Friday, July 21, 2017

Sandugo Trade Fair 2017: Same old, same old

Dumaguete's Subida Souvenirs

The Sandugo Festival has been around for decades now, and along with the Street Dancing competition, the Sandugo Trade Fair has always been the more-awaited of THE Bol-anon fete's banner events. 

Like its mother event, the 'trade fair' has its hits and misses year on year. This year's, sadly, disappoints.

Is it the scattered venue? (old issue...) The glaring antiseptic pallor of the mall corridor? Or the dearth of new, exciting, fascinating (heck, we'd take, even the total oddball; bring in the bizarre, no problem) curiosities and the fine masterly 'export-quality' treasures we look forward to each year?

Consumer products are definitely judged by its cover -- and packaging! Kitschy plastic ware plastered with poor graphic design
Do we really need these here -- over-plastic-packaged chichirya aka junk food that's (unfortunately) already available in the groceries?
There are booths we recognize from previous years that we see are improving at each exhibit, like Ubay's dairy products.

Surely, they must know that their logo/ packaging design is not up there. And "r&d" on green containers already, please.  
And there are interesting debuts of emerging (hereabouts, at least) products, like dragon fruits.

And who can resist Leyte's chocolatey moron?

And if you ask them, they can even pack these for you in a paper bag!
Siquijor's booth this year is bursting with curios...
The paintings are nice, Siquijor, but really, Ifugao's bulul?

Just not as charming as buying these from a makeshift pop-up shop under a giant balite tree in the Isla del Fuego itself...
Perhaps the one saving grace of this year's trade fair, lauded by Bol-anon single-use-plastic boycotteurs, is the premiering bamboo cutlery (food-grade straws, and spoon & forks) brought over by Dumaguete's Subida Souvenirs.

Bamboo straws and spoon + forks.
And they package them (by default) in paper bags, too! (The plastic bottles rather distract, though, and th Tagbilaran Science High skirts.)

And as if to highlight the torrent of plastic bags and packaging around them (but not really; could've been more powerful if they did really advocate for lesser plastic use), Tagbilaran's TAGBTIC Plastic Upcycling Project debuted its upcycled products. While we can give it a pass, being a grassroots project (supported by Japanese volunteers), their prototypes (let's just call them that) are no upcycled products (in both quality and environmental value) -- and will no sooner most likely end up as trash, too.

The TAGBTIC Plastic Upcycling Project
We're giving an A for effort for these rather unfortunate-looking and poorly-made (design-wise + craftmanship) recycled rubber sandals...
While there are debates in the long-term environmental efficiency of recycling and upcycling (as opposed to reducing and/or banning, say, single-use plastic), edgy (in Bohol, at least, this could count as primitive in some places) solutions in reducing plastic use and wastage are very much welcome -- and we need more of these (truly) green startups. 

But in as much as we gripe on how we've been seeing the same old, same old 'trade fair' wares during Sandugo, these sustainability-brandishing greenhorns must truly bring it -- if they want us to take notice, much more purchase their products.

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