ONE CEBU EXPO OPENS

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By Flornisa M. Gitgano and Oscar C. Pineda

Saturday, August 4, 2012

SOME 450 exhibitors are participating in what is considered to be the biggest One Cebu Expo since it began five years ago.

The grand opening was held yesterday at theCebuInternationalConvention Center, with Gov. Gwen Garcia and her brother, Rep. Pablo John Garcia (Cebu, 3rd district), leading the ribbon-cutting ceremony.

The expo showcases world-classCebuproducts including furniture, house wares, accessories, gift toys and delicacies. The expo will last until Aug. 13.

“Now this fifth year… it’s the exhibitors themselves who have to beg to be given a spot, a stall, and a booth to be included in the One Cebu expo,” the governor said.

Early years

She said that when the expo started in 2008, they had a hard time convincing establishments to participate. Back then, there were only 133 exhibitors. The number has grown steadily over the years.

In 2010, the exhibitors numbered 333. Last year, the number was 365 exhibitors. Ian Fresnido of the expo secretariat said the 450 exhibitors include 28 local government units.

Among the items they have on display are pickled vegetables from Dalaguete; cultured crabs from Carmen; “sarok,” or bamboo hats, from Consolacion; charcoal briquette from Tabogon; Sogod tablea, or cacao extract; furniture from Alegria; and kropec fish products from Bantayan.

“The reason we call this the One Cebu Expo is not only because we are One Cebu that we come together, cities, municipalities, business people, the private sector. We come together when it is for a greater cause, which is to promote the great island or the great province,” Congressman Garcia said.

Also showcased are paintings by Russian artists.

Fresnido said the exhibitors’ only obligation is to remit 10 percent of their gross sales to the Province.

The Hotel, Resort and Restaurant Association ofCebu, a first-time participant, is holding “Cebu Goes Culinary.”

Guests who are tired of shopping and eating can watch Visayan films for free.

Guests

Car enthusiasts can also enjoy the car show outside, he added.

Guests at yesterday’s opening were a mix of out-of-towners like Batangas Vice Gov. Mark Leviste and Bayan Muna Party-list Rep. Teddy Casiño and local personalities like former Mandaue City mayor Alfredo Ouano, Danao Mayor Ramon “Boy” Durano Jr., former vice mayor Ramon “Boboy” Durano IV, former mayor Jesus “Don” Durano, among others.

The governor said she is happy about the visitors from other provinces. She said she is proud that these officials and guests have recognized whatCebuhas done.

“Pero ang ako gyud gikalipayan ang participation sa mga Sugbuanon (What really made me happy is the participation of Cebuanos) because this is what One Cebu is all about,” she said.

The expo is one of many activities prepared by the Province as part of its weeklong 443rd founding anniversary that also includes the Governor’s Ball on Aug. 10 and the Pasigarbo sa Sugbo on Aug. 11.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on August 04, 2012.