THE Negros staff manning the Negros Pavilion at the International Food Exhibition (IFEX)-Philippines (May 16–19) are in an intense mood while seriously attending to the investors who are interested in Negros products. IFEX is organized by the Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (CITEM) at the SMX Convention Center in Pasay City.
I was there together with Achilles Corteza, Ronnie Gomia, Jegger Anhao and Meir Francisco. The Kabataang Silay Rondalla was requested by Gov. Freddie to entertain the special guests of Nergos Occidental during the fellowship night. The exhibition area at the second floor is world class. The best food products of the Philippines and the world are there. The first floor is for selling and buying. It is teeming with investors, housewives, media men, and business magnates. The products are priced lower than those in their supermarket outlets. Free tasting of the product is an attraction… coffee, ice cream, frozen meat delicacies, veggies, fruits, food supplements, noodles and candies.
Negros exhibitors are small and medium entrepreneurs: Vergie Chua of Vergie’s Home Made Products, Chin Chin Uy of Fresh Start Organic-Silay, Marilyn Manuel of Options MPC, Milagros Encabo of Kits Herbs, Federico and Aurora Barredo of Federico’s Wine, Peter Grafil of Grafil’s, Leila Seva and Boots Gendaya of Himayaan Deli, Sr. Alma Mangao of Balik Kalikasan, Ma. Elena Taberra of Kalipayan Products, Junelle Suarez of Sir Jess Suarez Enterprise, Valentine Lim of Sofia Seafoods, Agnes Cuenca of Quan Bakeshop; Lenny Porras of Leny’s Dried Fish, Ann Villaluna and Ma. Ysel Nusog of HLS Aqua Products, Elizabeth Mondejas and Wilfredo Pado of Alter Trade Corporation, Maritess and Mark Sanchez of El Ideal-Silay, Susana Vistas of SJ Velorias, Sarah Bernales of Saring’s Special Bago-ong, MC Domero of Negros Binhi International Co., Tima Lacson of Casa Carmela, Francisco Hon of T-Flavors, Bongbong Villar of Bong-Bongs, Ruby Cruz of Herbanext, Inc., and the staff of Negros Island Sustainable Agriculture for Rural Development (NISARD).
Our heroes in the business front were there to explain and sell to the world the best products of our province. The products being showcased are Power Fruits Asia for major tropical fruit exports, Seafood Asia for fresh marine produce, Halal Food Asia for Halal certified delicacies, and Green Asia for natural and organic food.
The regional and country pavilions include a line-up known as Brunei Darussalam-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines East Asian Growth Area with the special participation of the United States of America, European Union, New Zealand, Australia, and Argentina.
During the Negros Fellowship night at SMX Rooms 15-16-17, the visitors were treated to a Negros brand of cultural amicability featuring organic sugarcane juice, Federico’s bignay wine, chicken inasal, puto’t dinuguan, guapple tart, squid rings, squid tapa, pinitaw and more delicacies of Negros origin.
Governor Marañon said that as part of his NEGROS FIRST Program, he is bent to make Negros Island (with Negros Oriental) as the organic food center of the country. Negrosanons can only be passionate in food, culture… and perhaps politics.
“We honor our food investors because they add flavor to our economy. We bring the taste of Negros to the world as our way of showing who we are,” Maranon said.
Gov. Marañon was accompanied by his Capitol family in welcoming USec. Merly Cruz of DTI, Nestor Palabyab (OIC) of Philippine Trade Training Center, and other guests like Manager Arturo Dimaano, Dept. Manager Leah Ocampo, and Rose Kwan and Lendri Lizada of the Partner Province Program.
Dances and music were provided by Kabataang Silay Rondalla, Hugyaw Silay Dance Group, Masskara Dance Group, and Cathryn Joy Belarga.