Local trade fair “Tarabidan sa Dang Maria” has returned for its last run for 2020, hosting nearly 100 merchants, artists, and performers to celebrate the end of one tumultuous year.
Keeping to its commitment to empowering local businesses, the three-day fair opened Saturday with a lively performance by a local brass band.
The Yuletide season is well and alive amidst a still-raging global pandemic, Tropical Depression “Vicky,” and dormant tourism industry at Tarabidan sa Dang Maria, a trade fair organized by Puerto Princesa businesswoman Jane Timbanca-Urbanek and her dedicated team at the Dang Maria Bed and Breakfast.
“We are very grateful for everyone who showed up here. We see that plenty of customers still visit Tarabidan because they all want to experience something new instead of what they can buy online,” she said in an interview Friday.
Urbanek added that one highlight of the fair is their partnership with local farmers, who can sell their goods directly to consumers instead of going through a middleman.
“We have nearly 1,000 farmers from all over Palawan who are exhibiting via an organization, and with KADIWA, who represents nearly 20 farmers’ cooperatives in Puerto Princesa City, selling their goods. The income goes directly to the farmers through this method,” she said in an interview Friday.
Merchants and exhibitors expressed their excitement and gratitude to be part of the fair. Local merchant and artist Yolly Parker-Dixson, a longtime collaborator and merchant at the Tarabidan, stated that she and her family, whom all have their own business endeavors, are thankful for the opportunity to connect to their customers in person.
“I’ve been working with Tarabidan for quite some time now, and we are still very grateful for the opportunity to exhibit. Now, my daughter and daughter-in-law have their own businesses, and we all work together now,” she said.
Though not a merchant, tarot card reader Tareq Nassri also expressed his excitement as a first-time exhibitor at Tarabidan.
“I think events like these are perfect for everyone, considering we have all gone through a terrible year. This is a good time to get together,” he said.
Aside from food, farm produce, and artistic works, the fair also offers live music by local performers.
Tarabidan sa Dang Maria is located at Dang Maria Bed and Breakfast, Manalo Extension, Brgy. Bancao-Bancao. The fair will run from December 18-20 and is open from 9 AM to 9 PM.