Trade fair brings small biz to revelers

FIESTA SHOPPERS. The Sinulog Trade Fair will run until Jan. 21 at the lower ground floor of the SM City Cebu. (SunStar photo / Arni Aclao)

FOR victims of super typhoon Yolanda, getting to participate in the annual Sinulog Trade Fair is how Señor Sto. Niño continues to help them.

With the high volume of consumer traffic during the Sinulog festivities, the fair was launched to help 70 micro, small and medium entrepreneurs (MSMEs) in Cebu.

“Participating in the fair gives additional income to our community, which was affected by Typhoon Yolanda (in 2013), as we continue to rebuild our homes in the island of Bantayan,” exhibitor Jovelle Gulani, 26, said.

Gulani sells Balangay’s Best dried seafood products, from pusit to danggit, that they themselves packed.

Hers was one of several products showcased from the towns affected by super typhoon Yolanda. The participating local government units include the City of Bogo and the municipalities of Bantayan, Medellin, San Francisco, San Remigio, Sta. Fe, Tabogon, Tabuelan and Tuburan.

The fair was organized by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI)-Cebu with the Cebu City Government and the Sinulog Foundation Inc.

There are 68 booths in the exhibit where products like gifts, toys, housewares, clothes and processed foods are highlighted.

The Arapal Organic Farm represented the City of Bogo, which sold products made of chemical-free goat’s milk.

“This is one way of helping the households that were affected by the typhoon because when it hit us before, everything from our crops to our animals were wiped out,” Nenita Bastonero, operational manager of Arapal Livelihood Center Inc., said.

Aside from those affected by super typhoon Yolanda, other exhibitors also displayed their goods.

One of the products that sold quickly were ear cuffs inspired by Miss Universe 2019 Catriona Gray. Instead of gold, the ear cuffs were made of colored feathers and beads, traditional materials used by Sinulog revelers. The ear cuffs were made by Eleanor Beaded Workz from Talisay City. The cuffs are sold at P100 each.

Seventeen exhibitors from outside Cebu are also participating in the fair. They come from Agusan del Sur, Baguio City, Bacolod City, Davao City, General Santos City, Zamboanga City, Palawan, Bohol and Negros Oriental.

Esperanza Melgar, DTI Cebu director, said the sales from the annual Sinulog fair have been increasing through the years. “Last year, the total sales amounted to almost P11 million, and it was even extended to a week because of the clamor of the consumers.”


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