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The 3-day “Tarabidan sa Dang Maria” is a smorgasbord of exciting local products displayed in a lively and inspired nature setting of the Dang Maria Bed and Breakfast in Barangay Bancao-Bancao. The market event is already on its 6th iteration and runs from November 6 to 8.

“Tarabidan is the Cuyunon word for ‘sama-sama’ or aligned with the Bayanihan spirit. So ang nakakatuwa rito ay unti-unting lumalago at dumadami ang mga merchants na sumasali rito,” Jane Timbancaya-Urbanek, its main proponent, told Palawan News.

The idea, she explained, is to empower the small businesses by providing them a convenient platform to show and market their wares.

“I would like to think it’s a social enterprise because it’s not only Dang Maria benefitting. It is so many entrepreneurs, small business people, farmers na hindi na dumadaan sa middlemen — diretso na sila sa merkado,” she said.

The market has a cheerful atmosphere, with stalls nestled among the nooks and crannies of Dang Maria, with live music to entertain patrons as they either shop, dine, or merely lounge about.

“Yes, our country needs big business people who can employ so many, pero ang laki ng papel na ginagampanan ng maliliit na negosyante. They will be empowered, they will become big someday, and hindi sila dependent on employers,” she added.

“Ang employer, kunwari nalugi, anong gagawin ng mga empleyado? Maghahanap na naman sila ng trabaho. Pero itong mga entrepreneurs, they will be empowered, they will become bigger, and they will be employing people,” she added.

She explained that the concept of “tarabidan” invokes the spirit of the fast-growing community coming together to help each other grow.

She added that the demand for the trade fair keeps on growing, and more merchants are emerging to participate.

Encouraged by the success of every Tarabidan event, more and more merchants are participating.

“We are now more than a hundred merchants. Last September 12 and 13, it’s safe to say that around 1,500 were here, both buyers and sellers,” Urbanek said.

“Hopefully, it is going to grow. There was a clamor to make it every two weeks, pero medyo mahirap ‘yong every two weeks, so we decided to just make it three days,” she added.