The first trade fair at the regional level for MIMAROPA region since its creation in 2002, MIMAROPA Naturally was held on October 21-25, 2015 at Megatrade Hall, SM Megamall, Mandaluyong City. A total of 80 exhibitors including DOT accredited tourism establishments joined the fair.
This event served as a venue for the budding and accomplished entrepreneurs of MIMAROPA to showcase their products. Among the products exhibited were popular delicacies, processed foods, fashion and accessories, agricultural products, health and wellness products, home decor and other novelty items.
Director Joel B. Valera, DTI 4-B Regional Director highlighted during his welcome remarks that “The first ever Agri-Trade and Tourism Fair aims to expand opportunities for our region and our people especially SMEs. We would like to open windows for them to gain new and bigger markets, hence helping them and the community to develop and progress.” Director Valera also emphasized MIMAROPA’s industry cluster which is support to tourism. He said that the patronage of local products and assistance to entrepreneurs will significantly contribute to poverty reduction and development of the region.
Regional Development Council (RDC) 4-B Chairman and Romblon Governor Eduardo C. Firmalo commended the three agencies for a job well done. He expressed his gratitude to Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Department of Agriculture (DA), and Department of Tourism (DOT) for making MIMAROPA Naturally possible as it will surely bring big impact not only to Romblon’s economy but to the whole region.
Festival of the Provinces
To lure buyers and mall-goers to visit the fair, special cultural presentations and other side-activities were also prepared.
The Romblon Capitol Chorale performed several musical pieces on the first day of the fair. On the succeeding days, cultural performances were presented by the provinces. Oriental Mindoro highlighted the history of Calapan through various sets of dance such as Ara, a dance during the Spanish colonial period, Mangyan dance, hayuma or fishing, Pandanggo sa Ilaw, and Marcha Mindoro. The province of Marinduque performed kalutang and putong, the traditional way of welcoming guests. Occidental Mindoro boasted their very own traditional dance, Maria Kapra, a dance registered with the National Historical Commission. Finally, cultutal performance from Palawan depicts the way of life of their indigenous inhabitant.
The Winner’s List
Awarding for the Best Dressed Booth, Best Island Pavillion, and Top Seller for Food and Non-Food categories were named on the last day of the trade fair. Calapan City grabbed the title for dressed booth, while the grandiose booth set-up of Palawan took home the best island pavillion category. The gold and crispy banana chips from Paylago banana chips of Oriental Mindoro was hailed as the top seller for food while eccentric designs of Julie Anne’s Handicraft of Marinduque got the award for top seller non-food category.
Of Success and More Inter-Agency Projects
MIMAROPA Naturally Agri-Trade and Tourism Fair was deemed as a huge success garnering a total sales of P4,540,028.50. The five-day event was able to deliver its promise of supporting the farmers, entrepreneurs and promotion of MIMAROPA’s tourism.
From a simple marketing event, the MIMAROPA Naturally Agri-Trade and Tourism Fair is foreseen to be an annual socio-cultural affair. As DTI-Regional Operations Group Assistant Secretary Blesila Lantayona emphasized “I am hoping that this agri-trade and tourism fair will not be the first and last. Give MIMAROPA something to look forward every year, just continue on supporting each other. Let us produce globally competitive products and entrepreneurs, let MIMAROPA be known around the world”.