The global-but-local bazaar that gives back–alwaysBy Conchitina Sevilla Bernardo
Philippine Daily Inquirer
As the yuletide season nears, the bazaars begin!
Haven’t you asked yourself: Why so many bazaars? And what makes one better than the other?
There has been one that has stood out year after year. This is the International Bazaar Foundation (IBF) Bazaar of the diplomatic corps. The bazaar is an NGO that has and continues to help a myriad of charities around the country.
This is why its tagline is so catchy: “Shop global, help local.” Products the world over are sold here and, in return, proceeds go to various charities in the Philippines.
The event is never meant for profit. It began as a diplomatic endeavor between the spouse of the Secretary of Foreign Affairs and the Spouses of the Heads of Mission (SHOM) in the Philippines. Now, the International Bazaar has become a fair that sells imported and local goods and merchandise to the public, the proceeds of which are then used to finance projects that are geared to help those who are in need.
It is an eloquent testimony that knows no borders, no religion or conflicting interest, but simply a joint effort of diplomatic ladies that go beyond the usual cocktail parties, afternoon teas and sit-down dinners. It is the joining of hands to become a true force for good. For in the end, we all collectively want to ‘give back’—always.
The long-standing success of the International Bazaar can be attributed to the major support it gives to the charities of the International Bazaar Foundation. These include Aklat, Gabay, Aruga Tungo sa Pag-Angat at Pag-Asa (Agapp); Bahay Maria Center; Community and Family Services International Inc. (CFSI); Coalition of Services of the Elderly Inc.; Philippine General Hospital; Kabalikat sa Kaunlaran ng mga Ayta Inc. (Kakai); Dar Amanah Children’s Village Foundation Inc.; San Lorenzo Ruiz Home for the Elderly; and CRIBS, among others.
Now on its 46th year, the 2012 International Bazaar goes “green” again and will therefore use only reusable and eco-friendly shopping bags instead of plastic ones, as part of its commitment to environmentally conscious and responsible shopping.
Headed by its chairperson, Gretchen V. del Rosario, wife of Secretary of Foreign Affairs Albert F. del Rosario, in cooperation with the Spouses of the Heads of Missions and members of the consular corps in the Philippines, this exciting and one-of-a-kind event will be held on Sunday, Nov. 18, 9 a.m.-5 p.m., at the C Forums I, II and III, CCP Complex in Pasay City.
Board of trustees
From its inception until the present, the wife of the Philippine Secretary of Foreign Affairs is the overall chairperson of the International Bazaar Foundation, supported by a board of trustees. The 2012 International Bazaar Foundation board of trustees is composed of the following: Gretchen V. del Rosario, overall chairperson; Conchitina S. Bernardo, president; Sylvia J. Farolan, vice president; Rose B. Villamor, secretary; Nora C. Salazar, treasurer; board members Margarita Tambunting, Ada Mabilangan, Bambina Buenaventura, Olivia Romulo, Alice T. Guerrero, Marion Coscolluella and Fortune Ledesma.
Spouses of Heads of Mission
The IBF and SHOM, meanwhile, exist on mutual cooperation and joint decision-making. The activities of the foundation are jointly assumed by the IBF and SHOM, members of which are Gracita Tolentino Sieber (Switzerland), president; Marta Otero (Argentina), vice president; Tran Thi Lan Hinh (Vietnam), secretary; Nadia Mati (Iraq), vice secretary; Elena Kudasheva (Russia), treasurer; Esther Egurube (Nigeria), membership officer; Kostas Kanavariotis (Greece), Web officer.
Aside from the finest products from around the world made available at the bazaar, there will also be special raffle prizes awarded to lucky winners. These include various appliances, hotel and restaurant vouchers, gifts from the Philippine embassies and consulates around the world, and many one-of-a-kind items.
Because of this, the 46th International Bazaar promises to be the best one yet. Join the 2012 International Bazaar by “shopping global and helping local.”
For tickets (P100) and details, contact the IBF office, 6/F, 2330 Department of Foreign Affairs Bldg., Roxas Blvd., Pasay City; tel. 8331320; fax 8343907; Tesoro’s outlets on Arnaiz Avenue in Makati, Alabang Town Center, Amalum Street in Ermita; or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org