Saturday, October 22, 2011

The Papier Tole Shop at Intramuros, Manila, Philippines

If you happen to travel in Metro Manila, Philippines, you must include Intramuros in your itinerary. There are lots of souvenir shops that are still existing and thriving money-wise because of the tourist influx in this walled city in the metro.
It's Hispanic influences are well-preserved, from the sentries or guards with its 18th century uniforms and the existence of caretelas or horse-driven carriage that fetches tourists to tour the very small city.
The baroque-styled church at Beaterio street is often photographed by the tourists and city dwellers as well due to its grandiose presence.
Since Intramuros is also the place where my manning agency (for my work overseas) is located, I used to take photos of what interest me inside the walled city.
The souvenir shop where I used to visit is The Papier Tole Shop, established in 1668 as major hub for recycled paper products. The Spanish regime left a very important contribution to the Filipino people by utilizing their artistic talent and skills as it leave unique masterpieces for the unique paintings in 3D or in watercolor, paper dolls, necklaces and other paper products.

The blogger @ The Papier Tole Shop (backside)

 The Papier Tole Shop is now owned and managed by Mrs. Ruby Lee. Thanks to the ever humble shop attendant-worker Meliton Batac for giving me an overview about the souvenir shop and gave me access to take photos, so that I can complete this blog.
The 3D paintings I used to gaze and admire are masterpieces of Filipino artists, like Antonio Mendoza. 
The additional souvenir items, aside from recycled paper products are also getting noticed by the tourists.
For a sampler, I bought a P40-peso notepad (3 pcs for P100 pesos) for my personal notes.

One of the shop attendant-worker

Thursday, October 6, 2011

OKB-Gayon Bikol 2011

When I say 'GAYON', it is the sweetest word that you'll hear among Bicolanos, young and old, when they appreciate 'BEAUTY'. So, as the legend narrates, Daragang Magayon (beautiful maiden) of Albay became synonymous with the beautiful attraction of the province, which is the Mayon Volcano.

From then on, the curiosity among the neighboring residents from the rest of the provinces in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao have been triggered by the colorful history of the Bicolanos. 

I remember my history teacher retelling the plight of Bicolano historians trying to save the documents left from the burning pueblos done by the invading Moros during the early years of Spanish colonization of the Bicol Peninsula.

Although, traditions and customs, and the way of life were handed down from generation to generation, fortunate sons and daughters of the region (from artists, politicians to businessmen or entrepreneurs) are continuing to give back the knowledge they've learned by converging into a yearly exhibit of Bicolano ingenuity or craftsmanship as it showcase the different facets of life in the six provinces, namely: Camarines Norte, Camarines Sur, Albay, Sorsogon, Catanduanes and Masbate.

It's been happening for the past decade, 15 years as I heard it from the statements of Bicolano officials at the DTI-Department of Trade and Industry and DOT-Department of Tourism and local government officials.

Ma'am Linda Rebosura-Corsiga - owner/general manager of Sorsogon Foods Enterprises
People who are worthy of, both mentioning and appreciation include: Albay Governor Joey Sarte Salceda, Daet Mayor Tito Sarte Sarion (cousin of the former) and DTI and DOT people, DirectorsJocelyn Blanco and Maria Ravanilla of DTI-Region V and Tourism Usec Ma. Victoria Jasmin and the people who are untiringly contributing to make the Bicol Expo a success.

If you're not acquainted with the food, culture, craftsmanship and other activities happening in my region, you better be one of the tourists or be a buyer of our local quality products that are now being exported to other progressive/developed countries.

Have you ever heard of Pili marzapan and other native delicacies? Or better yet, the sumptous and exotic Laing or Pinangat? How about a transfo-bed (transforming bed into a luggage, drawing table and the like)?

This year, I personally like the exhibit of pottery products from Buhi, Camarines Sur and Native lampshades of Daet and other handicrafts from Labo, all of Camarines Norte. Sorsogon's products are also in full force, especially the award-winning coconut nectar (coconut sap called tuba in Bicol dialect) turned into a sweet vinegar that is so good for salad marinade. If you're interested with the products (bags, organizers, etc.) derived from water hyacinth or water lilies, then you can make it a business to visit Naga City.

Gov. Salceda of Albay with Usec Ma. Victoria Jasmin and Daet Mayor Tito Sarion
I might have missed the gist of the message of Governor Joey Salceda, but I will never forget what he added that we can have a progressive region if all the sectors will help or converge for a common goal for the BANWAAN (community or region-I shouted the right term when he asked about the Bicol word for it). And the bottomline of it is PROGRESS.

As Usec Jasmin reiterated, there must be 5 As that Bicol should possess to be totally of service to the international and local tourists as well. It includes amenities, accommodation, attraction, activities and appreciation (Did I enumerated it right?).

The following photos are just a documented evidence that our businessmen or entrepreneurs are ready to show the world hot Bicol fare in the Philippines when it comes to OTOP (One Town, One Product)  and other attractions for the tourism and trade industries.

I can never get enough with Bicolano products, services and amenities. 
Ms. Nancy Talay of LGU-Milaor, Camarines Sur

It's good to stay at the exhibit for the entire period. You may run out of money, but the inspiration in attaining success will only be inculcated in the minds of new entrepreneurs.

Engineer & Mrs. Nestor Flores of Nitz Furniture in Naga City with their multi-awarded tranfo-bed

Pili nut products, marzapan, candies and tarts

It's just the opening day. Bicolanos will never rest on their laurels as they showcase other talents as exciting as being skilled on handicrafts and home cooking.

OKB-Gayon Bikol 2011 Ribbon-Cutting

Part and parcel or the gist of what Governor Salceda shared in his speech, regarding the death of Apple co-founder, Steve Jobs and the importance of entrepreneurship in our country was recorded in this video.

I've relayed the information that transpired during the first day  to my fellow Bikolanos by linking this blog at their Tourism sites. I even told my fellow Minalabacquenos (of Minalabac, Camarines Sur) about the bright possibilities and opportunities when joining such trade fair/exhibit.

There's more than meets the eye, as critics will say.

More homegrown projects and livelihood, more jobs that the initiators can offer with their neighbors. It's not as easy as it seems but starting a livelihood will bring hope to residents of each town to dream BIG.