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By: Erwin Beleo

MTU 1

MERKADO ITI UMILI – Local owner offering sweetened rice cakes, one of the native delicacies of the City of San Fernando. (Photo by: Erwin Beleo)

As part of the city’s annual Christmas festivities, the City Government of San Fernando held its 2nd year of “Merkado iti Umili” (Market of the People) last December 1, 2017 at the City Plaza.

The Merkado iti Umili features a wide array of products from shoes, bags, furniture to housewares, food, arts and handicrafts. The venue also showcases the city’s Income Generating Project (IGP) Products such as bamboo crafts and home accessories, native food products like ginger ale, papaya pickles, peanut, fish sauce (bagoong), and lemon grass tea. The Christmas Bazaar runs from December 1 – 24 of 2017.

MTU 2

MERKADO ITI UMILI – Local owner of Pia’s Handicrafts showcasing her hand-made bags, one of the known products of the City of San Fernando. (Photo by: Erwin Beleo)

According to Local Economic and Business Development Officer-in-charge Ofelia Mendoza, “Merkado iti Umili is an avenue to promote the food and non-food products of our barangays in the City of San Fernando.”

This year, the City Government gave priority to give slots to its local micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) due to their valuable contributions to the city’s economic growth. MSMEs are the driving forces of the local economy, as a way of giving back, the City Government gave its full support towards the MSMEs for them to reach their maximum potential and growth.

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MERKADO ITI UMILI – Mayor Dong Gualberto and DTI Provincial Director Daria Mingaracal simultaneously cutting the ribbon at the opening of the 2nd Merkado iti Umili. (Photo by: Erwin Beleo)

Apart from that, Merkado iti Umili also helps create economic opportunities, fosters stakeholder partnerships, and encourages local producers and service providers to improve their creativity and workmanship to further enhance the tourism industry.

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MERKADO ITI UMILI – Mayor Dong Gualberto, DTI Provincial Director Daria Mingaracal, City Councilors and City Employees during the opening ceremony of the Merkado iti Umili. (Photo by: Erwin Beleo)

There were also few MSMEs from neighboring towns who joined the Christmas Bazaar showcasing various locally made products such as accessories, home furnishing, Christmas decorations, wood handicrafts products, native food delicacies, clothings, foot wears, jewelries, and many more.

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MERKADO ITI UMILI – Mayor Dong Gualberto and one of the owners of the MSMEs sharing a conversation during the opening of the 2ndMerkado iti Umili. (Photo by: Erwin Beleo)

The Christmas Bazaar runs from December 1 – 24 of 2017.

Mayor Hermenegildo “Dong” Gualberto led the opening rites together with Vice Mayor Alfredo Pablo Ortega, Department of Trade and Industry Provincial Director Daria Mingaracal, and the City Councilors.

Father Robert Collado, who is the administered priest of St. William the Hermit Cathedral, led the ceremonial blessings of the booths.

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MERKADO ITI UMILI – Father Robert Collado, priest of St. William the Hermit Cathedral led the blessing rites of the opening of the 2nd Merkado iti Umili. (Photo by: Erwin Beleo)

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