By Imelda Castro-Rivero
(First of two parts)
VIGAN CITY, Ilocos Sur, – To continue uplifting the economy of families in each of the 32 towns and two cities of the province, a trade fair opened at the 10th Kannawidan Ylocos Festival on January 29 to February 3 at the President Elpidio Quirino stadium in Bantay town where various products were sold.
The Department of Trade and Industry Ilocos Sur office led by Grace Lapastora, one of the supporters of this event, shared that the towns which joined the Kannawidan Ylocos Festival not only sold their One Town one Product (OTOP) but also new and old products.
Compared with last year’s sales, a chocolate vendor from Salcedo town said that this year the sales increased by about 50 per cent. She hopes that next year their sales will increase again. And to have more chances to sell their products, she hopes that the provincial government will hold more trade fairs this year and the following years.
Visiting the booths of the second district of the province we found the winner of the Best OTOP in this year’s festival – Santa Maria town’s sugarcane vinegar. The other sugar cane products are muscovado (native sugar) made by the Muscovado Farmers Associaton of Maynganay, balicucha or sugar cane candies, and Basi wine made by the Kababaihan at Kabataan ng Maynganay Norte Program, Inc.
The other towns also have their OTOP sold in their booths. Narvacan has bagnet or sitsaron (crispy pork). Santa has bolo or iron knives, smoked tilapia, fresh green grapes. Santiago has woven cloth.
Tagudin, the calamansi capital of the province, has calamansi wine, juice concentrate and ready to drink in bottles made by the Samahan ng Magkakalamansi Producers Cooperative of Tagudin. Santa Cruz has tuna pie, pancit molo with squash or kangkong, and dried fish. Santa Lucia has peanut products such as cookies, polvoron, and butter made by the Metro Luba Coconut Farmers Multipurpose Cooperative of Barangay Luba. San Esteban has coconut gel or nata de coco made by the San Esteban Women’s Association of san Esteban.
(More next week)