LINGAYEN, Pangasinan – About 60 micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) offering various items and food products to residents and tourists, are eyeing higher incomes with the opening of the Christmas bazaar at the Provincial Capitol beach park here Friday.
Among them was Janice Bernardino who said her income doubles during the duration of the bazaar, organized annually by the local government.
"Two years na akong nakiki-join sa bazaar at maganda kita. Mabenta yong laruan ng mga bata na pailaw (I’ve been joining the bazaar for two years now and it is profitable. The children's toys with lights are the best sellers)," she said in an interview.
On regular days, Bernardino sells children's toys along Lingayen Beach.
Sally Dapuyen, a food stall vendor, said the Vigan empanada, although not a product of Pangasinan, is their top seller.
"Since 2012 pa ako dito nakikisali at maganda kitaan kasi maraming tao (I've been joining the bazaar since 2012 and the income is good because there are a lot of people)," she said.
On the other hand, the bazaar not only provides the public with a venue to buy various items and food products in one place but also a place for entertainment and family bonding.
Provincial Tourism and Cultural Affairs Office head Maria Luisa Elduayan said the bazaar is also a venue for guests to enjoy themselves or bond with family and friends.
"Ang Pasko ay isang pinakamahabang selebrasyon sa ating bansa at gusto natin ma-enjoy ito ng ating mga kababayan habang nagbibigay naman ng kabuhayan sa ating mga kababayan (Christmas is a long celebration in our country and we want the people to enjoy it while giving livelihood to our province mates)," Elduayan said in a separate interview.
She said the Christmas bazaar is open from 4 p.m. to 11 p.m. daily, enabling visitors to enjoy the sunset, sea breeze, and carnival rides until Jan. 15 next year.
Elduayan added that there would be other offerings, such as the Christmas Village, which will open to the public for free starting Dec. 1, and concerts featuring local bands and performers.
To ensure public safety and well-being, she said, an incident command post manned by personnel of the Philippine National Police, Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office, and Provincial Health Office, among others, is stationed in the area. (PNA)