The third batch of the Department of Trade's Free Negosyo Seminar is launched March 26 2018 at the Vittoria 1 in Bantay, Ilocos Sur. Some innovative products are featured among the chosen mentees from small entrepreneurs and groups in Ilocos Sur.
Most notable has been the "abel" espadrilles and custom-shaped dress and top. Staple food products are the rice cakes (bibingka, leche flan, puto), processed meat bagnet, coffee, sugarcane products - muscovado and balicucha sugars (now, these sweets are worth checking out and supporting because they are organically processed), vinegar, and Ilocos wine basi, and woven bags/baskets from a palm variety.
Suggestions on how local government units and the provincial government offices can help these local producers/manufacturers:
1. Mandate local government offices to support abel products as part of their uniforms. Cost may be a little bit higher but that is to compensate for the actual cotton fabrics used as opposed to the plastic fabrics often preferred by government offices. One example is this comfortable cotton abel top from one of the mentees, probably from Caoayan:
2. Use local food products in their catering needs in meetings, seminars, forums, workshops, and other events such as the Palarong Pambansa for their meals and merienda.
3. Use local and eco-friendly products for their event announcements or invitations such as this from Bantay, Ilocos Sur's ToyKalapawMi made of old book pages:
4. Add more exposure to local industries not only in trade fairs but also target global markets through strategic online marketing and promotion. For a while, even the Department of Science and Technology attempted to help local industries by featuring Philippine-made products in their sponsored website, but it lacked direct and smooth purchasing as well as impossible user-interface. The DOST also refuse affordable workshops to transfer technologies to their local industry clients.
Sustaining local industries remain a challenge not only for policy and government but more so for the entrepreneurs. Rents are very high and the retail industry is currently dominated by foreign but Philippine-based real estate giants like SM, Robinson's, and Ayala. If the national and local governments will avoid intervention, these MNCs will continue eating up local industries and flood the local market with disposable plastics made from China and processed foods from dubious raw materials while allowing only a marginal return of investment for locals.
And now that we're on it, hold on because the market is opening its doors to other global internet providers - probably Huawei of China - so, start looking on how you're going to get out of your 3-year contract!
Z' BABES Second Anniversary turned the night energized!
Z' BABES, group of zumba dancers from Metro Vigan successfully held "Zumba For a Cause", a fund-raising activity on Decenber 3, 2017 at 4:00 P.M - 8:00 P.M. at the Badminton Court of Bantay, Ilocos Sur.
President Brenda Lazo, Z' BABES, highlighted the three core values;LOVE, LIVE and INSPIRE in her opening remarks as the backbone of the group.
Led byZin Kramer, Zumba Star Hall of Famer and other popular zumba instructors from Metro Manila and Pangasinan, members and non-members were gathered and energetically performed for more than two hours without a break. Dancers were monitored by Red Cross team in case of any health problem during the activity.
According toMs. Ching Alcausin, one of the event organizers, the proceeds of the raised funds will be granted to the Balay-Taripato ( Cabugao and Magsingal) and the students of Alangan Elementary School in Magsingal, Ilocos Sur.
The Metro Vigan Zumba Club conducted a fund-raising activity at the Vigan Convention Center Novermber 18, 2017 for their outreach program on December 2017.Clad in colorful neon pink and green that afternoon, it was attended by about 500 members and non-members.
The Rotary Club of Vigan spearheaded the "Ride to End Polio" to raise awareness in October 23, 2017.
"Dedicated cylists from the province of Ilocos Sur, the Rotary Club of Vigan City, Narvacan and Magsingal joined with the cyclist from Rotary Club of Laoag and Metro Laoag , and the Rotary International Cluster I-A joined us in this endeavour," Mr. Steve Tadique, president of Rotary Vigan said. They travelled from Vigan to Alaminos, Pangasinan with an estimated distance of 204 km.
The journey took off at 5:00 a.m infront of the St. Paul Cathedral.