The Philippine World Building and Construction Expo has certainly come a long way from its earnest beginnings. Debuted 25 years ago, Worldbex was the brainchild of its founding chairman, Joseph L. Ang, who sought to prove that the Philippines was indeed ready for topnotch expositions that can rival international counterparts.
Having spent some time abroad in search for new avenues of economic growth, Ang was inspired by the various international exhibits and expositions he had attended. This stimulus, coupled with his belief in the potential and capacity of the country to thrive given the right platform and opportunities, led to his vision of establishing the first-ever Philippine World Building and Construction Expo.
In 1996, the first-ever Worldbex was held at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC). A far cry from the 80-booth running rate of local trade shows at that time, the show was no less than groundbreaking as it surpassed industry standards with a whopping 156 booths and a significant percentage of international exhibitors. It is no wonder that the show attracted some 30,000 visitors who were all eager to take part in the momentous event.
Then President Fidel V. Ramos visited the show, which then prompted Malacañang Palace to declare March 26 to 29, the duration of the show, as “Construction Week.” Presented in cooperation with the Philippine Institute of Architects and the Philippine Institute of Interior Designers, the success of Worldbex 1996 paved the way for the tradition of championing excellence and innovation in the Philippine construction and design industry.
Over the years, Worldbex would continue to blaze the trail with various breakthroughs, milestones, and boundary-spanning achievements. The following year Worldbex was held at the World Trade Center Manila for the first time. Attended by then Vice President Joseph Estrada, “Construction Week” was once again renewed.
In 1999, Worldbex presented the very first Worldbex Seminars with 600 delegates and the first-ever Grand Embassy Pavilion which was supported by the European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines and the US Commercial Service. The introduction of these show highlights would eventually set in motion the development of more trademark fixtures.
In 2003 it was held at Philippine Trade Trading Center as its second venue. It was also during this year that Worldbex began to exhibit its steady capacity to establish global links with its National Pavilions. The following year, another signature show feature, the Architects Gallery, was launched.
In 2008, it continued to break new records as it experienced an all-time high in the participation of international exhibitors from 30 different countries.
Worldbex took a stand and expressed solidarity for the environmental preservation movement as it adapted the theme of “Constructing the Future Green Communities through Efficient Technologies and Materials.” At this show, Worldbex banded together the country’s top architects, engineers, contractors and interior designers to collectively work out solutions and encourage best practices that will incorporate environmental sustainability.
As Worldbex entered its second decade in the industry, it introduced more creative and productive show features, such as the interschool interior design competition Obra Maestra in 2011, the Furniture Gallery in 2012, the DELAXX landscaping competition in partnership with PALA as well as the Worldbex Lab in 2015, the City of Tomorrow exhibit in 2016, the Worldbex MiniCons, and the Projéto Student Design Competition in 2018.
25 Years Of Legacy
As Worldbex celebrates its silver anniversary this March, it looks back to the past, as well as to the future to reflect on its many years of service in construction and design. Guided by the theme “A Legacy Built,” this year’s Worldbex can also be viewed as a grand homecoming as it comes full circle back to where it all began.
The Philippine International Convention Center will complete the triad of venues for the upcoming Worldbex together with the World Trade Center Metro Manila and SMX Convention Center Manila. Also not to be missed at Worldbex 2020 is the first Philippine Garden Festival in cooperation with LACISAP; the unveiling of The World, which is a special installation that will showcase the legacy of Worldbex in the past 25 years; as well as the all-new Allied Arts Pavilion which will feature world-renowned artists such as Ramon Orlina, Joe Datuin, Raul Isidro, and Edgar Doctor.
This year, the seminars are also set to return with their most number of speakers to date. A total of 18 speakers from seven countries shall come together for this significant event. During the trade show, Worldbex will also be launching its first-ever coffee table book.
Organized by Worldbex Services International, the 25th Worldbex is set for March 18 to 22, from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. at three venues — World Trade Center Metro Manila (WTCMM), SMX Convention Center Manila and the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC).
Pre-register at www.worldbex.com. For more information, call 8656-9239, email [email protected] or follow @worldbex on Facebook and Instagram.