Philippines.

What is Bangkota?

Bangkóta is the name and inspiration for the pavilion of the Philippines at Expo 2020 Dubai. The pavilion is shaped like a Bangkóta—the ancient term for “coral reef” in the Tagalog language. Organisers said “the theme highlights not only the country’s natural resources but also the similarities between the coral reef and Filipinos: Both grow into colonies that thrive throughout the world.”