DUBAI: The World Expo 2020 Dubai is “very special” for Filipinos primarily because of their sheer number in the UAE, said Ambassador Hjayceelyn Quintana. And because of this, she told The Filipino Times, the Philippine government is keen on participating in this much-awaited, six-month global event that the city will host.
“To us this is very special because we have a very, very sizeable community here that can, participate and be involved and also showcase their talent,” Quintana said.
“This is something that we are looking forward to and our government has, of course, signified its interest to participate. All the administrative work is being done to make that happen,” she added.
Trade and Industry Assistant Secretary Rosvi C. Gaetos was recently in Dubai to attend meetings with the Expo 2020 technical committee.
She told The Filipino Times: “The Philippines is busy planning for its participation. We are here actually for technical meetings with the organizers. We are planning our participation in such a way that by the time President Duterte signs the administrative order authorizing the creation of the Philippine organizing committee, we will be more than ready to be able to meet the challenges ahead.”
Gaetos said they have “many things to do and many things to prepare for.”
“The deadlines are coming up fast,” she said. “We are happy for this. The Philippines will really make a big splash in the World Expo 2020.”
Gaetos said the Expo 2020 organizing committee has insisted that the Philippine pavilion occupy a bigger space at 3,100 square meters. The delegation had planned for a 900 square meter spot.
“The minister, herself, told us that a 900 square meter pavilion is too small. She said, ‘The Philippines is very important to Dubai and you know why? Because of the Filipinos who are here.’ And because of that, they gave us 3,100 sq meters,” share Gaetos.
There are approximately one million Filipinos in the UAE.
Meantime, architect Royal Pineda, whose firm was awarded the contract by the Philippine government to design the pavilion based on the Expo 2020 theme, “Connecting Minds, Creating the Future,” said their concept “will make the world connect to the Filipinos.”
“This is actually an announcement of the Filipinos to the world,” Pineda said. “We want to make sure that we are representing more of our progressive features more than just of our history. I think it is about time we move forward and present to the world an interesting side of the Philippines,” he added.
Pineda said Filipino architects as well as those in related fields are welcome to make inputs.
“This is going to be built and put together with the modern Bayanihan. We will be spearheading the project with the government. We welcome all the help we can have as we do this project because at the end of the day, this is really for the Filipinos. It is a way to present our gift to the world,” he said.