BAMBOO PRODUCTS. The Ramon Magsaysay Bamboo crafters Association in San Remigio, Antique displays its products during the April-May Trade and Tourism Fair at the old capitol building in the capital town of San Jose de Buenavista. Irele Mahimpit, president of Ramon Magsaysay Bamboocrafters Association, said Friday (Sept. 23, 2022) the provision of a free showroom at the building has doubled their income. (Photo courtesy of Irele Mahimpit)

SAN JOSE DE BUENAVISTA, Antique – Bamboo craftsmen in the province of Antique doubled their monthly income after they were given a display area or a showroom at the newly renovated old capitol building.

Irele Mahimpit, president of the Ramon Magsaysay Bamboo crafters Association in San Remigio town, said on Friday they were provided a showroom for free on the left side of the ground floor of the newly renovated capitol building. She said they were able to raise their income because of the tourists and locals visiting the area.

“We are surprise that almost every week, there are foreign and local tourists who come to buy our bamboo craft,” she said.

Before, they could barely sell their products or their association could only earn as much as PHP5,000 per month from selling their bamboo crafts such as bags, backpacks, placemats, and lampshades even by joining fairs.

With the permanent showroom, the group could earn PHP10,000 and above monthly.

Mahimpit added that their association, which has 31 members, is one of the lucky micro, small and medium entrepreneurs (MSMEs) in the province that was able to showcase and sell their products at the old capitol building that was converted into a museum, trade, and tourism promotion showroom.

The old capitol, built during the American period had, for many years, served as a session hall and offices of the provincial board.

“We are now seeing a brighter prospect for the bamboo industry in Antique because of the support we are getting from the government,” she said. (PNA)