Mindanao Trade Fair

DAVAO CITY – The upcoming Mindanao Trade Expo (MTE) in Glorietta Mall in Makati City on October 2-5 will promote the newly-launched brand of the Matigsalugs, a group of Indigenous People (IP) in Davao City.

Launched during the opening ceremony of MTE 2017 in Abreeza Mall last August 11, “Nasabeka” carries not only the ingenuity of one of the city’s original inhabitants, but also the uniqueness of their culture.

MTE Foundation, Inc. (MTEFI) President Dr. Rosevic Del Rosario-Cembrano said that by bringing the brand to the national exhibition, the Matigsalugs will be introduced to potential institutional markets.

“As what Nasabeka means, we want unity to really prevail in all the endeavors that we do. We want that the organization will continuously work with our partners to improve the lives of all local entrepreneurs, especially those from the communities,” the medical Doctor-Entrepreneur shared.

It further exudes their commitment to product excellence and oneness with our objective for a better future.

Bearing the theme “Connecting Mindanao,” the MTE show in Glorietta is expected to open doors of opportunity for the island-region’s products and services. This will also serve as an avenue to underscore the ingenuity, reliability and creativity of the entrepreneurs behind them.

“With the Matigsalugs’ brand as among the MTE in Glorietta highlights, we are optimistic they will find new markets. After all, every intricate detail of their products represents their culture and the craftsmanship being passed on from generation to generation,” she said.

The birth of Nasabeka is a result of the sustained partnership between the government and private sector in developing local communities. The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), AboitizPower subsidiary Therma South, Inc. (TSI), and MTEFI have gathered their resources together to equip the Matigsalug Council of Elders of Marilog District, Davao City, Inc. (MACOEMADDACI).

With the help of professional designers, training and seminars on the development of beads and agsam (a kind of fern), pompom (Sangkad), wearable, and basketry were conducted. At the end of series of skills upgrading interventions, unique and modern Matigsalug-inspired products were produced.

The designers who assist the Matigsalugs are Frankie Galagnara of Philippine Women’s College and Emi Englis of Emi Englis Couture and MTE Design Team for wearable, Yvette Punzalan of Yvette’s Bags Collections and MTEFI Product Development Trustee In-charge for pompom., DTI Designers Pool Juvenal Fernandez of Tagum Development Company, Inc. (TADECO) for basketry; Leny Castillo of Great Gifts Souvenirs for beads and agsam.

We want this project to be sustainable because we want to preserve the culture of our IPs, while letting the world know that they’ve got talents we can be proud of,” the MTEFI leader concluded. ♦