SHOWCASING the best of the province, the Negros Trade Fair (NTF) officially kicks off at Glorietta Activity Center in Makati City Wednesday, September 25.
Highlighting the timeless traditions of the island, the annual event is now on its 34th year, making it as the longest-running provincial trade fair in the Philippines.
Michael Claparols, chairperson of this year's edition of NTF, said the five-day event is bringing in together about 64 exhibitors, including producers and local government units (LGUs).
Claparols said this is a continuation of what has been done in the past. It is showcasing anew the best of the Negrenses.
"It is blending the old and new and connecting the past and present," he said, adding that "we want to highlight to the people in Manila the Negros' spirit."
Themed "Timeless Traditions," the trade fair is also positioned to underscore the province's culture, art, tradition, history and lifestyle especially Negrenses' love for food and exquisite craftsmanship.
The annual NTF is organized by the Association of Negros Producers (ANP) in collaboration with the Provincial Government of Negros Occidental and agencies like the Department of Trade and Industry and the Department of Science and Technology, among others.
Prior to the kick off, Provincial Government officials headed by Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson along with some national officials led the Arima or the opening night Tuesday, September 24.
They were joined by some of the Negrense chefs, including Margarita Fores and Don Angelo Colmenares during the cocktails showcasing some local cuisine.
Claparols, also the vice president for gifts, decors and housewares sector of ANP, said the participating exhibitors are from different sectors.
They are bringing with them products under food, furniture, gifts, decors and housewares, and organics, among others.
Claparols said despite the smaller venue this year, they are optimistic to rake in higher sales.
In 2018, participating enterprises have generated a total sales of P31.8 million during the five-day 33rd Negros Trade Fair.
It was participated by 70 ANP-member and non-member producers including LGUs.
"We also want to share with the people from Luzon our stories, our spirit," he said.
Like the previous years, there will be other pocket events within the week-long event.
Claparols earlier said NTF goers could expect more new and innovative products as they are engaging with more suppliers and producers this year.
"We are not only catering to old clients, we want to introduce our traditions to the new generation," the chairperson added.