27 SMEs showcase Aklan products

27 SMEs showcase Aklan products

By Venus G. Villanueva, Wednesday 16th of January 2013

KALIBO, Aklan, Jan 16 (PIA6) -- Amid drumbeats, the Kalibo Ati-atihan Product Showcase opened January 14 at the Kalibo Pastrana Park, a yearly promotional event and one of the main features of the Kalibo Sto. Nino Ati-atihan Festival.

Twenty-seven small and medium enterprises (SMEs) are joining this year’s event, offering wearables made from indigenous fibers, crafts, gifts and housewares, furniture and furnishings, processed foods, health and wellness, and ornamental plants for sale to the public, especially visitors and tourists coming to witness this year’s Ati-atihan Festival in Kalibo.

To run from January 14 to 21, the opening was graced by Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Undersecretary Merly Cruz, DTI6 Regional Director Dominic Abad, Department of Tourism (DOT) Regional Director Helen J. Catalbas, DTI Provincial Director Diosdado P. Cadena, Jr. and staff, Kalibo municipal officials led by Mayor William S. Lachica and the local media.

In her message, Usec Cruz said the province of Aklan is lucky to have two sectors that complement each other to anchor and develop other industries.

"Aklanons are lucky in tourism because of Boracay Island but luckier still because of Sr. Sto. Nino," Cruz added.

Cruz also took the opportunity to thank Aklan residents like Vicky Ramos, chairperson of the Provincial Tourism Council, Albert Menez, chairperson of the Kalibo Sto. Nino Ati-atihan Festival Inc., and businessman Guidon dela Cruz and Anna India Legaspi, artist and pina cloth producer, and others for influencing the lives and interests of those from Aklan and for being part of Aklan’s entrepreneur pool in creating other industries in support of tourism.

Cruz also echoed Catalbas’ message to Aklan residents in caring for the environment and in their commitment to expand home-grown industries.

Besides commending Aklan SMEs for producing wearables made of pina and other fibers, gifts and housewares and other products, Cruz also advocated for the development of the pangasius industry in Aklan which could help supply the seafood needs of Aklan, especially Boracay Island.

Cruz said pangasius fish grows fast and could already be harvested in four months' time.

"Two pieces of pangasius could already reach a kilo. Pangasius could help remedy the fish shortage in Boracay," Cruz said.

Boracay, Cruz emphasized, is a blessing - it attracts tourists and the people of Aklan can do a lot to earn because these tourists eat and do various activities so there should be business.

"Just add value to your products," Cruz said. (JCM/VGV-PIA 6, Aklan)

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