Category Archives: Events

Hope Shines Brighter in Negros for the 27th Negros Trade Fair

Inset: Official poster of the 27th Negros Trade Fair – Beyond Limits at Rockwell Tent.

Image of men in fashionable clothes, dancing to the latest beats, drinking the most expensive imported wines, these are the Manila based Negrenses taking part in the almost bacchanalian parties of the Kahirup Society. The onset of the sugar crisis in the 1980’s has stopped these parties altogether the Negros Trade Fair has replaced it as the Negrenses’ opportunity for socio-civic interaction now with a purpose, and that is to help their poor kasimanwas back home, reeling from the effects of what was once a mighty industry. Now on its 27th year, the Association of Negros Producers has reflected the desire to go beyond limits for this 5-day event.

Inset: Interior of the Negros Showroom branch in Buendia Avenue, Makati City.

Inset: One of the trendy house lamps available at the Negros Showroom Makati.

Inset: Durable and stylish dinner table at the Negros Showroom Makati available for sale.

Inviting some bloggers for a preview of the upcoming 27th Negros Trade Fair, Negros Showroom Makati Manager Mike Claparols, descendant of the first and only Negros Republic President Aniceto Lacson, entertained guests in the old Negrense way of serving an afternoon coffee treat of Negrense delicacies. This homey showroom reminds guests of the lifestyle back home in Negros where people come in the afternoon to have a small chat over coffee and treats. The Negros Showroom Makati’s space was given by the Department of Trade and Industry for use of the Association of Negros Producers as a showroom until December 31, 2012 this year.

Inset: Piaya and barquillos from Virgie’s served in Nong Mike’s ceramic products.

Inset: Caramel Tarts, also from Virgie’s, one of the Negros Showroom Makati bestsellers.

Inset: Quan’s napoleones served fresh from their commissary in Dian St., Makati City.

The treats served were best seller ones like the signature Piaya and Napoleones from Bacolod. Sweetness from the treats reminds us very well of not just the sugar industry but also the innate sweetness and gentleness of the Negrenses. Nong Mike remembered the days where people would simply go to a relative’s house and how the host would let out a feast of sweet treats for the visitors. Much of the delicacies we see now are innovations by the home cooks who got their ideas from abroad or simply by the needs of the times as people adapt. Abundance of sugar with availability of ingredients and flour has led to innate culinary creativity of the Negrenses.

Inset: Combination of capers, basil and olive oil makes up this delicious vegetarian pate.

Inset: Addicting natural squid rings available at the Negros Showroom Makati.

Inset: Negrense twist to the original Italian puttanesca sauce from Jarvis.

There are quite a lot of people who carelessly classify Negrense cuisine as “Ilonggo cuisine” due to undeniable similiarities in some dishes up to the name but, educated tongues would know that the food culture has gone beyond its original Ilonggo offshoot just a century ago, to a unique body of cuisine. Negrenses are well-traveled people and has so adopted cooking styles from various regions of the Philippines and even foreign influences, mainly Spanish, with some Italian, Mexican and Chinese. Fusion is best seen in the various recipe from other places, but blended well with local ingredients that the taste has now become characteristically Negrense.

Inset: Trendy but durable hand bags made of local materials in Negros by Kiculo

Inset: Export-quality local and organically-made personal care items from Fresh Start Organic.

Inset: Girls’ Accessories available at the Negros Showroom Makati.

Quality and advocacy mixes well for the Association of Negros Producers where products have wonderful stories behind them. The years of experience with Negros Trade Fair and the Negrenses’ creativity has ingrained a sense of quality for each of the products sold by the association, showroom and trade fair. Each has been carefully scrutinized to pass a standard test that most items sold are vailable for export. One of the success stories is Fresh Start Organic that started almost a decade ago and has been leading in the Island push for organic products. Aside from organic produce, they have also personal care items entirely from organic sources.

Inset: PUREZA The Story of Negros Sugar will be showing for the Negros Trade Fair.

Negrense products are merely a reflection of the actual welcoming warmth of Negrenses. Negros Trade Fair and Negros Showroom  Makati are unique chances for Manileños to have a feel of little bit of Negros in the middle of the busy Rockwell Center and Buendia Avenue. PUREZA The Story of Negros Sugar will screen tomorrow, September 25, 9pm at Power Plant Cinema 6 to give us a preview of a crisis that started this all. I recommend the Negros Trade Fair for your early shopping needs or just for your fancy of export quality products for your daily needs. Do set one day between September 26 to 30 to visit the little bit of Negros at the Rockwell Tent.


Negros Island and Everything Organic

For my loyal readers, you might have remembered my haciendero get-up and pose from my previous blog about Fresh Start Organic  Farm. My Fresh Start Organic experience is an eye opener and certainly, I fell in love with organic products and organic farming. Before its acclaim as the Organic Food Bowl of Asia, the trek to organic farming in Negros Island has been a slow and sometime painful one. The movement started in 1990’s and has been focused in small groups of entrepreneurs that had several exhibits in Bacólod City, the island’s most major city and financial center. The initiative picked up steam however in 2005 when the Provincial Governments of Negros Occidental and Negros Oriental signed a memorandum setting up the goal for Negros Island to be the Organic Food Bowl of Asia. From the painful experience of both provinces at the fall of the sugar economy, enterprising Negrénses made use of the idle lands to start-up what is now a successful organic movement. The following year, the two Provincial Governments held the first Negros Island Organic Farmers Festival in Bacólod City.

The Negros Island Organic Farmers Festival is the longest running organic festival of its kind in the country. Since 2006, the festival has consistently showcased organic produce that has a distinctive mark of quality being grown in the rich soil of Negros Island. Following its inception half a decade ago, it has helped the two Negros Provinces in their goal of solidifying the claim of the Island as the Organic Food Bowl of Asia. Their efforts do not go unnoticed as tourists from other provinces and even overseas stream into the festival venues to learn, purchase and even present prospects for larger exports. The gathering is a rare one and is able to present or showcase the products of both small farmers and big-time entrepreneurs alike. Success of the event every year is contributed to the cooperation between these two market players.

This year’s festivites will be centered on the lot that has been the center of land battle between Ayala Land and SM Development Corporation. None of those battle of the mall giants for now because it will be the feature ground for the best of organic farmers in the Island. Long before the heated up land battle between the mall giants, this has been the site of Organic na Negros! Market and has been selling organic produce from small farmers. This is the site of the first festivities too and will be again on December 16-20, 2011. Just a stone’s throw from the magnificent Provincial Capitol of Occidental Negros in Gatuslao Street, Bacólod City, this year’d festival will showcase 100 exhibitors nationwide. The five-day activity will feature the ff:

  • Organic Cookfest, a cooking demonstration of special  menus made from organic produce by celebrity chefs, well-known restaurateurs and participants from selected culinary schools.
  • Fora on the latest updates in organic agriculture by internationally known experts on organic food production
  • Song-writing Contest
  • Quiz Bees
  • Night concerts with live bands
  • Exhibits of organic, healthy, local and vegetarian food
  • Eco-friendly products and technology
  • Agri-tourism health and wellness fair

While the exhibitors will have their space in the Organic na Negros! Market, event booths will be set up in South Capitol Road fronting Negros Forest Compound and the Commission of Audit. Symposiums will be held at the Social Hall of the Provincial Capitol. The activity is in line with Gov. Alfredo Marañon’s food security program “Food for Peace”. Organic Festivities are organized under the Office of the Provincial Agriculturist (OPA) in partnership with the Department of Agriculture (DA), the Negros Island Sustainable Agriculture and Rural Development (NISARD) Foundation and the Organic na Negros! Organic Producers and Retailers Association (ONOPRA).

The 2011 Visayas Blogging Summit

It is a crazy November for all blogging rascals out there as everyone is buzzing on the upcoming Visayas Blogging Summit 2011 in the Queen City of the South, Cebu City. This year’s event will be hosted by the Cebu Bloggers team who are widely known for highly-acclaimed events like World Bloggers’ Day and Best Cebu Blogs Awards respectively.

Last year, the 2010 Visayas Blog Awards and Blogging Summit was hosted by the Iloilo Bloggers in Iloilo City wherein it gathered bloggers from Visayas, and a good number of people from Mindanao and Manila.

With Cebu Bloggers handling this year’s event, I bet there will be more participants coming from different areas in the Visayas, specifically in the provinces of Leyte, Samar, Bohol, Dumaguete and Bacólod. Cebú City is just half an hour or less by airplane from key cities of Visayas and an hour from Mindanao respectively.

The Visayas Blogging Summit 2011 will be held at SM City Cebu and will start from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM.

What to expect during the event

On it’s official page at the Cebu Bloggers site, they gave a bird’s eye view on what to expect for the upcoming event. Below is an excerpt from the About Page I manage to read earlier:

cebu copy 300x168 ABOUT

This year, CBSi is taking another step ahead as the organizer of the largest social media and blogging summit in the Philippines – 2nd VISAYAS BLOGGING SUMMIT. The said event is set on November 26, 2011 from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM and expected to draw around 300 bloggers all over the Philippines.

This year, the VBS 2011 organizers are taking a step forward by providing our participants world-class talks that will better improve their craft as social media users.

With our topics and talks ranging from Personal Bloggging,Professional BloggingSocial Media Marketing for Business andSocial Media Responsibility, we are drawing not only ordinary social media users but professionals and small and medium size entrepreneurs also.

If you’re interested on what you can get more during the event, you may visit their special events page –  The Visayas Blogging Summit 2011 or register for the event by clicking here.

The 2011 Visayas Blogging Summit is sponsored by the following corporate partners:

If you’re interested to support the said event, the Cebu Bloggers team are still actively looking for sponsors and partners. You may click below for more details:

So,what are you waiting for? Enjoy the sights and unique wonders that Metropolitan and Cosmopolitan Cebú has to offer while learning new things about the wonders of blogging. Book your flights now!