Negros Occidental entrepreneurs bag Panubli-on Heritage awards

ILOILO CITY -- Three micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in Negros Occidental bagged awards from the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Western Visayas in this year’s Panubli-on Heritage awards.

Cristina Gaston of Hacienda Crafts received the “SME of the Year” for Negros Occidental award from DTI-Western Visayas director Rebecca Rascon in rites held at SM Southpoint, in Iloilo City on November 17.

The regional line agency said the growth of the furniture and furnishing industry of the Philippines owe much from Gaston, who is at the same time in the forefront of the Association of Negros Producers (ANP) as president.

DTI-Western Visayas said being the creative director and designer of Hacienda Crafts is a manifestation for the love of designing and architecture.

“Their products are reflective of Gaston’s savvy as a designer. It also showcases the communities, where the materials are sourced as well as the culture and traditions of various parts of the country,” it added.

Gaston, for her part, said she accepts the award in behalf of the weavers, craftsmen, gatherers, designers, and all those who create the products of Hacienda Crafts.

Gaston said that as a company, they are privileged to have learned from their peers in the industry.

“The DTI has helped us expand our markets here and abroad through trade fairs, online platforms and giving us the opportunity to collaborate with international designers,” she added.

Thelma Watanabe of Negros Silk Producers Association won the “Heritage Award" for Negros Occidental. The association also bagged the award as “best in branding” for fashion category in the region.

The other winner from the province is Babylans Coco Crafts as best product for home category in the region.

Now on its second year, the heritage awards is part of the 2018 Regional Heritage Trade Event dubbed “Panubli-on: New+Now and Next Heritage.”

“Panubli-on” is a Hiligaynon term meaning heritage.

Organized by DTI-Western Visayas, the five-day event, now on its second year, was held in Iloilo City until November 18.

DTI-Negros Occidental senior trade and industry development specialist Mae Buaron, at the sidelines of the awarding rites, said that the regional line agency is recognizing MSMEs for their efforts on giving pride and contributing to the development of the entire industry.

Buaron said through the award, they hope to further motivate local enterprises to continue improving and become more competitive.

“We are happy that some of our MSMEs are recognized, they will for sure serve as an inspiration to their fellow producers,” she said, adding that “we hope that their works will be inherited by future generations of entrepreneurs.”(EPN)


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