By Nikky Necessario
Photos by Patricia Bianca S. Taculao

Now on its 13th year, International Food Exhibit (IFEX) Philippines presents NXTFood ASia, which aims to showcase and market the different flavors of Asia.

“It is an exciting time for Filipino food right now. We are elevating the Filipino food into a whole new level,” said Paulina Suaco-Juan, Executive Director of the Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (CITEM). CITEM is one of the organizers of IFEX, alongside the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprise Development (MSMED) Council, Department of Agriculture (DA), and the Philippine Exports Confederation Inc. (PhilExport).

Heirloom products from Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao, as well as Halal producing businesses are given exposure in this event. DTI Undersecretary Abdulgani M. Macatoman also said that IFEX is an avenue to reach new markets and transact with the world’s largest buyers. He also made emphasis of showcasing the “Rising Stars” — moringa, ube, turmeric, calamansi, etc., more in the market.

Atty. Betty Medialdea, Executive Secretary of Cabinet Spouses Association Inc., read Ms. Cielito “Honeylet” Avanceña’s message. OTOP or One Town, One Product project by the DTI was highlighted for promoting indigenous products from different regions. This project encourages the innovation of these products so they can be more recognized locally and even globally.

“The next, the exciting food in the world, that’s from the Philippines,” DTI Secretary Ramon M. Lopez said during his keynote speech. For him, now is a good time to be involved in promoting and developing our food industry.

Guests and trade buyers are welcome to see and try products from exhibitors from all over the Philippines and Asia. There are also different seminars and forums about investing in agriculture, marketing, etc., which guests can attend.

IFEX will run from May 24 to 26 at the World Trade Center in Pasay City. Entrance is free for trade buyers and employees, Php100 for general visitors, and Php80 for senior citizens, persons with disabilities, and students of all levels.