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Pre-Christmas bazaar has global finds

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You know Christmas is near when you start marking bazaar dates on your calendars.

One of the biggest and most diverse holiday bazaars is the annual International Bazaar, organized by the International Bazaar Foundation, Inc. (IBF), Ladies of the Department of Foreign Affairs, Spouses of the Heads of Missions (SHOM), and members of the diplomatic and consular corps.

With the theme “Shop Global, Help Local,” 40 embassies will join the bazaar on Nov. 20, 9 a.m.-7 p.m., with each country showcasing the best of their local goods. Over 100 booths will sell Pinoy products, says IBF board of trustees vice president Sylvia J. Farolan.

The bazaar, initiated by Angela Valdes-Ramos (wife of then Foreign Secretary Narciso Ramos), is now on its 45th year. Proceeds of the one-day event will be donated to the IBF, which will use them for various projects.

“We donate to scholarships, government hospitals, livelihood skills trainings, disadvantaged children and the elderly, among others,” says Farolan.

“These include [beneficiaries] PNU (Philippine Normal University), PUP (Polytechnic University of the Philippines), Bahay Maria Center, Punlaan School,” adds Gretchen V. del Rosario, IBF board of trustees overall chair and wife of Foreign Secretary Albert F. del Rosario.

Raffle prizes

Apart from the International Bazaar’s wide array of goods, guests will also get the chance to win raffle prizes: a 2012  Asian cruise for two  aboard the luxurious Costa Classica or Costa Victoria of Costa Cruises; or another Asian cruise for two by Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines.

A sneak peek of the bazaar was held Oct. 11 at the Dasmariñas Village Town Hall, Makati City, where 13 embassies attended: Malaysia, Switzerland, Laos, South Africa, Brunei, Thailand, Saudi Arabia, Israel, Italy, Indonesia, Singapore, Japan and India.

The “mini” bazaar was a teaser of Swiss chocolates, South African wines (apparently a bestseller in previous bazaars), Japanese sake, Holy Land cosmetics, Venetian masks, Indian trinkets, and other interesting finds.

“This pre-Christmas event is a great chance for the different embassies to interact with each other,” says IBF board of trustees president Conchitina Bernardo.

Tickets for the International Bazaar are sold at: IBF office, 6/F, 2330 Department of Foreign Affairs Bldg., Roxas Blvd., Pasay; Tesoro’s outlets (Arnaiz Ave., Makati; Alabang Town Center; Amalum St., Ermita); or the event itself. Call (02) 8331320, or e-mail ibf.dfa@gmail.com.

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