My first social event: Buying farmers’ fresh produce | Lifestyle.INQ

OCTOBER 27, 2022

Margie Moran, Sea Princess, Frank Briones, Ara Arida and Daphne Oseña-Paez

Slowly but surely, life as we know it is returning to its new and improved state. After months of staying home and avoiding any external activity, I actually had a #newnormal social event last weekend.

I was quite excited to attend the launch of Farmers’ Produce at SM Aura. I got to test social waters and did something in support of local farmers. Many farmers and their families find themselves struggling to get back on their feet and make enough to get by amid the pandemic.

With this in mind, SM Supermalls formally launched Farmers’ Produce, a first-of-its-kind joint project with the Department of Agriculture (DA) and Resto PH, an association of restaurant owners.

At the launch at SM Aura Skypark Lawn, guests had a great time shopping for fresh and organic produce and other local products. The event also offered a farm-to-table experience to all guests with the help of Resto PH restaurants that served special menu items using the various produce from the local farmers.

According to Agriculture Secretary William Dar, because of the pandemic, the livelihood of farmers has been affected. They have their produce, but they are not earning much profit due to lack of buyers. His department came up with solutions that will directly connect the farmers to consumers.

It will take a long time for restaurants to recover. On top of that, farmers also deal with other factors like growing seasons and the uncertainty of the situation. Eric Teng, president of Resto PH and Mango Tree Bistro, told me how delighted he was to be part of this project that helps bring farmers’ produce to our tables.

Happily shopping for the first time, I checked out the different produce and was amazed at the extra affordable prices. I was also happy to see Steven Tan, president of SM Supermalls, and commended him for the strict safety protocols of the mall.

Farmers’ Produce is open this weekend again at SM Aura Skypark Lawn and will move to the different SM Supermalls for two weekends each. The caravan moves to SM Podium July 15 to July 17 and July 24 to July 26, and just one weekend at SM North Edsa after. The following two weekend runs are at SM Mall of Asia, then SM Megamall, and finally SM Southmall for the first two weekends of September.

Open for takeout

Let’s all help restore the ailing economy by supporting local businesses and restaurants. Now open for takeout is my fave Japanese restaurant, Tsukiji.

I was able to visit my Assumption classmate Popsie Gamboa and catch up over lunch with another classmate, Tessa Alindogan, who shared her baking delights. Call for orders at tel. 0995-6179209 or 88434285 and also check their Instagram, @tsukiji_makati. The Milky Way restaurant group is delighted to announce that they’re open for delivery, too.

Hospital safety protocols

After our lunch, I took our youngest Athena to have her braces removed at her dentist, Dr. Marianne Hernandez, at the St. Luke’s Medical Arts Building. In full pandemic battle gear, I took Athena wearing a face shield, face mask by Cebu designer Mark Tenchavez (@mark_shandar) and personal protective equipment (PPE) by Fila. I matched my outfit with the newest Fila lifestyle shoes. Athena wore her face mask by @tiddletots and a PPE by Puey Quiñones.

I must say, the safety protocols of St. Luke’s are just over-the-top incredible! No one can enter without a scheduled appointment slip and safety info sheet for contact tracing. After all the safety checks, they usher you to the elevator to your floor. There are sanitizer dispensers everywhere.

Shopping with ease

Glad to know about all the safety measures every establishment is applying to ensure the safety of their customers. I was able to shop with ease at Wilcon Depot also because of their high safety standards. I felt so safe and secure while buying all my home essentials and construction materials.

Online auction

Even the local art scene is inching back into the #newnormal where everything is now online. León Gallery continues to hold auctions on its digital platform with its León Exchange Online Auction 16 set at 11 a.m. July 18 to July 19. The leading auction house features various pieces in its catalog, from celebrated paintings and unique sculptures to antique furniture, silver pieces and important maps. All bidding of registered buyers will be done online at

León Gallery director Jaime Ponce de Leon said that the upcoming online auction gives clients the convenience of bidding through their mobile devices or laptops, without having to trek all the way to where the physical auction happens. All they need to do is register online as a buyer and indulge in beautiful items at various price points. Visit or contact [email protected] or tel. 88562781 for more information.

Auction 16 has a well-curated collection of artworks by national artists, visual artists, Filipino women artists and contemporary sculptors. Vibrant works of local artists such as Lydia Velasco and Norma Belleza are notable highlights in the catalog. They are known for depicting figures celebrating womanhood in vivid colors.

Master portraitist and National Artist Fernando Amorsolo’s “Portrait of a Woman in a Terno” and “Study of a Mother and Child” are highlights of the auction and will surely have an exciting bidding session. Captivating portraits of timeless beauty is Oscar Zalameda, with his “Portrait of a Lady.”

Other important artists in the catalog include Cesar Buenaventura, Cebuano artist Romulo Galicano, National Artist Cesar Legaspi, Galo B. Ocampo and Macario Vitalis.

The contemporary sculptures of Ronald Ventura, part of his “Zoomanities Series,” are must-haves.

Other engaging sculpture pieces are by Lynyrd Paras and Yeo Kaa. Wood furniture by Filipino master furniture maker Benji Reyes and silver pieces like tea sets and candelabras are all included in the upcoming León Gallery online auction.

Tsukiji Restaurant chef Toshiro Okajima, Sea Princess, Popsie Gamboa and Tessa Alindogan
Ramon Orlina, Gus Vibal and León Gallery director Jaime Ponce de Leon prepandemic
Hanna Carinna Sy, Jeneena Chan and Sea Princess
Safe shopping at Wilcon Depot

Margie Moran, Sea Princess, Frank Briones, Ara Arida and Daphne Oseña-Paez
León Gallery Online Auction 16
National Artist Fernando Amorsolo’s “Portrait of a Woman in a Terno”
Sea Princess, Athena Valdes and Dr. Marianne Hernandez
Sea Princess, Margie Moran and SM Supermalls president Steven Tan

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