The International Mini Bazaar and ASEAN Fest at SM Mall of Asia

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Visitors to the mall had the rare opportunity to shop, taste and celebrate international culture and cuisines at the recent International Mini Bazaar and ASEAN Food Fest at the Music Hall of SM Mall of Asia.

Maria Lourdes Locsin (3rd from left) and International Bazaar Foundation (IBF) President Consul Betty Ang (2nd from left) receive a check from HE Chinese Ambassador Huang Xilian (3rd from from the right) for their pleas. Joining them (left to right) are former Foreign Secretary Teodoro Locsin, Jr., Chinese Embassy Minister Counselor Wang Yulei and Counselor Li Wei.

A joint project of the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), International Bazaar Foundation, Inc. (IBF) and ASEAN Ladies Foundation (ALF), in partnership with SM, the event featured products, food and culture of the 26 participating countries, as well as four local textile merchants.

Maria Lourdes Locsin, wife of former Foreign Secretary Teodoro Locsin, Jr. and President of the two foundations, as well as ALF President and Charge d’Affaires of the Malaysian Embassy, ​​Nurriha Ahmad, and President of the IBF, Consul Betty Ang, led the opening ceremony. They were joined by no less than former Secretary Locsin, as well as ambassadors, spouses of heads of mission (SHOM), IBF board members and diplomats from various embassies.

For 56 years, the IBF has organized the international bazaar which raises funds to improve the lives of the less privileged. During the program, HE Chinese Ambassador Huang Xilian presented the donation check to Locsin, Ang and the board members for their advocacy.

Vietnamese Embassy in Manila, First Secretary Nguyen Thi Than Thuy (right) and Embassy Attaché Tran Thi Thu Hien (left) with children at the Vietnamese Embassy booth, which presented the Nón Lá or vietnamese traditional hat

The International Mini-Bazaar, IBF’s first bazaar since the pandemic, is a fundraising event that aimed to foster and strengthen the shared friendship between the Philippines and the rest of the world, while raising awareness through sumptuous dishes and signature products.

Participating countries in the international mini bazaar included Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Cambodia, China, Denmark, France, Indonesia, Japan, Myanmar, New Zealand, Peru, Romania, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Syria, Tanzania, Thailand, Ukraine, and Vietnam. From the Philippines, HABI: The Philippine Textile Council, Cora DJ Manimbo Fashion House, CMMAG/Nikkitita Manila and fashion designers also joined the bazaar for a cause.

Alongside this mini-bazaar was the ASEAN Food Fest organized by the ASEAN Ladies Foundation, Inc. (ALF) which featured authentic dishes and exotic flavors from the 10 embassies of ASEAN member states, including Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

(Left to right) Project partners Maria Lourdes Locsin and Millie Dizon from SM

Guests enjoyed traditional and modern cuisines prepared by embassies and participating restaurants. These included Brunei’s Nasi Pusu with Eggs, Num Banh Chok Khmer or Khmer Rice Noodles from Cambodia, Rendang Daging and Satay Ayam from Indonesia, Papaya Salad, BBQ Chicken and Sticky Rice from Lao PDR, and Nasi Lemak from Malaysia with Rendang beef.

Myanmar Mohinga or Rice Noodles with Fish Soup, Bibingka and Puto Bumbong from our own house, Famous Laksa from Singapore, Bagoong Fried Rice from Thailand and Mango Sticky Rice and Banh Mi Thit from Vietnam or Vietnamese meatloaf, also delighted the guests.

The DFA International Mini Bazaar and ASEAN Food Festival are just some of the many exciting cultural events at SM Mall of Asia.

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