The Christmas/New Year Season is the time where one’s stomach’s balloon live never been for the year and where people savor all kinds of foods. Negrénses love good food and where there are good ones or a lot of selections, there they go. Indeed, I am very much a Negrénse and when I heard of Comer.cio Food Bazaar, I took the chance to see it all. I was supposed to miss Comer.cio since the original schedule was on Dec. 17-20, 2011 but because Sendong dumped the more than usual amount of rains. Even in the new schedule, Dec. 27-29, 2011, was almost canceled because the venue was flooded by another unusual amount of rains. Instead of moving to another day, the organizers decided to pick up the pieces and set-up a booth despite all odds.
I arrived at past 5pm in Central District (CDIP) and I immediately saw the amazing girl team of organizers, one of which I immediately recognized as Ina Ramos which you may remember as the entrepreneur mind behind Swap Straps. She, her sister Ica, friends Nikki Marañon, Krishia Millanes and Cara Henares, ran the three-day bazaar practically with their bare hands. Their unsung dedicated as seen by the sight of girls carrying tables, equipments and what not almost shamed me. They offered me a seat which I took, from which I saw how this dark corner lighted up bit by bit as food stalls heated up their wares for cooking. As I saw everyone move for work but one thing I saw, smiles unfading attesting to the persistent Negrénse spirit.
Despite the short time in planning for the Food Bazaar, the organizers were able to gather a good handful of concessionaires which offered an interesting selection of dishes from a full meal to handy snacks, thirst quenching beverage to some light drinks and ice cream too! Food Bazaars are nothing new since they always appear at major festivals in Negros but having them at lean time is a new concept to Bacólod City. The same problems faced Banchetto and Mercato in their early days but when there’s talk of food, people start to trickle in. The first few hours of the Food Bazaar yielded only a trickle of customers but steadily. I got mixed reactions from friends but I understand that the first days are always sacrificial lambs in many pioneering events.
In went on for the next two days and saw a lot of improvement with the Food Bazaar. I even brought a tourist friend over at Comer.cio and was impressed by the girl power involved with the event. We almost did not have a table and chair for us to sit on with so many people streaming in. Comer.cio is entirely an initiative of students in their limited spare time yet the level of preparations were impressive. Given the challenges and limitations that even professional organizers shudder on, I commend the team for taking the challenge head on. While Comer.cio had its handful of critics, I see it as a job done well for the organizers and the amazing amounts of girl power. I wish to see Comer.cio in Bacólod again this year, bigger and better.