International Bazaar comes to town again


Here is good news for bazaar fans, and there are lots of fancy and fun bazaars in the NCR to enjoy this season!

The “queen” of all bazaars, which has been on hold, like all other bazaars, since this ongoing pandemic started in early 2020, will be back with a vengeance on Nov. 20, a Sunday, at its favorite venue, the World Trade Center.

This bazaar is participated in by most countries as their ambassadors’ first ladies are all members of the International Bazaar Foundation, now chaired by Madame Pamela Louise Manalo, wife of the DFA secretary. Expectations are high over what might be found in the stalls of the myriad countries involved, from the best Spanish wines, French cheeses, Swiss and Belgian chocolates to Thai and Indian silks, and of course our very own crafts and delicacies from all provinces.

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 At the MOU signing are (seated) ACB executive director Theresa Mundita Lim, ISST president Mina Gabor, and SEARCA director Glenn Gregorio. The signing is witnessed by (standing) ACB external relations and policy officer Allan Pormento, Department of Foreign Affairs undersecretary Jesus Domingo, DOT-Calabarzon acting regional director Marites Castro, ISST treasurer Miguel Guioguio, ISST finance officer Merlita Del Mundo, and SEARCA deputy director for administration Joselito Florendo.

Our country will take the  global environmental stage again as it hosts the International Ecotourism Travel Mart (IETM), the world’s first and biggest ecotourism-themed expo on March 29 to April 2, 2023 in Silang, Cavite.

The International School for Sustainable Tourism (ISST), the ASEAN Center for Biodiversity (ACB), and the Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA) recently forged a memorandum of understanding for the hosting of the said expo.

According to ISST president Dr. Mina Gabor, the five-day fair will share best practices on ecotourism from global experts and provide networking avenues with ecotourism authorities and advocates.

Organized by the Japan-based Asian Environmental Network, the IETM will promote the country’s ecotourism sites, indigenous practices and culture, and push for measures to mitigate and adapt to climate change.

The gathering will also bring together delegates and exhibitors worldwide to showcase products and services that have a strong ecotourism component, green technology, and sustainable green practices.

“The Covid-19 pandemic has catalyzed the growing awareness that nature is part of the solution to public health and environmental challenges. Thus, a regional fair that elevates the tourism sector as a leader in promoting the balance between economic development and harnessing nature as a solution to our current challenges only comes timely,” says ACB Executive Director Theresa Mundita Lim.

She added that as an event partner, the ACB will feature the success stories of its biodiversity conservation and livelihood programs in Southeast Asia through an interactive exhibition. The 11-member Jakarta-based ASEAN has declared the revival of the tourism sector as a key component in the region’s efforts in its comprehensive recovery framework.

Originally set in 2020 at the International Institute for Rural Reconstruction in Cavite, the IETM was postponed due to the pandemic.

The event’s government partner agencies are the Department of Tourism, Department of Foreign Affairs, Tourism Promotions Board, Province of Cavite, and Municipality of Silang.

Here’s wishing Mina and the other organizers all the luck and blessings from above for a successful forum on sustainable tourism! The success of the forum is the country's gain!