12th OK Bikol Fair to Showcase Bikol Region’s Raw Materials

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by Micky T. Cabañes, DTI-V

The 12th Orgullo Kan Bikol Regional Trade Fair promises to be a best selling fair this year as it once again brings to the fore the beauty and bounty of Bicolandia on October 2-5 at the SM Megamall, Mandaluyong City.

“For the first time we are going to show to the public, especially to our institutional buyers, what other natural resources Bicol has to offer thru the “Raw Materials Showcase”, Regional Director Jocelyn L. B. Blanco of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) disclosed. The Bicol Designers Association (BIDEAS) will set up a Special Setting showcasing these different raw materials that had been transformed into novelty artworks.

“This year, new products and new designs will be offered for sale and order-taking and we hope to generate sales of about 16 million pesos, surpassing last year’s sales”, confirmed Dir. Blanco. Around 95 new products/designs coming from 36 manufacturing firms were developed thru the product development efforts of the members of BIDEAS. Products under the One-Town-One Product (OTOP) Program will also be featured in this fair.

Another highlight of OKB 2008 is the launching of the OK Bikol and Chosen Pili trademarks. The OK Bikol trademark will be the official trademark of the OK Bikol Association in the succeeding OKB Fair while the Chosen Pili trademark is a quality mark and was used by the pili processors who joined the Hongkong Food Exposition (HOFEX) last August 2008 under the BIZDEV (Business Development) Program of DTI-V for Food Processors.

Both trademarks are already in the process of being registered with the Intellectual Property Office (IPO) by the OK Bikol Association. Yet another highlight of the Opening Program is the Oathtaking of the new set of officers of the OK Bikol Association under the leadership of Mr. Erwin Pereña. Dir. Blanco said that with these developments, the mounting of OKB Regional Trade Fair next year may be handled by the OK Bikol Association, with the DTI just providing the needed assistance.

A total of 143 Bicolano entrepreneurs will be selling their wares ranging from home furnishings, giftware, holiday décor, wearables, fresh & processed food products, organic & natural products, cutlery, and furniture. Among the six provinces, Albay has the biggest number of exhibitors with 38 MSMEs, followed by Catanduanes and Sorsogon with 16 MSMEs each. Camarines Sur has 15 MSMEs while Camarines Norte and Masbate have 13 and 10 MSMEs, respectively. Committed to developing new entrepreneurs in the countryside, a total of 40 new entrepreneurs will be participants to this year’s OKB fair.

Aside from the regular MSMEs assisted by DTI, 35 Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) beneficiaries/entrepreneurs will be joining OKB at Megamall. All these beneficiaries are assisted by DTI through the livelihood program under CARP. Each province will occupy one booth for the different products of said CARP beneficiaries.

Another special feature of OK Bikol Trade Fair is the Gayon Bikol Fiesta. It can be recalled that last year, Gayon Bikol Fiesta of the Department of Tourism (DOT) joined Orgullo Kan Bikol Fair for the first time which brought in a total gross sales of 14 million pesos.

“Now on our second year with OK Bikol, we will once again treat Bicolanos and the general public with our rich cultural tradition thru performances by Bicolano artists and we will showcase the beautiful tourist destinations that are found in the region”, Director Maria Ong-Ravanilla of DOT here said.

Lined up for the duration of the fair are performances/shows of LRay Villafuerte Cultural Group, Universidad De Sta. Isabel Cultural Group, Kundiman Champion Ms. Vanessa R. Rayel, Top Magician of the Philippines Mr. Lou Hilario, Pork Barrel, Artists Ms. Lou Bonevie and Mr. Gino Padilla and with special participation of Kadangyan Band of Baguio.

“A Culinary Product Presentation featuring food products from Gubat, Sorsogon and Product Presentation of Misibis Discovery Bay will still form part of the Bicol Fiesta treat”, Ravanilla added.

The Opening Program will be held on October 2, 2008 at 10:00 o’clock a.m. at the Megatrade Hall 2, 5th Level, Bldg. B, SM Megamall, Mandaluyong City. This will be attended by Congressman Edcel C. Lagman, Gov. Joey S. Salceda, USec Merly Cruz of DTI, USec Oscar Palabyab of DOT, other DTI and DOT officials, Bicolano congressmen, governors and other LGU officials of Region V.

OK Bikol- Gayon – Bikol Trade and Tourism Fair is sponsored by the Department of Trade and Industry Region V, Department of Tourism Region V, PHILEXPORT Bicol Chapter, OK Bikol Association, Bicol Designers Association and Leighton.

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