The Bicentennial Edition of the annual “Tienda ni Gob” summer trade fair gathered a total of 90 exhibitors into 70 separate booths set up at the Ilocos Norte Centennial Arena from May 16-22, 2018, and recorded a daily average of 300 customers or buyers.
Exhibitors were composed of local government units (LGUs) looking to display and promote their products and crafts, as well as other counterparts like the Mariano Marcos State University (MMSU), PhilRice, the Department of Science and Technology, the Department of Trade and Industry, and the Gov. Roque Ablan Memorial Hospital.
Provincial departments, including the Sustainable Development Center, Invest Office, Public Employment Service Office, the Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office, Provincial Agriculture Office, and Provincial Veterinary Office, also participated, helping to bring crops, livestock, and other agricultural products to fair.
Products offered ranged from the said agricultural items to dragonfruit ice cream, carabao milk, coffee made from dragonfruit, rice, and soya beans; dried noodles, empanada, shell and bamboo crafts, woodworks and artisan furniture, heritage fabrics like the abel Iloco and binakol, and other traditional and souvenir items.
The best-dressed booths were also awarded among LGUs: the Municipality of Badoc won the main award, with runners-up being the Municipalities of Pinili and Dingras, respectively.
Mr. Edison Natividad, officer in charge of the Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) Office), shared that with the good turnout of visitors and buyers this year, people can expect an even grander Tienda ni Gob in 2019. He added that the consumers were a mix of locals and tourists, thus proving the fair to be a good avenue for product promotion even beyond Ilocos Norte.
Ilocos Norte Vice Governor Angelo Marcos Barba commended the participants and exhibitors: “We are indeed pioneers in trade, for even the ancient Chinese merchants traded with the Philippines and the closest place they could do business with then was with Ilocos Norte – mga negosyante tayo, noong araw pa.”
He encouraged, “Dahil natin ‘di lang sa ibang mga probinsiya ng Pilipinas – dapat globally competitive na tayo,” citing the Producer-to-Consumer Bazaar partnership that the Provincial Government of Ilocos Norte (PGIN) has with the City Government of Quezon in Metro Manila.
Senior Board Member Matthew Marcos Manotoc also thanked the participants, organizers, and sponsors for their continuous support to the Provincial Government.
Natividad hopes for the Tienda ni Gob to become a yearly event, realizing the great help it gives to local SMEs within Ilocos Norte.
In addition to the trade fair, Tienda ni Gob also featured daily trainings and seminars, such as on pesticide management, postharvest technology, food safety, proper waste management and disposal, and livestock raising.
Moreover, coinciding with the trade fair was a special recruitment activity in partnership with the PGIn and Alorica, Accenture, Chua Consolidated, and Venvi Group of Companies.
“We will continue learning and formulating ways to help and assist our small and medium entrepreneurs,” Barba assured during the closing program yesterday. #