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Pangasinan makes its debut at Manila FAME |

Health And Family

Pangasinan makes its debut at Manila FAME

Lai S. Reyes - The Philippine Star
Pangasinan makes its debut at Manila FAME
MSMEs Erastus, Joy, B6, Cawayan, Ilo

What pops into mind when one mentions the province of Pangasinan? Bagoong, patis, and salt. The province, after all, is derived from the word “asin,” and is the country’s top producer of (solar) salt.

“We’ve always been thankful of how nature has sustained us through and through,” says Pangasinan Gov. Ramon V. Guico III. “But for the province to be more competitive and progressive, we have to transcend beyond salt. We have to level up and be part of the international stage.”

And to do that, Governor Guico pins his hopes on the province’s most valuable resource — its people.

“I’ve always admired the never-say-die spirit of my kababayans. They’re not only the warmest and most dedicated people I know. They’ve also been the most resourceful and creative,” he enthuses.

That’s also the reason why the local government is working hard to provide them with the means to realize their goals and improve their lives by fostering their livelihood through ongoing future developments that support the province’s economic expansion.

Economic expansion zones have been set up in the province to spur and boost economic activities, attract international investors in line with the governor’s vision to make Pangasinan an industrial hub that is accessible by land, sea and air.

“In conjunction with all these efforts, the province of Pangasinan acknowledges that micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) play a vital role in ensuring inclusive economic growth in the province,” Gov. Guico says.

And given the right support, MSMEs can be the prime drivers of job creation in the province.

Furniture pieces from Erastus and woven wonders by Joy, B6 and Cawayan

To set the project in motion, Gov. Guico’s mom, Arlyn Guico, with the help of entrepreneur Rosemarie Oamil, the CEO of luxury brand Mele + Marie, established the Artisan Empowerment Association, which equips budding artisans and entrepreneurs with capacity-building resources like mentorship and training programs.

To make a long story short, Gov. Guico, with the help of his mom Arlyn, has tapped 10 MSMEs to showcase their world-class “Made in Pangasinan” products in this year’s Manila FAME, which will be held from Oct. 19 to 21 at the World Trade Center.

Ready for the world stage

After a 40-year-long wait, Pangasinan is all set to present its bounty of artisan creations at international shows, with Manila FAME as its first stop.

The AEA, under the ABOUND project, selected and trained 10 MSMEs for their world-class and export-quality artistry and products, were presented to the media recently at The Peninsula Manila.

The event was attended by Gov. Guico with full support from leaders of the province’s towns of Binalonan and Bolinao, and local agencies.

“This is the first time that Pangasinan is joining a trade fair in 40 years. And I hope you’ll join us in rooting for their successful Manila FAME debut,” enthuses Arlyn, who has grown multiple companies in healthcare, education, leisure, aviation and real estate. She now serves as the chairman of the board of the World Citi Group.

Promoting the province’s diverse creative industries through prestigious trade events like Manila FAME is a key part of the economic growth initiatives in Pangasinan.

Let’s get to know the 10 MSMEs:

• Herwin Buccat, also known as Hermitanyo, is an artist from Bolinao, who’s known for his surrealist and nature- and fantasy-inspired artwork. The ABOUND Team conducted one-on-one coaching on how to interpret his works. His commissioned pieces were then translated into notebooks, tumblers, totes, shirts and hoodies.

Artisan Empowerment Association’s Rosemarie Oamil and Arlyn Guico

• During the press presentation, I also met one of the artisans of Blades, who produces swords that have been featured in the action film Ang Panday. Through the help of Project ABOUND, Blades has expanded its product offerings. It now carries high-quality chef knives and bespoke necklaces and bracelets.

ILO from Laoac is a producer of home accessories made from locally sourced materials and now incorporates industrial items for their designs that can very well enter the luxury market.

• WELAB (Women Empowerment Livelihood Association of Binalonan) used to produce ordinary recycled market bags. With Project ABOUND’s involvement, their designs were elevated to upcycled handbags.

• Alma from Pozorrubio is known for its ethnic droplights. Now, it offers one-of-a-kind home and interior accessories characterized by rustic elegance.

• Erastus from Sto. Tomas also manufactures sleek furniture pieces for the home and office.

• Based in Aguilar, Rach makes bamboo bags. With regular design and product development guidance, Rach’s fashion accessories have been transformed into chic crystal-embellished bags.

• Cawayan of Bolinao utilizes buri to create bags and mat products, while Joy, an enterprise based in Basista, uses corn husks and bangkuang for home accessories and bags.

• The youngest of the batch of MSMEs is B6 (Blessed 6). It is composed of six young artisans who have undergone and continue to attend trainings given by Project Abound. For Manila FAME, they will be showcasing handmade espadrilles.

“I believe that the MSMEs joining the Manila FAME will represent the best of everything made in Pangasinan. They embody what ‘Pangasinan, Ang Galing’ truly means,’” Gov. Guico proudly says.


Catch these top Pangasinan MSMEs and see their incredible artisanal creations up close at the Manila FAME on October 19-21, 2023 at the World Trade Center.

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