We can give you 370 reasons, but we’ll let you discover the rest at Glorietta from Sept. 26 to Oct. 1.
It’s that time of the year again when dozens of small businesses from Negros Occidental gather in Manila to sell their wares—everything from food and clothes to accessories and crafts. They’ve been doing it since 1985, making the Negros Trade Fair the longest and most successful one of its kind in the country.
If you have never gone before, or have and are wondering why you should go again this year, here are 37 reasons to go to Glorietta Activity Center from September 26, Tuesday, to October 1, Sunday. We can actually list 370 but we’ll let you discover the rest.
1. Central location. Right smack in the middle of one of the busiest commercial and business districts in the metro that’s easily accessible via different types of public and private transpo.
2. Free entrance. Unlike some bazaars that charge entrance fees.
3. Only happens once a year. You only get 6 days in a year to get hold of these local products without having to travel to Negros.
4. 100 stalls. With each stall carrying multiple products, that’s a whole lot of merchandise to choose from and enjoy.
5. These upcycled coffee capsule accessories and decor. Unique, stylish, eye-catching. Environment-friendly too. Available at the NVC Foundation booth.
6.This miniature Nativity Set. Made with pulverized eggshells mixed with binder and covered with capiz shell mosaic. Available at the NVC Foundation booth.
7. These mosaic pieces. Colorful and intricate illustrations of beautiful landscapes and still life made with broken ceramic. Officially described as trays, they can stand alone as wall or desk decor. Available at the NVC Foundation booth.
8. You can help feed poor children. Each purchase of a coffee capsule artwear, a multi-media mosaic piece, and a capiz Nativity Set from the NVC Foundation booth will feed 1 or more undernourished kids for one month. You not only get great products, you get to help the needy too without doing anything else.
9. This unique drink. A refreshing blend of tomato and calamansi juices. Available at the TLDC booth.
10. These one-of-a-kind chips. Called Sarisa Chips by Renzel, they’re aratilis leaves covered with light flavored batter and deep fried to a perfect state of munchiness. Once you pop, you can’t stop. Available at Renzel’s food booth.
11. This chocolate delight. Pili nuts paste wrapped in candied kamias prunes, dipped in chocolate and laced with white chocolate. Aptly named Treasures. Available at the Virgie’s booth.
12. This other chocolate delight. Called Batwan Bonbons by Renzel, these are chocolate cubes filled with batwan jam. Batwan is a popular local fruit typically used in Negrense cuisine as a souring agent in soups. This one isn’t typical. It’s like those liquor-filled chocolates but without the alcohol and the bitter taste. Available at Renzel’s food booth.
13. These other chocolate delights. For those who want their chocolates dark especially those with the taste buds for cacao. Available at the TLDC (Technology and Livelihood Development Center) booth.
14. Pineapple sneakers. Cool, colorful, comfy sneakers made with fabric culled from discarded pineapple leaves. Sustainable fashion on your feet. Available at the Lakat booth.
15. This ready-to-cook batchoy pack. Thanks to the pandemic, this several-decades-old favorite of Bacolodnons is now available in ready-to-cook packs. Thanks to the Negros Trade Fair, NCR peeps can now enjoy it at home. Available at the Restaurant 21 booth.
16. This dessert. Frozen Brazo in a cup. Light and creamy and totally delicious. Available at the Ann Co Cakes booth.
17. These kakanin. They are some of the homemade treats that made Quan a household name in Bacolod on its way to becoming a chain of restaurants. Available individually or in a Party Bila-o at the Quan booth.
18. These classic delicacies. Two of the most popular pasalubongs from one of the oldest and most iconic food joints in historic Silay city. Available at the El Ideal booth.
19. These sneakers and clothes with special artwork. Individually hand painted by the students of Happy Beginners School of Learning, a 10-year-old educational institution that provides support to and advocates for children with special needs and their families. Available at the Happy Beginners booth.
20. This kind of unique art. How is this unique? The main featured material is coconut meat. Who knew, right?! Available at the Tumandok booth.
21.These tapa flakes. We know the term decadent is usually reserved for cakes and pastries but it’s the first word that came to mind when we got a taste of this in the resto in Bacolod. Available at the Imay’s booth.
22. This cogon tableware. Individually handwoven by women in the farmlands and mountains of Negros. They also harvest the cogon plants themselves. They pieces be also used as decor on their own or with other pieces. Available at the Hacienda Crafts booth.
23. These pandan table top accessories. Pieces made with natural pandan leaves found in the foothills of Mt. Kanla-on, expertly harvested, stripped, and dyed by local women from the villages. Available at the Artisana Island Crafts booth.
24. This alcoholic beverage. “A premium aged, single-island rum crafted on the fertile foothills of the active Mt. Kanlaon volcano at the heart of Negros Occidental, where the finest blades of sugarcane are expertly milled to produce sweet, rich molasses.” Reminder: drink moderately. But good luck on that. Available at the Don Papa booth.
25. This classic merienda. Made with organic ingredients sourced straight from the farm. Available in several variants at the Fresh Start booth.
26. This hopia. It’s two all-time favorites in one tasty, hearty treat. Hopia probably doesn’t get better than this. Also, it’s sisig unlike any other you may have tastes before. Either way, it’s a knockout. Available at the Margie’s booth.
27. These hand-crocheted murals. Timeless home decor depicting sceneries from Negros and lovingly crafted by Negrense artisans using cotton, coco twigs, and pandan. Available at the Vivo Handmade booth.
28. This ice cream. Layers of strawberry, banana, and chocolate ice cream with fresh bananas and strawberry bits, mallows, walnuts, and maraschino cherry. Ice cream doesn’t get much hotter than this Banana Split. Available at the Marissa’s Ice Cream & Pies booth.
29. This crazy tummy filler. Sinfully delicious blend of meat from big crabs and rich fat from small crabs. Can be enjoyed as ulam with rice, as palaman or topping with crackers or bread, or stand-alone food. Available at the Casa Carmela booth.
30. These cookies. They’re called Thins but they’re thick in flavor and texture. Light but filling at the same time. A fave from Bacolod’s sort of counterpart to Conti’s, a resto chain started by three sisters. Available at the Felicia’s booth.
31. This morcon. One of the all-time favorite lutong bahay recipes at Sir & Ma’am, a popular eatery in Silay that’s now 51 years old. Available at the Sir & Ma’am booth.
32. This lechon Macau. Another to-die-for ulam from Sir & Ma’am.
33. There’s a tourism booth. There’s definitely so much more to Negros travel than the Masskara festival. Start your discovery and inquiries at the provincial tourism booth.
34. Fresh funds. It’s sweldo time and there are few other things more sulit to spend your money on than the unique, tasteful, and wonderful offerings of the Negros Trade Fair.
35.Early Christmas shopping. The unique, tasteful, and wonderful offerings include lots of options for Christmas gifts and trimmings. Get yours well in advance to avoid the holiday rush. You’ll thank yourself for it and your recipients will thank you for the splendid presents.
36. Sulit. Most items sold in the Fair are Negros exclusives and carry the same price tags. If you factor in the costs of traveling to the province, shopping at the Fair saves you a whole lot of money.
37. Women power. Around 90% of the participating businesses are run or fronted by women and most employ female workers including many from poor communities. Supporting the Fair is a support for the bright, artistic, talented, innovative, skillful, hardworking, empowered women of Negros.