Shop to Help: Heartwarming Products from Calamity-Devastated People
Choose Philippines | Sep 24, 2014
Moved by the destitution that followed the Bohol earthquake and Typhoon Yolanda, the Association of Negros Producers (ANP) challenged its members to share the blessings of their crafts to people living in communities affected by natural calamities and armed conflict.
And so they held this trade fair of awesome island products in the Big City.
The members of the ANP, led by their Chairman Mary Ann Colmenares and President Jojie Locsin, visited communities in Bicol, Cebu, Masbate, northern Negros, Iloilo, Capiz, Aklan, and Antique.
They bought raw materials that otherwise could have been sourced closer to Bacolod, if not for the need to help the situations in devastated and distant areas. They hired locals to gather shells, pandan leaves, wood from fallen trees, and coconut shells and lumber.
At the trade fair, expect to find calamity-inspired products, including:
- Hacienda Crafts’ Macramé Pendant Lamp that uses woven baskets from San Remigio in Cebu;
- Tumandok’s Haiyan Collection of furniture constructed from coconut wood from San Dionisio in Iloilo;
- NVC’s “The Story of Maria Luisa,” a mosaic art collectible depicting the life of a two-year-old in Palo, Leyte, who lost her mother to Yolanda;
Jojo Vito’s Festival Dolls Collection wearing shells from Bantayan Island and Molocaboc Island;
Marayo’s Sea Jewels necklaces and bracelets adorned with shells from Cebu;
Artisana’s Yolanterns decorated with coconut shells from Leyte;
Pandan-woven Bantayan Tote of Kiculo;
Some of these products are also winners of the 2014 Bulawan Awards, a competition that the ANP organizes to push its ranks to create high-quality, high-design merchandise.
No doubt, products like these will wiggle their way into the hearts of buyers, but they will also give shoppers the avenue to help.
Thus the Negros Trade Fair isn't just a market; it's a wonderful emotional experience.
ANP members are experts at helping. In the '80s, ANP was established by visionaries who built handicraft businesses to give alternative livelihood to farm workers displaced by the sugar crisis and insurgency.
ANP’s original guards may have given way to the next generation, but the calling remains.
The Negros Trade Fair is the longest-running provincial trade fair held in Metro Manila every year, a feat made possible by the support of the provincial government of Negros Occidental.
There are over 80 selling booths to be filled with the latest merchandise from ANP’s five sectors, namely, Furniture & Furnishings, Gifts & Housewares, Fashion & Garments, Food, and Natural & Organic.
There will also be hot food featuring the best of Negrense cuisine, headlined by the original chicken inasal. The famous piayas, mango tarts, and other pasalubong delicasies will also be available.
The 29th Negros Trade Fair will be open from 10am to 9pm on Sept. 24, 25, and 28 (Wednesday, Thursday, and Sunday) and from 10am to 10pm on Sept. 26 and 27 (Friday and Saturday). Entrance is free.
(All photos from the 29th Negros Trade Fair Smiles Beyond Borders Facebook.)