The first time it was held last year, the event gathered so much support and interest. It was considered a resounding success. So this time, it is being reprised. We are referring to the 2nd Bishop Francisco Gainza trade fair that will officially open tomorrow at 5:00 o’clock in the afternoon at the parking grounds of the SM City in Naga. It will last until the 18th of September, 2011, coinciding the week long celebration of the Peñafrancia festivities.
The seven-day trade fair is again organized by the Archdiocese of Caceres, through the Caceres Social Action Foundation, Inc. (CASAFI). It is meant as part of the highlights of the Peñafrancia festival. It features Bicolano entrepreneurs engaged in producing processed food, homestyle and living items like furniture, gifts, toys, housewares and wearables, tourism services, organic and natural products, souvenir items and religious articles.
It will also showcase booths organized by micro, small, and medium enterprises coming from Rizal, Laguna, Parañaque and Quezon city aside from those of the Bicol provinces.
It aims to provide an avenue for small and medium enterprises to introduce and promote their products in the region. It is also geared at attracting a wider attention for the national market since the festival is attended by visitors coming from outside of the Bicol region.
With the expansion of the trade fair this year, it has invited financial institutions, foundations and business entities that provide institutional and tourism services. Trainings and seminars are organized within the fair to educate the people and enhance entrepreneurial skills . Topics include organic farming and conservation on the reduction, reusablity, and recycling of garbage and refuse.
As part of the event the department of trade and industry (DTI) will conduct trainings and seminars on September 13-15 in promotion of values and ensuring guality among the exhibitors.
Evenings at the trade fair will highlight live performances from various entertainment groups of the region. Attendees will be treated to serenade performances by the Caceres Singing Priests, the Baao Children’s Choir and the University of Nueva Caceres (UNC) glee club.
Exhibitors are charged a participation fee of PhP 10,000 (coming from mainland Bicol), PhP 9,000 for those from the island provinces, PhP 8,000 for other regions, and PhP 20,000 for institutional establishments. According to project director Fr. Marc Real, in the spirit of patronizing hand-made regional products, priority is given to those coming from mainland Bicol who manufacture and produce their own.
Visitors have to pay a P5.00 entrance fee for showroom visits and another P10.00 for those joining the raffle that may win in the daily and grand draws.
Last year the trade fair generated P5.6 million earnings for participants,
The Bishop Gainza trade fair is named in honor of Bishop Francisco Gainza, O.P. (1863-1879) He pioneered the agricultural and industrial fair in Bicol in 1875 during the Peñafrancia festivities. He was the 25th Spanish bishop of the See of Caceres and the founder of the Colegio de Sta. Isabel (now Universidad de Sta. Isabel).