DTI Region 6 showcases Miag-ao’s Budbud Seasalt on VIP Tour

On July 18, 2023, the Very Important Pinoy (VIP) Tour 2023, a collaborative effort by the Department of Tourism and the Department of Foreign Affairs, arrived in Miag-ao, Iloilo, as part of its week-long journey from July 16-22, 2023.

This year, the Philippine Consulate and DOT San Francisco took the lead in coordinating the VIP tour, aiming to foster closer ties between the Philippines and its Filipino-American community in the US.

The tour successfully brought a total of 292 Filipino-Americans to their motherland led by Consul General Neil Frank Ferrer.

One of the highlights of the tour’s itinerary was the visit to the enchanting province of Iloilo where the participants got the chance to explore the cultural treasures and breathtaking landscapes of the region. Among the places included in the Iloilo leg was a trip to Miagao, a town with a rich cultural heritage.

During the Miagao visit, a special event was arranged by Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Region 6 led by OIC-Regional Director Ermelinda Pollentes with the recommendation of May Nina Celynne Layug, the Trade Commissioner at the PTIC-Silicon Valley San Francisco, who saw this as an excellent opportunity to showcase the local specialty – Budbud sea salt.

Layug, a strong believer in the potential of Budbud sea salt, expressed enthusiasm in introducing this unique product to the VIP group.

Behind the success of Budbud seasalt is Pollentes and her team from DTI-Region 6 and DTI Iloilo Provincial Office who have been actively providing technical and other essential support services to the enterprise.

The efforts of Ms. Lorlie Noblezada, the dedicated owner and manager of Budbud seasalt, have been instrumental in preserving the traditional “Budbud” saltmaking industry in Miagao, Iloilo.

Budbud is recognized as a woman-owned small business enterprise, significantly contributing to the economic growth and providing employment opportunities for women in the local community.

With the VIP Tour in full swing, the organizers and participants alike hoped that the showcase of Budbud seasalt would garner much attention and support, both locally and internationally.

The exposure to a broader audience could potentially lead to more significant opportunities for Budbud, promoting the artisanal sea salt industry of Miagao, Iloilo, and uplifting the lives of women in the region.

As the VIP Tour continues, the Filipino-Americans from the US have been experiencing an enriching and unforgettable journey, connecting with their heritage and immersing themselves in the beauty and culture of the Philippines.