The 2023 National Food Fair, bannering its theme of “Go Discover, Taste, Enjoy!” opened on Wednesday, July 12, in simple ceremonies headlined by Department of Trade and Industry Secretary Alfredo E. Pascual as the keynote speaker.
Organized by the DTI-Bureau of Domestic Trade Promotion (BDTP) in coordination with the DTI Regional Operations Group, the 2023 National Food Fair runs from July 12 to 16, at the Megatrade Halls of SM Megamall, Mandaluyong City.
Over 250 MSMEs from the country’s 17 regions are exhibiting their products onsite at the event venue. Simultaneously, an online national food fair on the Lazada e-commerce platform is also offering the products of participating MSMEs, for a wider market reach nationwide.
Showcasing the fusion of tradition and innovation, special settings, pavilions, and MSME clusters draw attention to developments that elevate traditional Filipino products to meet stringent food industry standards and be competitive in the global market. These are:
- Philippine Coconut Industry Pavilion and Coconut-Based MSME Cluster
- Philippine Food Industry Innovations Lounge
- Philippine Fruits and Nuts Pavilion
- Innovative and Biotech Products Cluster
- Rural Agro-Industrial Partnership for Inclusive Development and Growth (RAPID Growth) Project Pavilion
- Farm Fresh Produce Pavilion
- KAPEtirya or Philippine Coffee Pavilion
- Philippine Island Wine, Beer, and Juice Bar
For culinary enthusiasts, renowned Filipino chefs are part of the daily program of activities, with live cooking and food preparation demonstrations, among others. The lineup includes:
- The Ultimate Filipino Adobo: Stories Through the Ages book launching and cooking demonstrations (Chef Claude Tayag)
- Isang Dekada ng Guevarra’s: An Inspiring Story (Chef Laudico Guevarra)
- Fiesta Recipes (Chef Boy Logro)
- Halal Recipes and lavish feast during social occasions (Chef Yed Dimaporo & Mustapha Ala, Jr.)
- SIMPOL Recipes Using Coconut (Chef Tatung Sarthou)
- Culinary Kurobuta Masterpieces (Chef Donatello Montrone)
- Changing the Food Mindset: Slow Food (Chef Jam Melchor)
- Plant-based Desserts (Chef Aileen of Studio Plantmaed)
- Benefits of a Plant-based Diet (Chef Mylene Dolonius of Studio Plantmaed)
- Healthy Daily Recipes (Chef YLYT Frixiah Manaig)
- Magsaysay Center for Hospitality and Culinary Arts (Chef Eric Gruba)
- The Farm at San Benito (Rose Pagcaliwagan)
- Philippine Wine Mixology (Bartender Nino Cruz)
The culminating highlight of this celebration of the diversity and rich heritage of Filipino food is an interactive cultural presentation of the BARMM Pagana Maguindanao, led by Mustafa Ala and Chef Yed Dimaporo. Pagana is a traditional Maguindanaon celebration that holds great cultural significance in the Maguindanao province of the Philippines. It is a festive event that brings the community together to honor and celebrate important occasions such as weddings, religious holidays, or community milestones. The Pagana celebration is characterized by lively music, colorful costumes, and traditional dances that showcase the rich cultural heritage of the Maguindanaon people. The rhythmic beats of the kulintang ensemble, a musical ensemble composed of gongs, set the tone for the festivities, while traditional dances like the Singkil and Pangalay mesmerize the audience with their graceful movements. The event also offers a feast of traditional Maguindanaon cuisine, featuring flavorful dishes like LININGGIL A MANOK (chicken cooked in turmeric and coconut milk) and palapa (a spicy condiment made from chili and scallions). Pagana is not only a time of celebration but also an opportunity to strengthen community bonds, pass down cultural traditions to younger generations, and showcase the rich artistic talents of the Maguindanaon people.
Also part of the daily program are entrepreneurship talks and learning sessions that can offer food entrepreneurs with resources and ideas about how to strengthen and position their businesses for continued growth. The topics covered by various government agencies and partner-institutions participating in the daily program are:
- Coconut-based Coffee and/or Cacao Enterprise Development Project (Department of Agriculture)
- Geographical Indications and the Benefits of Registering One’s Trademark or Brand in IPOPHIL (Intellectual Property Office)
- Sustainable Planting and Replanting of Local Cultivars; Natural and Healthy Coconut Vinegar; Health Benefits of Coconut (Philippine Coconut Authority)
- Halal Culinary Tourism (Department of Tourism)
- Bioplastic Derived from Pineapple Waste Packaging Technology; Coco-Based Food Technologies (Department of Science and Technology)
- Kitchen Lab and Food Connect Plus (Philippine Trade Training Center)
- Dairy and Coconut Farming, A Viable Integrated Farming Enterprise (National Dairy Authority)
- Boosting Nutrition to Different MSMEs as Suppliers of Healthy Food Products (National Nutrition Council)
- Healthy Food Consumption Trends and Research on Health Benefits of Philippine Herbs (Department of Health)
- Franchising – A Way to Make Every Filipino Taste Your Lola’s Recipe (Philippine Franchising Association)
- Accelerating Growth Through One Research and Extension in Action (UP Los Baños-Agora)
- How MSMEs Can Thrive Online (Lazada)
- Unilever’s Healthy and Sustainable Food Program (Unilever Philippines)
- Maximizing Your Digital Marketing Potential with Analytics and Business Intelligence (Pamela Padilla)
The daily program of activities is open to the public and free of charge. For the benefit of remote viewers, these are also being livestreamed on BDTP social media channels.
To stay updated about the 2023 National Food Fair and other programs of the DTI-Bureau of Domestic Trade Promotion, please follow their social media accounts on Facebook (DTI.BDTP), Instagram (dti.bdtp), and Twitter (@DTI_BDTP). You may also email BDTP Director Marievic M. Bononan at [email protected].