Celebrating fun, fine, fierce Kiwi culture and 50 Years of Phl-NZ relations
The New Zealand Embassy in Manila, under the dynamic leadership of Ambassador David Strachan and his team, recently commemorated 50 years of bilateral relations between the two countries, and also showcased Kiwi culture, by way of the aptly-titled “Experience New Zealand” food and trade fair.
Held from May 20 to 22, at Glorietta in Makati, the event showcased the best of New Zealand’s food and beverage, as well as travel and education opportunities. Among the highlights of the three-day fun-filled affair was the chance to win one of five round trips to New Zealand, raffled-off courtesy of national carrier Philippine Airlines.
The event kicked-off with “Food Connection 2016,” by exclusive invitation of Ambassador Strachan. After the invitation-only preview, the fair was opened to the public. Guests and fairgoers at the well-attended event had a chance to sample and purchase premium New Zealand food items – such as fresh milk, cheese, ice cream, fruit, wine, honey, jam, chocolate, and meat – and various products from several booths. Among the participating exhibitors and distributors of New Zealand merchandise were New Zealand Natural Ice Cream Inc., Elite Fruit Marketing Inc., Manuka Health New Zealand, Goodman Fielder Int’l. Phils. Inc., Federated Distributors Inc., MYOWN Meat Shop, Don Revy Phils., Equilibrium Intertrade Corp., Sonrace, Inc. ,Fonterra Brands Philippines, Alexanrey Enterprises Inc., and the Ecostore.
According to Trade Commissioner Hernando Banal, “Experience New Zealand 2016 was very successful. Our Whittaker’s chocolate and our famous kiwifruit were particularly popular this year”.
Much to the delight of all attendees, the Nga Hua e Wha, a New Zealand Māori performance group, took to the stage at Glorietta’s Activity Center to perform the traditional Haka dance, as well as several customary waiata songs. At some points in the weekend performances, the group even invited young (and young at heart) Filipinos to perform on stage with them.
Experience New Zealand 2016 likewise coincided with the commemoration of 50 years of diplomatic ties between New Zealand and the Philippines. In this regard, Ambassador Strachan said that trade and economic ties between New Zealand and the Philippines have grown strongly in recent years.
“This experience New Zealand fair comes at a special time, as the Philippines and New Zealand celebrate 50 years of diplomatic ties, in 2016,” Strachan said.
“Last year Philippines Airlines launched a flight between Auckland and Manila. Our growing airlinks represent a step change for the bilateral relationship,” said Ambassador Strachan. The Philippine community in New Zealand has grown considerably in the past five years. Growing people links mean that more Filipinos know about Kiwi products and they are adding New Zealand to their bucket list as a holiday destination,” he elaborated.
Since December 2015, the Philippines’ flagship carrier has been flying four times a week from Manila to Auckland (via Cairns), thereby offering greater opportunity for travelers to truly experience New Zealand, firsthand.
By ANGIE DUARTE