Mallgoers had the rare opportunity to shop, taste, and celebrate international culture and cuisines at the International Mini-Bazaar and Asean Food Fest at the Music Hall of SM Mall of Asia.
(From left) Cambodian Ambassador Phan Peuv, First Secretary Vong Sopheap, Ambassador’s Secretary Sitha Sok, and Commercial Attache Lao Nguon Eng
Maria Lourdes Locsin (rightmost) with (from left) Singapore Embassy’s First Secretary for Admin and Consular Affairs Jessica Tan and Charge d’ Affaires Pan Jingxuan with Singapore’s merlion mascot
A joint project of the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), the International Bazaar Foundation, Inc. (IBF), and the 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 Secretary of Foreign Affairs Teodoro Locsin, Jr. and chairperson of the two foundations, together with ALF President and Malaysian Embassy’s Chargé d’Affaires Nurriha Ahmad, and IBF President 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 the last 56 years, the IBF has been hosting the International Bazaar that raises funds to uplift the lives of the less privileged.
Brunei Ambassador Johariah Wahab
Vietnam Embassy in Manila First Secretary Nguyen Thi Thanh Thuy (rightmost) with children and Embassy Attache Tran Thi Thu Hien
Argentine Republic Ambassador Ricardo Luis Bocalandro
During the program, Chinese Ambassador Huang Xilian presented the check donation to Maria Lourdes Locsin, IBF President Consul Betty Ang and its Board Members for their advocacies.
The International Mini-Bazaar, IBF’s first bazaar since the pandemic, is a fund-raising event that aimed to foster and strengthen the friendship shared between the Philippines and the rest of the world, all while raising awareness through sumptuous food and signature products.
Nigerian Ambassador Folakemi Ibidunni Akinleye and South African Ambassador Bartinah Ntombizodwa Radebe-Netshitenzhe
Lao Ambassador Songkane Luangmuninthone and Mme. Anothay
Indonesian Ambassador Agus Widjojo and wife Mme. Ranny Moerni Cahyani
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 the Asean member states including Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.
Guests enjoyed both traditional and modern cuisines prepared by the embassies and participating restaurants. These included Brunei’s Nasi Pusu with egg, Cambodia’s Num Banh Chok Khmer or Khmer Rice Noodle, Indonesia’s Rendang Daging and Satay Ayam, Lao PDR’s papaya salad, chicken barbecue, and sticky rice, and Malaysia’s Nasi Lemak with Beef Rendang.Myanmar’s Mohinga or rice noodle with fish soup, our very own’s Bibingka and Puto Bumbong, Singapore’s famous Laksa, Thailand’s Bagoong Fried Rice and Mango Sticky Rice, and Vietnam’s Banh Mi Thit or Vietnamese meat bread, also delighted guests.
The DFA’s International Mini-Bazaar and Asean Food Festival are some of the many exciting cultural events at the SM Mall of Asia.