The Kermes is an annual bazaar organized by the Association of International Diplomats in Spain (AIDE), a non-profit organization composed of spouses of diplomats who are currently accredited to Spain and whose honorary patron is Her Majesty Queen Sofia of Spain. It provides participating Embassies with an opportunity to showcase their respective cultures through the sale of typical items and food of each country and a cultural show.
Mrs. Isabelita T. Salinas, wife of Ambassador Carlos C. Salinas, led the Embassy´s participation in the Kermes. The Philippine Embassy sold Filipiniana items made from mother of pearl, capiz, carabao horn, banig, abaca, silk cocoon, piña, etc.. Philippine food items such as dried mangoes, mangorind, polvoron, pastillas de leche, and turrones de casuy were among the most popular items sold at the Philippine booth.
Her Majesty Queen Sofia of Spain, honorary patron of AIDE, was unable to attend the event which she traditionally opens every year. However, her daughter, Her Royal Highness Princess Elena, attended the opening of the Kermes on her mother´s behalf. She had the opportunity to visit the Philippine booth and admired the display of Philippine products.
In addition, the Philippine Embassy also participated in the cultural program through a fashion show organized by the Association of the Diplomatic Ladies of Asia and Australia in Madrid (ADLAAM). The fashion show featured the traditional dresses of the Philippines, Bangladesh, Japan and Indonesia.
All the proceeds of the Kermes are donated to the Queen Sofia Foundation and other Spanish charities that deal with women and children in need.