Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on email

Maiden Sugar & Smiles Festival launched

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on email


Candidates of the first Miss Young Sugarlandia*

Conceived to promote the sugar industry of Negros Occidental, the first Sugar & Smiles Festival was launched at SM City Bacolod, Friday.

The theme for this year’s maiden festival is “Solidarity and Diversity in the Philippines’ Premier Agri Industry.”

The main purpose of the SugarFest is to bring various planters’ federations, milling companies, and sugar traders’ groups together to work for the overall success of the sugar industry.

Opening the first SugarFest were acting Bacolod Mayor Israel Salanga; lawyers Raymundo Pandan Jr. and Nene Santillana; former Sugar Regulatory Administrator Gina Martin; Tey Sevilleno and Patty Ong, Art Association of Bacolod-Negros president and treasurer, respectively; and Sugar & Smiles Festival director Benjie Torre.

Lawyer Raymund Pandan Jr., law professor and former dean of the University of St. La Salle College of Law, also launched MagSugarlandia, a new magazine which serves as the festival’s souvenir program. The magazine he authored will feature “The Sugar Industry in Negros: A Bittersweet Story.”

Acting Bacolod Mayor Israel Salanga (third from left) AAB-N treasurer Patty Jane Ong, former SRA administrator Gina Martin, AAB-N president Tey Sevilleno, SRA Legal Department head Nene Santillana, and SugarFest director Benjie Torre (l-r) at the opening of the first Sugar & Smiles Festival at SM City Bacolod Friday*
Lawyer Ramundo Pandan Jr. and Benjie Torre (l-r) unveiling the MagSugarlandia, a new magazine which serves as the SugarFest’s souvenir program*
Lawyer Nene Santillana, who represented SRA administrator, Pablo Azcona, giving an update on the sugar industry; right, acting Bacolod Mayor Israel Salanga congratulating the organizers of the Sugar & Smiles Festival for coming up with a very meaningful celebration, and at the same time recalling the history of the MassKara Festival which started at a time when the sugar industry in Negros suffered a major setback*

Highlighting the festival was the search for first Miss Young Sugarlandia, with 10 participating candidates, held yesterday at SM City-Bacolod.

Also showcased during the SugarFest were the artworks of the members of the Art Association of Bacolod-Negros, which featured the sugar industry: farm scenes, sugar workers, including landmarks of Negros.

The group also held art workshops during the weekend led by Fe Sumagaysay and Vicky Gasper.

Meanwhile, Torre is president of the Sugarsmiles Philippines Management Inc. (SPMI), a Filipino company formed by Negrenses who published the first coffee table book about Negros Occidental.

The book, Sugar & Smiles: The Negrense Legacy Beyond 2020, won awards in Toronto, Canada and Bali, Indonesia by the Chicago-based International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) and its Singapore-based regional arm, IABC Asia Pacific.*


Read Article by date

October 2023

Get your copy of the Visayan Daily Star everyday!

Avail of the FREE 30-day trial.