CULTURAL POTPOURRI| The Philippine Trade and Tourism Exhibition called “wēv”

THE HARDWORKING mother-and-daughter tandem of Mae and Carmaela Braceros-Alcantararecently met with me to discuss matters regarding the Mindanao Trade Expo Foundation, Inc.’s (MTEFI) proposed Philippine Trade and Tourism Exhibition called “wēv” to be held in New York this coming August 24 to September 9, 2016.


CRYSTAL Seas proprietors Mae and Carmaela Braceros-Alcantara of the Mindanao Trade Expo Foundation, Inc.

     “Wēv” is the phonetic representation of the word weave or “habi” in Filipino.  “It highlights the traditional handwoven textiles produced in the Mindanao region. ‘Wēv’ can also be viewed as a shortened form for ‘we have’ or ‘we’ve’ to refer to the people of Mindanao and Palawan and what they can offer the world,” explained Mae Braceros-Alcantara, the MTEFI’s treasurer and officer-in-charge for trade events.  She added, “The name ‘wēv’ carries with it the collective strength of the regions’ rich cultures and traditions ingrained in its peoples’ lifestyles, as well as the products resulting from their rich natural resources and their communities’ genuine desire to create.”

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MINDANAO Trade Expo Foundation Inc. Officers and Members with (Seated) : Executive Director Ms. Marian Mahinay and President Dr. Rosevic Sembrano

     The Mindanao Trade Expo Foundation, Inc. is a lead organization armed with the mission of advancing Micro, Small and Medium Entrepreneurs (MSMEs) in the Mindanao region.  It continuously provides a venue for the promotion of Mindanaoan products to a wider market.  It is, indeed, in the forefront in promoting the region’s valuable products to the global market through its trade initiatives.

     For the past two decades, the Mindanao Trade Expo has been a major marketing event in Mindanao making Mindanaoans proud of the artistry and industry of their fellow Mindanaoans.  The organization has been a valuable mechanism in the success of some MSMEs who were able to advance from participation in local MTE shows to international trade shows like the Manila FAME International show, the Hong Kong Houseware Show, among others.  “These MSMEs have entered the foreign market, strengthening their market exposure and industry as well as opening more opportunities for their progress and development,” cited Mae Braceros-Alcantara.  And the Crystal Seas company of Mae and Carmaela Braceros-Alcantara is one perfect example of a successful MSME through the MTE and , of course, through the Braceros’ blood, sweat and tears.

     “We are now looking to New York, with ts prime location, market size and the diversity of its neighborhood and communities as one of the potential markets of Mindanao entrepreneurs to consider… New York is home to over 200,000 businesses and the headquarters of some 65 Fortune 500 companies.  New York is one of the world’s major economic and financial centers,” divulged Carmaela, the devoted and so talented daughter, who is always ever ready to assist her mother dearest in her commitments.  “We believe that the emerging market of the millennial generation in the USA holds the biggest market potential for Mindanao-based MSMEs.  The MTEFI’s challenge is to bring Mindanao and Palawan (active in its participation in the BIMP-EAGA despite its being a part of Region 6 of Western Visayas) MSMEs to New York to capture the market potential of the city’s fast growing economy and fashion center,” the young business entrepreneur opined.

     “Mindanao is known for its abundant natural resources and organic materials, its handcrafted arts and crafts and handwoven textiles, its amazing adventures offered to tourists, and the interesting cultures and traditions of its indigenous peoples.  We will bring what ‘We Have’ to the New York market,” said the humble Mae Braceros-Alcantara who celebrated her birthday last Saturday, May 21.

It’s hard work for Mae and Carmaela Braceros-Alcantara in organizing “wēv” along with the members of Mindanao Trade Expo Foundation, Inc.  Indeed, it’s high time for the world to know about Mindanao, its good side.

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