BAGUIO CITY – The Cordillera Office of the Department of Trade Industry-CAR (DTI-CAR) and its partners spearheaded the launching of the annual IMPAKABSAT Trade Fair at the SM City Baguio Atrium last February 10, 2023.
Twelve to thirteen micro, small and medium enterprises displayed their local products at the month-long trade fair.
The best products from the Cordillera provinces from Abra and Mountain Province will be featured from February 10 to 16; products from Apayao, Benguet, and Baguio City will be featured from February 17 to 23; and products from Ifugao and Kalinga will be featured from February 24 to March 3.
Cordillera local products that are presented include Abra’s furniture, bamboo and wood crafts, abel weaving and antiques; Mountain Province’s cross stitch, food products, and handloom woven products.
This event is not only concentrated on local products but also the Cordillera’s talents and arts, such as the tattoo body art or ‘mambabatok’ from Kalinga.
Moreover, the featured products are an introduction to the Cordillera’s creativity as well as to highlight that Baguio is also known as a creative city.
Further, to constantly introduce and promote blooming businesses and entice customers and markets to develop a stronger bond with these products.
Francis Pacio, OIC Provincial Director, Abra, pointed out in an interview that the trade fair serves as a recovery effort for businesses from the July 2022 earthquake that hit Abra and declared global pandemic.
However, the Department of Trade and Industry is currently working to find a means to provide a bigger slot for the SMSEs.
Besides, Director Juliet Lucas, DTI-CAR regional director, stated that they are also introducing e-commerce, including e-markets, logistics, and banking, to the SMSEs to suit the changing behavior of consumers.
According to her, the IMPAKABSAT was previously held yearly in Alabang, Muntinlupa, however the DTI-CAR has chosen to reintroduce it to where it started in July 2022.
Engr. Doy Tabilog, Executive Assistant of the city mayor’s office, suggested extending the reach of the IMPAKABSAT Trade Fair to Cebu in light of the Baguio-Cebu flight at Loakan airport
IMPAKABSAT represents solidarity and unity in the Cordillera region’s six provinces, namely Ifugao, Mountain Province, Apayao, Kalinga, Abra, Benguet, and the city of Baguio. Meanwhile, the term “kabsat” means “siblings” in Ilocano.
The current event is one of the Panagbenga Festival’s highlights. By Graziella Estrera & Via Fronda