By Alex P. Vidal
NEW YORK CITY — Whoever conceived the idea of holding the first-ever Iloilo City Trade Mission and Investment Forum Ilonggo Fashion and Jewelry Show in the East Coast must be a visionary.
The mission is on the right track of globalization.
Convenors of this brilliant project certainly wanted to link Iloilo City to the world in a unique fashion; they wanted foreign businessmen, investors, students, tourists, as well as Filipinos living in the United States and other parts of the world, to “invest, work, create, study, retire, live, and grow” in Iloilo City.
City hall and Iloilo City’s business sector, in fact, have assembled some of the finest, aggressive, and very talented “missionaries” with global minds and technical capabilities to promote local products and tourism as well as investment opportunities no other cities in the Philippines can offer.
The trade mission, which started on June 1 and officially introduced in a formal program on June 4 at the Kalayaan Hall and Kalayaan Annex of the Philippine Center (which also houses the Philippine Consulate General), is being headed by Iloilo City Mayor Jose Espinosa III and his wife, Mrs. Regine “Gina” Sarabia-Espinosa.
They are being backed by key advisers in local government and academe like Commercial Diplomat for Trade Relations and Executive Assistant Rex L. Aguado, City Tourism Officer Junel Ann Divinagracia, City Planning and Development Office (CPDO) chief Jose Roni Peñalosa, Local Economic Enterprise Office (LEEO) chief Ariel “Aye” Castaneda, Dr. Carmencita “Menchie” Robles, dean of the West Visayas State Universty (WVSU) College of Mass Communications; University of the Philippines in the Visayas Vice Chancellor Mary Ann Gumban, Iloilo Business Park-Megaworld Sales Director Carla Margarita Perez, and Eon Group of Companies Founder and CEO and Iloilo Trade and Investments Board Co-chair Felicito Tiu, among others.
Among the topics to be discussed are property development, Infotech and infrastructure pipeline; Iloilo City’s premier schools, business matching and networking.
The exhibit will feature Habol Ilonggo: Fashion and Jewlery Show by Djohn Clement, Totong Gellangarin, Bo Parcon, Aisha Penalosa, Jaki Penalosa, and Edison Ruedas directed by Iloilo Provincial Tourism Officer Bombette Golez Marin.
Tess Salvador, a pioneer in the promotion of heritage Hablon fabric and the craft of Habol–the art of Ilonggo traditional weaving, and Jhett Tolentino, Tony Award-winning Filipino theatre producer of “Dungog Sang Dakbanwa Sang Iloilo 2017” awardee and dedicated son of Iloilo, will be given recognition.
Also to be recognized are: The Philippine Consulate General and the Philippine Trade and Investment Center in New York as venue partner of PHILCOMAN and the Iloilo City Trade Delegation, and the 2018 Philippine Independence Day Council, Inc. as organizers of the 120th Philippine Independence Anniversary Commemoration in New York City.
Other schedules outside New York City are: Investment forum at University of North America, Fairfax, Virginia on June 6; Childhood Education Study in Washington D.C. in the morning and Investment Forum in the evening at the Philippine Embassy on June 7; a tour in Washington D.C. on June 8; a Philippine Independence Day Ball in the evening at Hilton, East Rutherford, New Jersey on June 9.
Members of the Iloilo Trade Mission depart to the Philippines on June 10.