By Christian Joel D. Custodio
As part of the activities of the 14th Bañamos festival, the Public Employment Service Office of Los Baños (PESO-LB) launched a week-long expo dubbed Barangay Booth and Trade Fair at the Hen. Paciano Rizal Park in Brgy. Baybayin last September 14 to 20.
According to PESO-LB manager Gliceria Trinidad, the activity’s main purpose is to showcase the local products and promote the nature of each barangay in Los Baños.
Assigned with their own booths, the town’s 14 barangays garbed their nipa hut-inspired stalls with local crafts and distinct products.
Among those local finds are the paper charcoal briquettes, a conventional charcoal substitute; handicrafts like baskets, bags, and purses weaved from either recycled Tetra Pak sachets or water lily and hyacinth; egg delicacies made from “itik” or farm ducks; ornamental candles of different shapes and sizes made for various occasions; and other food products made by the Los Baños locals themselves.
Trinidad remarked the importance of the participation of the community people, particularly the women and elderly people, in exhibiting each of their local pride. “It helped them promote their products, promote their barangay, and promote unity in the community,” she said.
Negosyo Center-LB to aid local MSMEs
Senator Paolo Benigno “Bam” Aquino IV, author of the Go Negosyo Act, led the ribbon-cutting ceremony during the launch of the trade fair.
Aquino, who also headed the inauguration of Negosyo Center in Los Baños, eyes to reach out to small and medium enterprises which include the community locals who wish to participate in the expansion of their market.
“Inaanyayahan po namin yung mga tiga-Los Baños and other members of CALABARZON na meron nang Negosyo Center; kung meron po kayong maliit na negosyo, or gusto niyong magsimula, pwede kayong pumunta, humingi ng advice, o humingi ng tulong, at hopefully makatulong ito sa inyong paglalakbay bilang isang negosyanteng Pilipino,” Aquino said.
Trinidad likewise supported the opening of the Negosyo Center as this can help the locals to expand their opportunities to learn basic entrepreneurship and promote the products they presented in the fair.
Trade fair products
The development starts in the individual shared Trinidad. She noted that a person must help one’s self in order to prosper, and that the locals must learn to explore entrepreneurial opportunities and aspire for a better living, as this could help in the improvement not only of one’s self, but also of the community as well.
“Ang connection nito [barangay trade fair] sa Negosyo Center ay mahihikayat natin ang mga mamamayan mag-negosyo, dahil mas pinadali na ang proseso. Mabibigyan din natin sila ng mga seminars kung paano mag-negosyo… at para malaman rin nila ang mga benefits and services mula sa DTI,” she said.