Proudly Made in Bohol

10:00 AM

(Published in LifestyleBohol of The Bohol Chronicle, August 16, 2015 issue)

One of the most promising exhibits during the Sandugo 2015 Trade Expo at the Island City Mall was the Trade Fair Shop.  Not only was the colourful display on the Made in Bohol Stand pleasing to the eyes but the advocacy behind it is even more inspiring.

The Fair Trade Shop is started by BUSWACC (Boholanos United Sectors Working for the Advancement of Community Concerns), an organization involved in helping local producers, lending them capital and helping them build capacity.

Made in Bohol 4
Beautiful woven bags from Bohol artisans

Seven years ago, according the Gavin Hinton, Australian marketing and sales consultant, among the many problems that BUSWACC discovered that local producers do not have an avenue to display and distribute themselves.  Starting first at the Port Area in Tagbilaran, the Trade Fair Shop moved to a closer location near the Plaza Rizal.

However, as the tourism industry in the province continue to rocket year after year, issues still continue to exist.  According to Hinton, out of the 400,000 visitors that arrive yearly in Bohol, only 30% leave Bohol with souvenirs. This can be attributed to the inaccessibility of souvenir items. Furthermore, some of the souvenir items made available in the market are not of superior quality and the most heartbreaking part is that they are not made in Bohol by Boholanos.  To address this issue, the Made in Bohol stand was born.

The Rack
A look on the Made in Bohol stand

The Made in Bohol stand is a small standing and mobile souvenir kiosk which, as the name suggests, will display proudly made local products.  Designed by Charles Vincent Barrette, Industrial Engineer in the Fabrications Laboratory (FabLab) located inside the BISU Main Campus, the Made in Bohol stand features a revolutionary functional design that is carefully crafted to cater different local products such as food, jewelries, shirts, and bags, among other.  Products will be rotated every six weeks.

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Slanted cabinets are part of the design which is to cater for locally produce food products like the Ginto Chocolates

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Other proudly Bohol made food items

After successfully introducing the Made in Bohol concept last Sandugo, the mobile kiosk is now standing at The Bellevue Resort, showcasing the works of many local artisans and producers.  True to Hinton’s vision, the kiosk will start to provide an avenue for exposure and distribution to authentic Boholano product.

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The finely made jewelries of Virtucio by Christine Victucio grabbed so much attention when they were part
of the Made in Bohol display. Quality fashionable products and is proudly made in Bohol.

Artists, artisans, and local manufacturers are enjoined to visit the Fair Trade Shop if they think their products will fit the concept of the Made in Bohol stand.

“We won’t say no to anyone provided that their products are quality products,” said Hinton.

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These cups feature paintings by a local artist

With the Made in Bohol brand and the Fair Trade Shop, tourists will have to get their hands on souvenir items that mirror Boholano artistry, creativity, and craftsmanship while producers will have an opportunity to get their products needed exposure for potential sales.  Definitely, a win-win situation!

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DEEJAY WRITES is a proudly Boholano lifestyle and travel blog by LifestyleBohol in-house writer Deejay Arro. Launched in June 2014, DEEJAY WRITES ranks among the Top 200 Entertainment and Lifestyle blogs in the country and has been consistently receiving positive feedback from readers..