DUBAI, 12th February, 2022 (WAM) — The Philippines celebrated its National Day at Expo 2020 Dubai on Friday, with a host of activities marking the country’s strong ties with the UAE. Almost 700,000 Filipinos call the UAE home, and have become part of the nation’s growth.
Ahmed bin Ali Al Sayegh, UAE Minister of State, welcomed Ramon Lopez, Philippine Secretary of Trade and Industry, Commissioner General of the Philippine Pavilion and Chair of the Philippine Organising Committee for Expo 2020 Dubai.
Al Sayegh said, “The Philippines Pavilion showcases the successes and the innovations of its people, promotes the Philippines’ growth sectors, including Infrastructure, ICT, and Eco-tourism, and positions the country as a key trade partner in the region.
“The relationship between our two countries, which was established in the early 1970s, is based on shared visions and mutual respect. Given that the Philippines is one of the most dynamic economies in the East Asia Pacific region, we are keen on exploring new prospects of cooperation between our public and private sectors within areas of common interest.”
Lopez said, “We commend the UAE government for its bold initiative in hosting the first world expo in the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia region and in delivering what (has) turned out to be the biggest and most impressive Expo ever. We are proud to be part of such an achievement.
“Expo 2020 Dubai has been a game-changer in Philippine-UAE economic relations, opening up unlimited opportunities in trade, tourism and investments. We project increased revenues in major industry sectors.”
A cultural performance by Daluyong ng Diwa, depicting the four-thousand-year history of the Filipino people, with music and lyrics by Ejay Yatco, concluded the ceremony. The show was created to complement the Philippines Pavilion.
Located in the Sustainability District, the pavilion has a thematic presentation titled ‘Bangkóta,’ an ancient Filipino word for “coral reef.” This presents the Filipino people as sea-oriented as well as globally connected, thriving in vibrant communities across the world.
In the evening, the Philippine flag was projected on Al Wasl Dome, while a gala presentation featuring Filipino artists and performers was staged at Jubilee Park. A food fiesta, showcasing the southeast Asian nation’s diverse cuisine was also held at the Philippines Pavilion.
Rounding off the festivities was a concert in Al Wasl dome by Filipino American singer, Bamboo, whose musical talent and songs about social issues have made him a pop icon.