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Pinoys in UAE upbeat about Expo 2020

by | News, TOP STORIES

May. 23, 19 | 8:53 am

DUBAI: Preparations for the Philippines’ participation at Expo 2020 is fast gathering steam with the one-million-strong local Filipino community upbeat about the chance to showcase the country to the world through the much-anticipated event.

A recent post on The Filipino Times social media account about an official confirmation that the Philippines will be having a huge pavilion at the Expo 2020 site reached half a million people across the globe and generated comments from Filipinos in the UAE expressing full support and cooperation in the undertaking.

Presidential order
President Rodrigo R. Duterte, on April 24 this year, signed an administrative order creating the Philippine Organizing Committee (POC) for the Expo 2020 Dubai.

Administrative Order 17 assigned Trade and Industry Secretary Ramon M. Lopez to lead POC in his capacity as chairperson and commissioner-general, with Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat as vice chairperson.

Other members of the POC include the respective secretaries of the departments of foreign affairs, budget, labor, science and technology, and information and communications technology.

In signing the order, the president said the participation “provides an excellent opportunity to further enhance the country’s presence in a global scale, and promote the country’s commercial and public interests in the Middle East, Africa, and South Asia region.”

President Rodrigo R. Duterte

Duterte likewise said Expo 2020 Dubai “offers a platform to foster creativity, innovation and global cooperation, which will contribute to the country’s goal of vigorously advancing science, technology and innovation as a strategy for long-term growth, consistent with the Philippine Development Plan (PDP) 2017-2022.”

OFWs in Expo 2020-related projects
Overseas Filipinos in the UAE, reacting to the news, expressed elation about the prospects of having the Philippines highlighted on the global stage, noting that the six-month Expo 2020, which kicks off in October of that year, is projected to be visited by some 25 million people from across the world. They also expressed gratitude to President Duterte for making this happen.

In fact, some OFWs who posted their comments have said that their company were actually involved in constructing the pavilions as well as in overseeing the engineering and other technical requirements.

“I am part of the ongoing Expo 2020 project. I am proud of this. Thank u #presidentduterte,” said Cristina Esguerra, an engineer who also works at Dubai Investment Park (DIP), in her comment.

“We are part of this ongoing project Dubai EXPO 2020 namely: UAE Pavilion, Al Wasl plaza pavilion, hammerhead access tunnel, mobility, sustainability and the adjacent project at Dubai South Mall. Thanks, UAE for (making us) part of this project,” for his part, said Juan Taduran, quality control manager at a ready-mix concrete company.

“Kami po ang contractor ng 60148 and 70504…proud to be part of construction from scratch to handing over,” said Mac Royce Manaois.

“Our company is also part of the ongoing construction of Dubai Expo2020 project,” Rodora Bernales.

Added Ericson Gajudo Refareal, sales manager: “Our company in Sharjah is part of Road and Transportation Authority (RTA) roads and bridges projects around the Expo 2020 site. Very good PRRD (President Rodrigo Roa Duterte) for showcasing our beloved Philippines.”

“‘Connecting Minds, Creating the Future.’ We have the best architects, designers based here in Dubai. and not only Filipino products, but Filipino talents and skills as well ang i-showcase natin. God Bless our country, the Philippines,” said another netizen, Dennis Ramiro, referring to the Expo 2020 theme.

Royal Pineda, principal architect and CEO at BUDJI ROYAL Architecture Design, which will be designing the Philippine pavilion, said Filipino talents in the UAE may be tapped for the undertaking.

Architect Royal Pineda

Pineda said Filipino architects as well as those in related fields are welcome to give 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.

Exuberant
Others were exuberant about remarks earlier made by Trade and Industry Asst. Secretary Rosvi C. Gaetos to The Filipino Times in an exclusive interview, where she revealed that the UAE Expo 2020 organizing committee has insisted to give a bigger space, 3,000 square meters, for the Philippine pavilion. The delegation had planned for a 900 square meter spot, according to Gaetos.

“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,’” shared Gaetos.

Asst. Secretary Rosvi C. Gaetos

“The minister was very insistent and she assured us that if we encounter any problem, she and the organizing committee will be more than willing to help,” Gaetos added.

Said one netizen who identified herself only as Yam Ziur Aicrag (May Ruiz Gracia): “3,000-sqm must be granted to Philippines kasi ang daming Pilipino sa UAE.”

Light jokes Pinoy-style
But while there were praises, there also were light jokes: “Sa wakas masyo- showcase na ang pulburon, Boy Bawang at dried mango,” said Cris Sante, emergency medical technician.

“Idagdag mo na ang balut, daing at tuyo,” replied Janet Marano Costa.

“Danggit at itlog na pula,” added Sante.

“Pati mga kakanin na nasa labas ng simbahan ngayon sa loob na ng pavilion sila hehe,” said Tattet Alaan Aquino, who works at a travel and tours company.

Meetings
Ambassador Hjayceelyn Quintana is, herself, upbeat about the country’s participation in the much-awaited international event that she has been working on even back during her days as Foreign Affairs Assistant Secretary for Middle East and African Affairs (OMEAA) during which she organized President Duterte’s state visit to the Gulf Region in April 2017.

Ambassador Hjayceelyn Quintana

Quintana especially noted the huge space measuring 3,000 square meters by the Expo 2020 organizing committee, something that, she said, speaks so much about the UAE’s acknowledgement of the Filipino community, estimated at approximately one million. The first Filipinos in the UAE arrived in the late 70s, officials said.

“Why would they give us a big space? Because there are many Filipinos in the UAE,” she said.

Meantime, Gaetos, who along with Pineda, were in Dubai last month for a series of meetings with Expo 2020 organizers, said the Philippines will make a “big splash” at Expo 2020.

“We have many things to do and many things to prepare. The deadlines are coming up fast. We are happy for this. The Philippines will really make a big splash in the World Expo 2020 when it opens,” she said.

Gaetos said BUDJI+ROYAL came out with a “fantastic concept.”

The pavilion will reinterpret the country’s history, going beyond the period of colonization and showcasing its natural beauty and people, officials said.

“It will be inspired by Philippine nature and redefine the history of the Philippines,” Pineda said, adding that 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,” Pineda said.

Gaetos and Pineda said they will be back this month as preparations go full throttle.

Since partnering with Budji Layug, Pineda has designed different projects in Beijing, Hong Kong, Singapore, India, Turkey, Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam, Australia, United States of America, France, Germany and Thailand.

The Philippine organizing committee has yet to divulge full details of the pavilion. Some 25 countries have already made announcements about theirs. Among them were Switzerland, United Kingdom, Belgium, Germany, New Zealand, Czech Republic, Luxembourg and New Zealand.

Meanwhile, the Dubai Expo 2020 said that the price for a single day entry will be priced at Dh120, while a three-day pass, which can be used over any three days of the 173-day event, will be priced at Dh260.

On the other hand, children under the age of five and senior citizens above 65 will be given free entry to the event.

Young people between the ages of six and 17, as well as students of any age, will be given a 50% discount in tickets.

People of determination will also be granted complimentary access. Their carers can gain access to the event for half the price.

A ticket will give access to 60 live shows each day, as well as technology on display and performances by artists, daily parades, special celebrations and over 200 F&B outlets.

What they are saying


Elmer Casao
Professional electrical engineer

“This will definitely open doors of opportunities for all global Filipinos and our country Philippines in so many ways which include job opportunities and investment partnerships.

“As one of the signatories to the letter to the President, His Excellency Rodrigo Roa Duterte, representing Bayanihan Council in my capacity as the Chairman, in connection with our participation in the Dubai World Expo 2020, on behalf of the Filipino Community in the capital of United Arab Emirates, my sincerest thank you for the approval and your decision to participate in this historic event.”


Ana Maria Oloresisimo
Banker

“It’s great! This participation will expose more of what the Philippines can offer.”


Julius Ray Inso
Nurse

“I believe this will be the impetus in raising the morale and sense of pride of all Filipinos not only in the UAE but in the whole world.”


Edgardo “Bong” Suniga Jr.
Lead planner and business owner

“It is an opportunity to further improve our presence in global scale and promote Filipino interest in the international market. The exhibition can expand world-wide investment prospects and business trades.”


Mary Jane B. Ebana
Teacher

“This event will feature the Filipinos’ best identity in all aspects.”


Eleazar Tonacao, Jr
Executive Director

“Over 170 countries can observe the great contributions of Filipinos here in the UAE and around the globe.”

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THE FILIPINO TIMES is the biggest and most trusted Filipino newspaper in the UAE.

It has a print run of 60,000 copies and 250,000 readership per week; bolstered by 1 million visitors to its website every month. It also has an e-newsletter sent to its 250,000 subscribers every day.

The Filipino Times is FREE and has the widest targeted circulation across the 7 emirates of the UAE.

With more than 2,500 strategic distribution spots, TFT is available where the Filipinos are - at Smart Bus Shelters, Metro Stations, restaurants, supermarkets, schools, airport lounges, Emirates and Etihad Philippine-bound flights, churches, Filipino community events and many more.

THE FILIPINO TIMES. We are where the Filipinos are.

FOLLOW US

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