Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Warmth, Smiles And A Good Time: Joy And Hospitality With Panache At The Negros Trade Fair

The Filipino, as a culture, has been said to be warm, friendly, hospitable, accommodating. And true enough, whichever island you choose to visit in this archipelago of 7,107 strong islands is going to welcome you with smiles, helpful souls and homes possibly open to hosting you for a day, a week, and some, even a month.

While some pundits would say that the archipelagic nature of the Philippines must be the symbolic reason of our purported disunity, we in Negros Island have beg to disagree: the archipelagic nature of the country may promote a differentiation of the Filipinos’ local cultures, but this serves to create different shades of what’s good about the Filipino.

Let us, then, zero in on the Negrense’s positive traits as a people.

We have established that the Filipino is a hospitable, friendly, caring and compassionate lot. So what shade does the Negrense lend to this beautiful trait of warmth and openness?

How about hospitality, friendliness, warmth and openness with an extra oomph of joy and a panache that comes out of a taste for the good life?

Bacolod, the capital of Negros Occidental is named the “City of Smiles,” and with good reason. The people of Bacolod know how to have a good time, and they know how to leverage culture and taste and make the best out of what they have.

Take for instance, the ubiquitous cup of coffee. A visitor once said, I have never tasted better coffee than what I’ve had from Bob’s of Bacolod, or at Oriental Cafe at the Central Market. It was like liquid gold.

And like the coffee that only the Bacolodnon can deliver, the Bacolodnon can deliver laughter, enjoyment and smiles, unlike any other: they know how to have a good time, and they do it with such burgeoning flair.

Shall we owe it to the opulence of the sugar boom? The remnants of the regal Spanish culture that has permeated this lovely city? The sweetness of sugar that has kept the culture in a symbolic sugar high?

We can surmise, but that would be pointless. How about choosing to enjoy the warmth and the laughter with the Bacolodnons? How about choosing to just throw "huya" to the wind and just allow yourself to be ushered into someone’s lola’s merienda feast?

Savor the sights, sounds and gustatory delights of Negros Island; best of all, enjoy the company of the people who keep the culture brimming with life.  All these are transported to Manila every September during The Negros Trade Fair - the Philippines longest running provincial trade fair.

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The Negros Trade Fair is the longest running provincial trade fair in the Philippines held annually in Metro Manila since 1985.

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