On the morning of March 11, people woke up to see the following message circulating on social media: “Hello all. There are 1.6 tons of Guimaras mangoes in DTI Makati. The Food Fair was cancelled. If you want to buy to help the farmer co-ops, you can call Ms. Mary Jean --- at (0917) --- ----."
It meant that 1,600 kilos of mangoes went on sale for just PHP 200 per kilo (€3.40), and the public quickly snapped them up.
The Bureau of Domestic Trade Promotion (BDTP) at the Department of Trade and Industry was slated to hold its National Food Fair: Philippine Cuisine & Ingredients Show on March 12 to 15, 2020 at the Megatrade Halls in SM Megamall, Mandaluyong.
But on March 10, the bureau announced that the event no longer could push through, stating, “In compliance with Proclamation 922 declaring a state of public health emergency due to the COVID-19 threat, the Department of Trade and Industry has decided to postpone the 2020 National Food Fair to a later date.”
According to news.abs-cbn.com, the National Food Fair promised over 300 exhibitors from the country’s 16 regions, offering both processed and fresh food products. However, when the postponement was announced, a shipment of 1,600 kilos of fresh mangoes was already on its way to Manila from Guimaras Province. With the postponement of the fair, the mangoes could no longer be displayed and sold, and were therefore at risk of spoiling. Guimaras has long been famous as the Mango Capital of the Philippines, celebrating a yearly Manggahan Festival every May where the island is virtually awash with mangoes, which many consider the best in the country.