LAOAG CITY, Feb.12 — Traders from Northern and Central Luzon provinces are enjoying brisk sales of their native products which are on display at the on-going Pamulinawen festival trade fair in this city.
The best products from the Ilocos Region, Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR), and Central Luzon were selected to represent the government’s One-Town-One-Product (OTOP) program.
The trade fair, sponsored by the City Agricultural Office, is meant to promote local products which symbolize the industry in each participating town. The exhibit area is set up just beside the Laoag City Hall to be more accessible to the buying public.
Artsy handicrafts made of bamboo and hardwood, furniture, native cloth, wines, and native delicacies are just some of the products showcased in the week-long fair.
Other products include the famous longganiza of Batac, crispy chicharon or bagnet of San Nicolas, abel fabric of Paoay, and shell craft of Pagudpud.
Handicrafts and clothing products come from the provinces of Abra, La Union, Nueva Ecija, Nueva Viscaya, and from Baguio City and Vigan City. Native delicacies like bibingka, puto, and other native kakanin come from Pangasinan.
Products from the livelihood program under the City Social Welfare Office are also on display such as bags made of indigenous materials such as soft drinks straw, newspapers, and magazines.
Mel Quilala, of the City Agricultural Office, said at least 48 exhibitors come from Ilocos Norte bringing to 70 the number of booths occupying the exhibit area.
Developed by the Department of Trade and Industry, the program promotes entrepreneurship and helps create jobs. The DTI helps local chief executives to identify, develop, and promote a product and, in the process, support small businesses in marketing their products.
Nenita Pobre of Laoag City said she has been a regular exhibitor in the annual trade fair noting that promotional support has helped her sell her products such as bags, cell phone pouch, key chains, and bead accessories.
“The fair is a big help for small entrepreneurs like me. Since I joined trade fairs, product orders have not stopped coming from different places, even abroad,” she said. (Cherry Joy Discaya-Garma)