The spirit of community is alive and well in the City of Love and this has never been more eminent than during this pandemic. At a time when many are gravely affected by the loss of livelihood, and businesses are struggling to survive, Richmonde Hotel Iloilo endeavored to help micro, small & medium enterprises in the area by organizing an event where local entrepreneurs can showcase their products to interested buyers.
According to Richmonde Iloilo’s General Manager, Natalie Lim, “Although people are still wary of going out to shop, if they are presented with an opportunity to buy specially curated, unique, locally-made products at a venue that is guaranteed to be safe and sanitary, they will come.” So together with proponents of Ilonggo culture and products, One Iloilo’s Girlie Flores and Obra Ilonggo’s Karmela Jesena, Lim gathered a select group of vendors to be a part of Bugal Iloilo (Iloilo Pride) at Richmonde’s BizBar. Originally planned as a one-time event, the exhibit sale turned into a two-weekend run owing to the success of the first one. Lim enthused, “We know there is a viable market for proudly Ilonggo-made quality items and there are many talented local craftsmen and designers who can supply the demands of this discerning group of shoppers and collectors.”
Participants of the Bugal Iloilo included an interesting mix of fashion designers, master craftsmen, budding artists, and plant growers, all of whom make beautiful use of indigenous materials and employ workers from local communities. Obra Ilongga, Balay Hablon/Atalier de Hablon, Jaki Penalosa, Jeff Ticao, Modern Ilongga. Rodson Woodworks, The Green Corner, Plantita Bell, The Bonsai & Suiseki Club of Panay, Fiesta Souvenir, Leo Cadete, Ibadiba, Jacob Bravo and other mixed media artists put on display their masterpieces for sale as people flocked to buy a piece of modern Ilonggo culture (with social distancing, of course). Prominent personalities like Gov. Art Defensor, Jr., Miss Iloilo World Ann Palmares, and no less than Mayor Jerry Trenas and Mrs. Rosalie Trenas, not only graced the events but also offered their full support to the vendors by buying their products and endorsing them to their friends.
Both Bugal Iloilo events, although just a month apart, were rousing successes with sellers earning three times more than what they normally do, and getting leads for big, corporate projects, export orders, and commissioned works. Through activities like these, Richmonde hopes to pave the way for MSMEs to flourish during a crisis and help give the Iloilo economy a push towards a full recovery.
To know more about the sellers of Bugal Iloilo, call Richmonde Hotel Iloilo at +63 33 3287888 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.