DOT collecting golds for Phl in world events

(The Philippine Star) - August 31, 2012 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - The Philippines is getting to be known as the cultural arts and design capital of the world, not only in terms of lifestyle exports, but also in award-winning tourism exhibits in global events held in both the eastern and western hemispheres.

Consistently, the Department of Tourism (DOT), through the Tourism Promotions Board (TPB), has accumulated a total of five gold awards for the Philippines from prestigious world tourism events in just eight years.

The five golds came from three global expositions held in both Asia and Europe — the World Expo 2005 in Aichi, Japan; International Expo 2008 in Zaragoza, Spain; and the recently concluded International Expo 2012 in Yeosu, Korea — all in the one-module category and practically affirming and confirming the Philippine expertise and superiority in exhibit design and craftsmanship while adhering to the expos’ respective themes.

The Philippine Pavilion bagged the Nature’s Wisdom Award in Aichi, the Excellence in Design and Exhibit Award in Zaragoza, and the Creative Design Award, Theme Development Award, and Best Exhibit Award in Yeosu.

The theme of the Aichi Expo focused on nature’s wisdom, with then tourism attaché to Tokyo and now Assistant Secretary for International Tourism Promotions Benito Bengzon Jr. actively involved in the Philippine Pavilion’s onsite operations and promotion.


Serving as the centerpiece of the Philippine Pavilion was a huge spherical chamber made from coconut shells. The sphere, which housed a spa and symbolized wellness to augment the brand statement “Premium Resort Islands Philippines,” was later bought by a Japanese organization to serve as the art centerpiece of its premium golf destination.

On the other hand, both the Yeosu and Zaragoza expos focused on the aquatic world, with the Philippine Pavilion, on both occasions, using interactive digital videos and uniquely contrived facilities to highlight the country’s archipelagic features and the samples of its distinctive marine resources from ridge to reef, thus underscoring national efforts for sustainable development.

In both occasions, then tourism attaché to London and now Assistant Secretary for Planning and Promotions and TPB officer-in-charge Domingo Ramon Enerio III figured prominently, but this time as commissioner general of the Philippine Organizing Committee for the Yeosu Expo.

3 golds in Yeosu

Nonetheless, it was in the Yeosu Expo where the Philippines snared the most number of golds — one from US-based international Exhibitor magazine, and two from global award-giving body Bureau International des Expositions (BIE).

Both golds from the Official Participants Awards organized and regulated by the BIE were attributed to the Philippine Pavilion’s adherence to the expo theme “The Living Ocean and Coast” while artistically promoting its values and contributing to the education of the public.

The uniqueness of the Philippines’ local interpretation of that universal theme through its own “Islands of Diversity, Seas of Connectivity” as visually interpreted by unique creative displays made its exhibit a complete standout in its category.

Incredibly made mostly of handcrafted materials, the Philippine exhibit consisted mainly of video walls and pods that appeared like floating corals, all conspiring to make visitors feel like having been transported into a marine world to witness both its beauty and vulnerabilities.

The awards for Best Creative Design and Best Theme Development were received by Enerio and Philippine Pavilion director Gwendolyn Batoon.

Batoon and public relations and protocol head Jojo de Veyra also received the Best Exhibit Award from Exhibitor magazine editor Travis Stanton.

Spearheaded by the DOT through the TPB, the Philippine Organizing Committee is composed of the departments of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Industry, Environment and Natural Resources, and Budget and Management, and the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. and National Commission of Culture and the Arts.

Supporting the Philippine participation in the Yeosu Expo were pavilion partners Hyundai Asia Resources Inc., GMA Network Inc., TV5, Cebu Pacific Air, Philippine Airlines, SM Supermalls, computer graphic specialist ImColor, Biemann Produktion Haus Inc., Network of Underwater Digital Imagers Inc., and the community of divers who contributed in putting together an “aquarium of diving experiences” for the exhibits.

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