WANDERLUST| Fresh local produce at Asian Fruit Market

THE PHILIPPINES now has an answer to Bangkok’s Saphan Kao and Chatuchak markets, Malaysia’s Jalan Imbi, and Indonesia’s Jakarta Fruit Market with opening of Davao City’s Asian Fruit Market last Saturday, June 25, at the fountain area of Abreeza Mall.

Initiated by the Department of Tourism in partnership with the Tourism Infrastructure Enterprise Authority and Accendo Commercial Corporation, the owning company of Abreeza Mall, the Asian Fruit Market is primed to become Asia’s largest fruit market in the next 10 years.

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KOMKORDAN’S Baby Montenayor, Abreeza marketing manager Ruby Ochia, ASec. Art Boncato, City Councilor Myrna Dalodo Ortiz, DOT Xl director Robby Alabado, Abreeza mall manager Luigi Escano

“Sometime last year, tourism assistant secretary Arturo Boncato shared with us the idea of having a fruit market. We got excited that we immediately jump on board. This project is our humble contribution to the region’s tourism industry,” said Abreeza mall manager Luigi Escano.The idea of having a fruit market was conceived when tourism secretary Ramon Jimenez, Jr. asked DOT regional director Roberto Alabado on what tourists would normally bring back home when they visit Davao.

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TOURISM assistant secretary Arturo Boncato, Jr.

“If you look at the pasalubong that people take home with them at the airport, you would see boxes of pomelo and other friesh fruits. You can even smell the durian. Fresh fruits remind people of Davao that is why they take a piece of that memory home with them,” shared Alabado in his speech.Aside from fresh fruits, local merchants (26 to date) in the Asian Fruit Market also sell fresh vegetables, processed-fruit products, fruit-based goods, food and beverages, flowers, and herbs. Still on its first phase, the Asian Fruit Market serves as a showcase of fresh produce from Davao del Norte, Davao Oriental, Davao del Sur, Davao Occidental and Davao City where large plantations of high value fruits and commercial crops are located.

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DAVAO’S fresh fruits on sale

Through the Department of Agriculture, the fruit market also aims to foster active participation of farming communities around Mindanao and eventually establish the largest fruit market exchange center in Asia.

“This is just the beginning. Soon, we will have fruits from all over Mindano, the Philippines and Southeast Asia here at the Asian Fruit Market that will attract more tourists to come to Davao,” Alabado added.

The 1,538.94 souare meter Asian Fruit Market is managed by Konkordans Destination Management Company.

SPMC TO HOUSE MINDANAO’S FIRST HYPERBARIC FACILTY. Southern Philippines Medical Center will soon be the home of Mindanao’s first Hyperbaric Chamber facility come October. This was the good news divulged by the Department of Tourism, the Tourism Infrastructure Enterprise Authority, and SPMC during the groundbreaking ceremony held last June 25 at the SPMC complex.

“The hyperbaric facility extends safety assurance to those who want to visit the region’s diving destinations,” said tourism assistant secretary Arturo Boncato, Jr. 

Hyperbaric chamber facilities are used by SCUBA divers in treating those suffering from decompression sickness, a condition that arises when sudden decompression causes nitrogen bubbles to form in the tissues of the body.

The Philippines, known as a center of marine biodiversity where multitude species of corals and fishes can be found, has an extensive 36,289 kilometer coastline. Various dive spots around the archipelago have been frequented by local and foreign divers.

The groundbreaking ceremony was attended by Engr. Nestor Domalanta, travel and tours director Roberto Teo, and Engr. Gregory Oller of TIEZA, Dr. Leopoldo Vega, Dr. Fred Medina, Richard Hurlbut and Barbara Cezar of SMPC, and DOT Xl regional director Roberto Alabado lll.

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