Dubai: Visitors to Bangkóta, the Philippine pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai, will enjoy a game-based learning app and interactive mobile tour for “an immersive experience in ancestral origin and culture of the nation, ”the lead executing agency for the country’s participation in Expo 2020 announced on Tuesday.
The Philippine Department of Commerce and Industry (DTI) said that Bangkóta Trivia Quest, a gaming app and a Mobile Visitor Journey app, “will familiarize users with the ancestral origins of the Philippines,” spanning an era spanning four millennia.
Users of the app will interact with an adventurous, agile and playful animated character named Magbun, also known as Ube Boy, the official mascot of the Bangkóta. Ube Boy translates the Filipino identity into animation to reach the young audience of the Expo who will seek to cultivate a deep understanding and appreciation of the Austronesian lineage of the Filipinos.
“In this fun and educational game application, the players’ mission is to earn as many stars and suns as the game progresses. By providing the correct answers to a set of questions covering a wide range of topics on Bangkóta and the Philippines, players have the opportunity to win Go Lokal prizes! Shop in zone 6 of the pavilion, ”explained DTI.
Bangkóta, the old term for “coral reef” in Tagalog, is the name and inspiration for the Philippine pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai, which will open on October 1 and run until March 31. ‘next year. It is the first World Expo to be held in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA) region, and the first to be hosted by an Arab nation.
The Philippine Pavilion is organically shaped like a coral reef, showcasing an archipelagic nation that has nurtured a collective sea-oriented culture for thousands of years.
Filipino video game developer James Palabay and his team of Digital Art Chefs, who created Bangkóta Trivia Quest, said, “Bangkóta is a courageous and ambitious company that provides insight into the true origins of Filipinos, inspiring the player to understand more veracity. What struck me the most as new information was the Austronesian connection. It made me feel more connected to so many other cultures and people. It gives me a richer feeling about our origins as a people and a deeper connection with other people beyond our islands. “
The Austronesians are a large group of diverse peoples in Taiwan (collectively referred to as the Taiwanese indigenous peoples), maritime Southeast Asia, Oceania, and Madagascar who extended from the southeastern coasts of mainland Asia to Taiwan, then to Southeast Asia, the islands of Oceania, including New Zealand, Papua New Guinea and the Pacific Islands, and finally Madagascar off the east coast of Africa.
Join Ube Boy’s journey
Meanwhile, Magbun or Ube Boy, a Filipino sailor and adventurer, will help users of the Mobile Visitor Journey app navigate the Bangkóta lodge. The animated character was created by Filipino filmmaker and animator Avid Liongoren as well as production company Twenty Manila, run by its creative director Manny Angeles.
Liongoren said, “In my animation field, most Filipino animators are used to making things look Western or Japanese – it’s either superhero style or anime. As a studio, we want to focus on using our own local visuals in the films we create in the hopes of helping to create a Filipino animation identity.
Angeles added, “Bangkóta celebrates the extent of how we Filipinos have spread across the world. It also shows that Filipinos had a flourishing culture before ‘welcoming’ guests from overseas in 1521. ”
Bangkóta Trivia Quest and Mobile Visitors Journey apps will soon be available for download through the App Store for IOS and Google Play for Android users. In addition to new media, DTI will also feature Filipino creative industries ranging from architecture, design and crafts, visual and performing arts to food, media and publishing to the Expo.