Saturday, June 8, 2024

Get ready to dive into the most flavorful edition of MAFBEX!

Wazzup Pilipinas!?

The Manila Foods and Beverages Expo 2024 (MAFBEX) is aiming to be bigger than ever before, delivering more flavors and tasty treats to keep its visitors coming back for more. Its organizer, Worldbex Services International, has always dedicated its time to make sure that each year, it will deliver the busiest and most satisfying food event in the country

On its most flavorful 18th edition, MAFBEX will feature different zones, events, and activities to satisfy your cravings for unique taste bud treats. A huge part of MAFBEX is the establishment of zones and areas covering hundreds of exhibitors, from local and international, related to culinary arts. The different zones include Food & Beverage, Condiments, Packaging, Equipment, Franchise and The Brew District. Each zone will surely transport your senses into the next level of culinary experience, showcasing the industry to its fullest and providing you with tons of options to inquire about.

Another MAFBEX highlight is the Chefs of the World, a live cooking demo featuring the country’s top chefs and culinary influencers that will present simple-to-do recipes that are worthy of the 5-star treatment. The Chefs of the World Stage, located in the main lobby, will feature some of the best Chefs in the country today: Chef Ylyt Frixiah Manaig (@cheflyt_tv) a food vlogger and content creator; Chef Gerick Manalo (@gerickmanalo) a Cornerstone artist, celebrity chef and content creator; and Chef Irish Manrique of Lets Eat Pare, Executive Chef, COO and Food Influencer. These three are to just name a few of extraordinary Chefs and newsmakers that made an impact in the industry.

As you enter the culinary halls of MAFBEX, you will be welcomed by our pavilions that will feature the local industries in partnership with the Department of Agriculture, Department of Trade and Industry, Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, Association of Laguna Food Processors Inc. Explore food and beverage options from across the globe when you visit

MAFBEX 2024! The most flavorful culinary journey awaits you as our international exhibitors from Hong Kong, China, Russia, Taiwan, Vietnam, and Korea showcase their sumptuous innovations to Filipino consumers!

MAFBEX will also host a series of competitions to further give visitors a sense of food excitement. Its main competition is the MAFBEX Culinary Cup: Home Chef Edition. Witness the grand kitchen showdown of our TOP 8 finalists LIVE at the MAFBEX Kitchen and be prepared for a gastronomic journey as they go head-to-head for the most coveted title of

“Home Chef 2024”!

There are loads of other activities and booths that are in MAFBEX 2024 that will satisfy your cravings and leave you full, both with food and memories. Make the most out of this culinary journey when you visit MAFBEX 2024, happening from June 12 to 16 at the World Trade Center Metro Manila! You may get your tickets now at

This event is organized by Worldbex Services International and for the benefit of ABS CBNFoundation Inc. For inquiries and concerns, you may reach us at (02)8656-96-39, or email us at

Instituto Cervantes brings renowned Spanish writer García Jambrina to discuss with Filipino Novelist Alfar at the International Literary Festival Benengeli 2024

Wazzup Pilipinas!?

On June 11, at 2 p.m., at UP Vargas Museum, renowned Spanish author Luis García Jambrina will meet Filipino novelist Dean Francis Alfar to explore how the fusion of genres like science fiction, fantasy, and history can craft literature that captivates readers and delves into the human condition. Titled "Genres to Depict Chaos," this discussion will serve as the Philippine contribution to BENENGELI 2024, a literature festival spanning 12 cities worldwide.

Organized by the Instituto Cervantes, Benengeli 2024-International Week of Literature in Spanish stands as the sole literary festival spanning five continents. From June 10 to 14, over a hundred writers from 30 countries will convene across 12 Instituto Cervantes centers globally: Sydney, Manila, Budapest, Utrecht, Brussels, Toulouse, Manchester, Madrid, Casablanca, Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo, and Belo Horizonte.

The Manila leg's discussion, "Genres to Depict Chaos," will feature insights from Luis García Jambrina and Dean Francis Alfar, moderated by editor Andrea Pasion-Flores. Free registration here:

Luis García Jambrina was born in Zamora (Spain) in 1960 and studied Hispanic literature. He now works as a literary critic and professor at the University of Salamanca. He has written short stories, novels, essays and plays. His debut work was El manuscrito de piedra, for which he won the Zaragoza City International Prize for Historic Novel in 2009. His other works include En tierra de lobos, La corte de los engaños, Así en la guerra como en la paz and El primer caso de Unamuno, plays such as Una noche en la picota and Noche oscura del alma and essays including De la ebriedad a la leyenda and La vuelta al Logos (Introducción a la narrativa de Miguel Espinosa).

Playwright and novelist Dean Francis Alfar is the President of the Manila Critics Circle and defender of Philippine speculative fiction. His books include the novel Salamanca; the short fiction collections The Kite of Stars and Other Stories, How to Traverse Terra Incognita, A Field Guide to the Roads of Manila and Other Stories, and Stars in Jars; and the children's book How Rosang Taba Won A Race. His literary accolades include 10 Don Carlos Palanca Literature Awards - including the Grand Prize for Novels for Salamanca - as well as the National Book Awards, the Philippines Free Press Literary Award and the Gintong Aklat Award.

Luis García Jambrina will have a second activity in Manila. As part of the collateral activities of the exhibition "Nebrija en Filipinas", on June 13, at Instituto Cervantes, the Spanish writer will give a talk on his novel “El manuscrito de niebla”, a work that traces the steps of the humanist Antonio de Nebrija, fighter against barbarism. Free registration here:

These events are organized by Instituto Cervantes de Manila, in collaboration with the Embassy of Spain in the Philippines and the University of the Philippines, with the support of PTC-Philippine Transmarine Carriers. Admission to them is on a FIRST-COME, FIRST-SERVED basis. For more information about these events, visit Instituto Cervantes’ website ( or its Facebook page:

Over 200 Leaders Meet for National Coastal and Inland Fisheries Summit

Wazzup Pilipinas!?

To celebrate National Fisherfolks’ Day, over 200 people attended the National Coastal and Inland Fisheries Summit (NCFIS) last 31 May 2024 at the Radisson Park Inn Hotel in Quezon City.

First staged in 2019, the summit examined the past five years’ developments and passed fresh resolutions to strengthen local government capacities on five key themes: marine protected areas, climate change solutions, coastal and fisheries enforcement, sustainable financing and preferential rights for municipal fishers.

Organized by the Department of Agriculture’s Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (DA-BFAR), Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) and international nonprofit organization Rare, the summit brought together representatives from the national and local government, civil society, fisheries groups and the academe.

An international delegation drawn from seven nations – Indonesia, Palau, Brazil, Guatemala, Honduras, Mozambique and the Philippines – also visited. “The Coastal 500 – mayors and other government leaders who have pledged to protect their coastal waters – embodies the best in network-building,” says Aya Silva, vice-president of Rare Philippines, introducing the delegates. “Hailing from different countries and diverse communities, they’re all linked by a promise to protect the one thing that surrounds us all – the sea.” 

The Philippines is among the world’s largest archipelagos, with 70% of its municipalities lying along the coast. However, coastal communities remain among the poorest in the nation. 

“Around 80% of our 2.2 million fishers are artisanal, among the poorest of the poor. The question is: how can we help them?” asks Lope Santos III, secretary of the National Anti-poverty Commission. “Perhaps we don’t realize it, but it is our fishers and farmers who put food on our tables. They’re our everyday heroes,” says Lilia Macrohon Nuño, BFAR’s national fisherfolk director. Filipino fishers earn a paltry PHP5000 to PHP10,000 monthly, which is barely enough to cover basic needs, adds BFAR OIC director Isidro Velayo, Jr.

For the first time, the summit included inland fisheries – seafood caught or farmed in Philippine rivers, lakes, ponds and streams. Indigenous fishers and their important traditional fisheries contribution were also highlighted. “Our ancestors have fished long before the coming of modern fishing boats,” recounts Fredel Mued, a native Tagbanua tribesman from Palawan. “You use GPS, sonar, radar – but we simply triangulated a coral reef or fishing spot’s location using landmarks like boulders, trees and distant mountain peaks.” 

“The most effective way to protect the world’s most vibrant and productive coastal resources is to equip local communities with the proper tools to care for them,” says Lara Williams of Bloomberg Philanthropies. “What we need is strong local leadership for a collective impact.” The daylong summit tackled some of the most pressing challenges to coastal conservation. 


A top issue was Illegal, Unregulated and Unreported (IUU) fishing. “IUU fishing threatens the lives and livelihoods of fishing communities,” says BFAR undersecretary Drusila Bayate. “We need to fine-tune our recently amended Fisheries Code (RA-10654) to better combat IUU fishing.”

IUU fishing encompasses a whole range of illegal and destructive fishing methods: fishing in no-take zones, blast and cyanide fishing, using overly efficient fishing gear like fine mesh nets and illicit business practices like high-seas fish smuggling or mislabeling imported seafood products.

“We shall intensify our anti-illegal fishing efforts,” promises brigadier general Jonathan Cabal, director of the PNP’s national maritime group, which has so far arrested 774 fishing violators. “As it is difficult for our 3000 maritime group members to cover the entire archipelago, we shall first concentrate on our most productive areas.”

“Many of our fishers are informal settlers, their rights easily trampled by more powerful players,” reveals Ruperto ‘Ka Uper’ Aleroza, vice-chair for the national anti-poverty commission’s basic sector. 

“Commercial fishing vessels keep entering our municipal or coastal waters – waters within 15 kilometers from the coastline – to fish illegally. The sea has no fences, so we should learn to respect invisible boundaries.” 

As coastal communities and fishers are among the most vulnerable to climate change, climate solutions were discussed. “Yesterday at the related Galing Pook event, we launched an innovative programme to help protect our fishers from increasingly unpredictable weather,” shares Dr. Israel Cruz, department manager of the Philippine Crop Insurance Corporation, which revealed that just 85,000 out of 13 million Filipino farmers and fishers have insurance.

“Our parametric insurance system uses weather index data such as rainfall, wave height and wind speed. Tranches of PHP1250 shall be credited to registered fishers when certain weather parameters are met. This is much faster than physically checking and calculating actual losses. Payouts can be available two weeks after the end of each month. The system is currently being fine-tuned and will be rolled out by October 2024,” says Cruz. 

Philippine waters are among the richest on Earth. Forming the apex of the Coral Triangle, the country hosts 27,000 square kilometers of coral reef, hosting over 3000 fish species like whale sharks and manta rays, plus iconic sea critters like marine turtles and dugongs. Recent published studies however, revealed that over 90% of Philippine reefs are classified as either poor or fair – curtailing fisheries productivity. 

“Perhaps a root cause of many of our challenges is hunger and poverty,” shares Del Carmen mayor Alfredo Corro II, who earlier toured members of the Coastal 500 around the island of Siargao, a surfer’s paradise and tourism hub smashed by Typhoon Odette in December 2021. 

“For their lives to improve, we should see our fishers not as ‘the poorest of the poor’ – but as equals. 

They are fellow businessmen and women, entrepreneurs just like us. Perhaps when they reach the ripe age of 65, when their kids have all graduated, they can finally fulfill the dreams of their youth. Maybe they want to travel, to see more than where their old bancas have brought them. This is why we need social protection to improve their lives. This is why we’re all here.” 

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