Puerto Galera
Philippine Pavilion closes with 8M visitors at the EXPO


Tourism Minister Lim (center) with the performers and officers  & staff of the Phil. Pavilion at the EXPO


The Philippines was chosen as the “Most Relaxing Pavilion”  at the Shanghai World EXPO in the online survey of Shanghai Morning Post

As the World Expo 2010 closed in 31 October, so did the Philippine Pavilion main door at 10:20pm with 8,004,803 visitors, far exceeding the target set by the Philippine Organizing Committee (POC).


POC officials attribute the considerable influx to the main attraction of live musical performances, the introduction of additional artists, events that underscore the country’s inherent advantages and the popularity of its outlets.  Visitors to the Philippine Pavilion were continuously treated to the top-notch acts of vocalists, singing accompanists, pianist/flutist/guitarist combos, UP’s Kontra Gapi, world-class DJs and the Pavilion Dancers. 


For the 2nd half of the exposition, PUP’s Banda Kawayan (Bamboo Orchestra) and the DOT Rondalla, a 4-piece stringed-instrument band, were brought in to infuse fresh talent into the outstanding Philippine cultural presentations and charm visitors with their exceptional passion, skill and showmanship in their craft. 


All Philippine pavilion artists were perennial crowd drawers.  Each contributed their own unique brand of entertainment astounding audiences up to the last day at the pavilion and easily eliciting smiles and applause at World Expo 2010 Asia Square pocket shows, and various big events participated in by the Philippine Department of Tourism events in Shanghai and Hangzhou.  


Besides the much-publicized Philippine National Day on 09 June with multiple performances throughout the day, the POC organized a string of events to drum up publicity for the pavilion.  The launch of the Philippine Pavilion in 23 April with then Vice-President Nolie De Castro also kicked-off the Philippine-organized fora entitled “Urbanization with a Human Face.” The second forum was on Philippine mining held in late July. 

Between 9-13 September, the Philippine Pavilion featured “Performing Davao” highlighting the city and region’s rich and diverse history, culture and natural heritage through the interpretations of Davao’s premier cultural troupe.  The shows were top-billed by acclaimed “world music” performers Joey Ayala, Bayang Barrios and Popong Landero.  A 9-piece Rondalla also impressed the audiences with their well-arranged musical pieces as with the 12-collaborating theater and dance artists that completed the 26-person entourage. 


It was Bohol’s turn to take center stage in mid-October as the Loboc Children’s Choir dedicated 3-days of their China visit to enchanting World Expo visitors with their angelic voices.  In addition to astonishing audiences at the Philippine Pavilion and the Asia Square, Bohol’s “cultural treasure” performed in various locales around Shanghai for sponsor - Oishi Food Products, and the Philippine Consulate General. 


Surprise well-wishers were aplenty following the Expo Morning Post’s 11 October article - “Expo Best of the Best, People’s Choice Awards: Pavilion Edition.” The Philippines bagged the Most Relaxing/Comfortable Pavilion alongside bigwigs such as China, Saudi and Germany, and one of the only 3 Asian winners of the 10 “Expo Oscars.” The awards are based on the online survey of the Shanghai Daily subsidiary to its thousands of readers. 


To celebrate the Philippine participation at the World Expo, the POC and the Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company (PLDT) staged a gala show, “Mabuhay Philippines” on 28 October featuring the best of Philippine arts and culture.  The 1600-seat Entertainment Hall at the Puxi side of the Expo site drew capacity crowd all awed by the powerhouse production prepared by the Cultural Center of the Philippines with renowned vocalists, Bayanihan Philippine Dance Company, Banda Kawayan, Ballet Philippines and the UST Singers. 


Philippine Pavilion outlets - the Hilot Spa, Sulyap Gift Shop and Travel Café Philippines (TCP), adds to the visitor numbers as well.  Long lines are common at Hilot Spa of patrons awaiting a sampling of the Filipino art of healing touch while the Filipino gift shop has been recording brisk sales especially with their women’s accessories.  Meanwhile, TCP’s Filipino cuisine is proving to be a hit - often full with Chinese diners, participants from pavilions as far as the European Zone and regular foreign clients. 


POC/Pavilion Operations are spearheaded by the Philippine Department of Tourism with the strong collaboration of the Philippine Consulate General in Shanghai, and support from big private sector sponsors such as Liwayway Co., Metrobank, PLDT, Dai-Ichi Sound Systems,  Philippine Airlines and Cebu Pacific.  The Philippine Tourism Secretary, Alberto Lim, serves as the Commissioner General of the POC.