INT'L BAZAAR. Senator Loren Legarda (3rd from left, front row); Pamela Louise Manalo, IBF chairperson (2nd from left, front row); and Riitta Laakso, SHOM President (4th from left, front row) led the ribbon-cutting ceremony to officially open the International Bazaar 2022 on Sunday (Nov. 21, 2022). The Department of Foreign Affairs said the event generated at least 4,598 in foot traffic. (Photo courtesy of DFA)

MANILA – The International Bazaar made a return after a two-year hiatus last Sunday, featuring 42 countries and more than 100 booths.

In a news release, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said the event held last Sunday at the World Trade Center in Pasay City generated at least 4,598 in foot traffic.

The International Bazaar 2022 is a collaborative effort among the International Bazaar Foundation (IBF), the DFA, the Spouses of Heads of Missions (SHOM), and private product exhibitors.

Sales from entrance and raffle tickets, booth rentals, donations from the embassies from booth earnings as well as from other donors will go to the programs and projects of IBF and SHOM, including scholarships, livelihood assistance and other charitable activities.

“It is very fitting that we gather here in the World Trade Center Metro Manila ‘Where the World Comes to Shop’ – bringing together shoppers and exhibitors from across the globe. The variety of goods and products under one roof is what makes this occasion truly special. With more than forty participating countries, the International Bazaar represents both the diversity and solidarity within our diplomatic community,” IBF chairperson Pamela Louise Manalo said in a speech during the opening.

“At the heart of it, the International Bazaar is held for a noble cause: to give to those who are in need,” she added.

The guest of honor, Senator Loren Legarda, commended and expressed firm support for the bazaar as it serves as a platform for exhibitors to promote their world-class products.

Legarda also stressed the key role of micro, small and medium enterprises in the Philippine economy and local communities, and encouraged more support for them.

Aside from products, the bazaar featured cultural performances by the Philippine Barangay Folk Dance Troupe and some of the participating embassies.

There were also booths that offered culinary delights to the visitors.

Among the participants were the Embassies of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Japan, India, Switzerland, Belgium, Ireland, Sweden, South Korea, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Colombia, Hungary, Indonesia, Singapore, France, China, Turkiye, Finland, Ukraine, Australia, Argentina, Mexico, Russia and the European Union Delegation in Manila.

At the UAE booth, some of the items sold were majboos lamb, chicken biryani, balaleet, tabouleh salad, and dates cakes.

UAE Ambassador to the Philippines Mohamed Obaid Alqattam Alzaabi said the booth presented an "aspect of the Emirati heritage in a way that strengthens ties between the participating countries".

"The embassy's participation in this event confirms the common interest in heritage by working to strengthen the generations’ link with it and keep it alive as pillar of the national identity and its prominent features," he said. (PNA)