First-ever One Visayas Creative expo hits P3.5M sales

By Mariela Angella Oladive

The inaugural One Visayas Creative Expo 2024, which was launched during the Dinagyang Festival’s highlight week from January 22 to 28, 2024, generated P3.5 million in cash and booked sales, with additional deals still in negotiation.

This is according to a report posted by the National Economic and Development Authority in Region 6 (NEDA 6) on January 31.

Spearheaded by the Regional Development Council (RDC) VI and the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry Western Visayas (PCCI 6), the event consisted of over 90 exhibitors who showcased their products, featuring the diverse attractions of the three Visayas regions namely Region 6 (Western Visayas), 7(Central Visayas), and 8 (Eastern Visayas).

The expo included live demonstrations of local crafts by skilled artisans, highlighting pandan mat weaving, native bag painting, bobbin lace embroidery, and pen making.

The festivities were further enhanced by the performances from the Iloilo Dinagyang, Kalibo Ati-Atihan, and Cebu Sinulog in honor of Señor Santo Niño.

Mayor Alfredo B. Benitez, the Chairperson of Visayas RDCom and RDC VI, in his message emphasized the crucial role of industry players in promoting the visibility of the Visayas through trade shows and cultural exchanges. He challenged the RDCs to consider showcasing the expo in a larger venue in Metro Manila to exhibit the best of the Visayas regions.

Atty. Jobert A. Peñaflorida, Co-Chairperson of RDC VI and PCCI Western Visayas Governor, said the expo aligns with resolutions passed by PCCI-Visayas Regions in 2023 and RDC VI Resolution No. 147, s. 2023.

The event supports the One Visayas Initiative led by Visayas RDCom Chairperson Benitez.

Governor Arthur R. Defensor, Jr. of Iloilo encouraged collaborative efforts among stakeholders to expand offerings and services in the growing tourism sector in the Visayas.

The expo received warm congratulations from various officials, including a video message from First Lady Atty. Marie Louise Araneta-Marcos. Exhibitors praised the Ilonggo hospitality, citing the event’s exceptional organization and care for their needs.

NEDA VI Regional Director Arecio A. Casing, Jr. expressed appreciation to expo partners and sponsors, recognizing their contribution to the event’s success. He highlighted that the One Visayas Creative Expo 2024 is a prelude to future activities aimed at revitalizing local industries, generating quality jobs, and promoting competitive products in the Visayas region.

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