By: Isabella Marie Zerrudo
Photos by: Ricky D. Alejo
DEPARTMENT OF Trade and Industry (DTI) Region VI opened the annual celebration of Western Visayan craft and artistry through the Panubli-on Heritage Trade Event 2017 in SM City Iloilo from Nov 13 to Nov 19 with the theme “Innovation. Beyond Tradition”.
A total of 94 exhibitors from the provinces of Antique, Aklan, Capiz, Guimaras, Negros Occidental, and Iloilo are selling unique products that showcase the skill and taste of Western Visayas.
Besides the week-long trade fair of heritage products, Panublio-on has lined up other culturally rich activities such as crafts demo, brewing demo, eCommerce website launching, and OFW day.
DTI-Iloilo Provincial Director Diosdado Cadena Jr. said a fashion show event will cap the celebration on Nov 18 5pm.
Regional trade fairs used to be held in Manila, but the active progress of Western Visayas prompted the change of venue.
In an interview, Cadena said that the developments in Iloilo and throughout Region VI have brought in a market that would be best witnessed by the region itself.
“We want it (regional trade fairs) to be more (visible to the) Ilonggos mismo, kag impact niya sa market (and) sa aton nga pumuluyo would be much better if makita nila diri,” Cadena said.
“There’s a lot of money coming in sa Iloilo and there’s a lot of money with the Region (VI). That is affirmed by (sic) kay kadamo sang infrastructure. The big names are already here, that was why we decided two years ago nga ibalik ni (Panubli-on) sa Region (VI),” he added.
Events like Panubli-on serve to help the micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in the region. Besides the heritage event, the DTI is set to launch Negosyo Centers in three towns – Nov 23 in Sara, Nov 24 in Barotac Nuevo, and Nov 28 in Pototan.
Cadena said the launching events come with entrepreneurship trainings and financing fora that serve to “encourage” more citizens to engage in business.
“It’s more challenging (and) more rewarding to be an entrepreneur. And when you have more entrepreneurs, (there would be) more investments (and) more employment and income opportunities, (which will help us reach) our objective to have inclusive growth,” Cadena said.
Panublion is a Hiligaynon word which means “heritage”. The exhibitors include 42 MSMEs in processed food and 52 arts and crafts ventures.
According to the DTI, on exhibit and sale in the fair is a variety of creations ranging from gifts, housewares and decors, fashion accessories of indigenous fibers like piña, abaca, raffia, unique furnishings and novelty items.
DTI said Panubli-on focuses on the strengths of each province to exhibit not only the products but the skills that distinctly created products that Region 6 is known for.