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Archdiocese of Caceres to launch bigger, better Bishop Francisco Gainza Trade Fair

NAGA CITY, Camarines Sur (PIA)—After almost two years of conducting a virtual trade exhibit due to the COVID-19 restrictions, the Bishop Francisco Gainza Trade Fair (BFGTF) organizers set its foot back to its normal pace by launching a “bigger and better”  BFGTF comes September 2022.

This year, the Archdiocese of Caceres, Caritas- Caceres, Robinsons Place Naga, Department of Trade and Industry (DTI)-Camarines Sur Provincial Office and the Camarines Sur Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CSCCI), Inc., have joined hands to ensure that the 2022 BFGTF will bring more exhibitors and better products to the local tourists and buyers who will be in Naga to celebrate the feast of Our Lady of Peñafrancia.

In a press conference held July 19, Monday at the Robinsons Place Naga Atrium, Caritas-Caceres Executive Director Rev. Fr. Marcel Emmanuel DP Real, said that this 2022, they intend to surpass the sales that reached a record high of P11.2M in 2019.  

“On our 10th year of holding the BFGTF, that was in 2019, we were only praying for at least 10M sales. Yet we were overwhelmed when we got more than what we expected. We are of course grateful, because a big chunk of this income will be used to finance the Caritas Caceres’ social action ministry. The fund goes to families and communities affected by disasters and basically for the poor people who asked for financial aid,” Fr. Real added.

Rev. Fr. Marcel Emmanuel DP. Real (at the podium, right), Chair of the Bishop Francisco Gainza Trade Fair (BFGTF) 20222 gives a presentation of activity during the press conference held on July 19, 2022 at Robinsons Place Naga. (JRM-PIA5/Camarines Sur)

DTI Camarines Sur Provincial Director Jay Ablan said that the COVID pandemic did not hamper the BFGTF from happening as it also gave birth to the virtual market dubbed as OMG or an acronym for “Online Market ni Bishop Gainza.’

“We are very happy that we are now having a face to face activity. We’ve been doing this virtually for the past years and though we have the OMG, we admit that the sales is not as high as having the physical market. Buyers still prefer things or commodities that they can touch, food that they can smell and taste - that’s why I am personally happy that we will be doing this year’s BFGTF just like the old days, and take note, we’re back and we’re even better and bigger this year,” Ablan cited.

Ablan acknowledged the significant role of the CSCCI, Inc. and thanked them for generously sharing their resources to make this year’s BFGTF even bigger and better. He said that CSCCI  and DTI both support local entrepreneurs and extend their hands to Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs).  

Rev.Fr. Real said that this is aligned with the vision and mission of BFGTF which says that “as community of disciples, the Archdiocese of Caceres commits to building God’s kingdom by alleviating poverty through entrepreneurship and solidarity that promotes integral development.”

BFGTF also aims to continue what Bishop Francisco Gainza started in 1875, when he pioneered the very first Agro-Industrial Fair in Bicol.

“One of the objectives of BFGTF is to revive and sustain the trade fair which Bishop Gainza pioneered as a feature of Peñafrancia festivities in the 18th century. We want BFGTF to serve as an avenue to alleviate poverty and generate income to the stakeholders by showcasing the best of Bicol and other Philippine products,” Real added.

Archdiocese of Caceres Archbishop Most Rev.Rolando Joven Tria Tirona, O.C.D., D.D congratulated the organizers for taking the challenge of holding the trade fair despite the uncertain situations, citing the continuous threat of COVID 19.

“Sabi nila, if you just stay foot in a defensive posture, you will never grow,  you will never achieve anything. Congratulations to the organizers na maski na tayo in the midst of difficulties, dangers, nonetheless, we take upon ourselves to launch this trade fair as an act of courage,” Tirona said.

This year’s BFGTF will officially open on September 8 and will wrap up on Sept. 18- the Feast of our Lady of Peñafrancia. (PIA5/Camarines Sur) 

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Ana-liza Macatangay

Regional Editor

Region 5

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