Iloilo champions bamboo as source of exports, livelihood


Iloilo champions bamboo as source of exports, livelihood

by T. Villavert

Iloilo City (8 November) -- Furnishings and furniture made of bamboo has elevated the Ilonggo craftsmanship to the international market and in the near future the province of Iloilo will be known as the bamboo capital of the Philippines and in a larger scale, the bamboo capital of Asia.

This is not far to achieve, said Director Diosdado Cadena as it is only the province that has the reputation to have the best bamboo furniture and furnishings of which many other manufacturers from other provinces of the country admitted that the Ilonggo products really have that edge. These products are shown in the CITEM or Center for International Trade Exhibitions and Missions, and in the Manila FAME.

Cadena who was guest of the PIA’s CATV program said that once a producer/manufacturer reached the stage of products exhibitions, it would mean that he is already entering the international market level.

Some of the products of these internationally acclaimed producers/manufactures can be seen during the 2005 KAWAYAN MARKET WEEK scheduled on November l4 to 20, 2005 at Robinson’s Place, this city.

Director Cadena said that the five-day activity is now the second to be held since its first launching in November last year. “We have 30 Ilonggo exhibitors who will showcase the best of home furnishings/furniture using bamboo as the main raw material. This activity will identify Iloilo for its abundance of the material and emphasize our claim as the bamboo capital of the country”, Cadena said.

Of the 3l Ilonggo exhibitors, 2l of them are in the furniture and furnishings sector andof this number, fourteen (l4) have already showcased their products at CITEM fairs. There will be six Hablon producers joining and two from the ornamental plants sector.

The Kawayan Market week has the following objectives: a) to increase greater awareness and appreciation of the bamboo home furnishings and handwoven products; b) to showcase the most competitive and current product lines/designs of the local manufacturers; and c) to strengthen the domestic industry in the areas of production and marketing.

The activity will also feature a fashion show dubbed “Hablon Fashion Fair” on November l4, 2005 after the opening ceremony highlighting the works of international lifestyle designer PJ Aranador.

The opening ceremony will be graced by DTI Undersecretary for Regional Operations Carissa P. Cruz.(PIA-6) - - Diosdado Cadena Jr.