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DTI-CARP Product Exhibition at Robinson’s Lipa

If you are anywhere near Lipa until tomorrow, the 11th of December; and if you have the time and the inclination, why not pay a visit to a small product exhibition put together by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP). The exhibition is at the rear end of Robinson’s Place close to the main parking lot.

The way I understand it from TV Patrol Southern Tagalog, from which I learned of the exhibition, the exhibits are all products developed by beneficiaries of the CARP in industries started in cooperation with the DTI.

Since I was going for some groceries this morning, anyway, I made it a point to visit the exhibition to take pictures for a story. I’m glad I did. The visit ultimately turned out well worth the bother. I learned quite a few things and saw other things I had not seen for a while.

First, there were the wines. From my previous visits to Baguio, I knew that various industries have been into the production of wines from a wide variety of indigenous fruits. At the CARP-DTI exhibition, I discovered that wines are also being made from tamarind, guava and a fruit I had not heard of before, something called Abiu.

I was wary about wine made from tamarind; but curiosity got the better of me and I parted with a couple of hundreds for a bottle of guava wine. I also allowed myself to be coaxed into buying a bottle of the pineapple wine.

Also on display were products made from carabao milk: fresh milk, milk chocolate, yogurt and white cheese. It’s amazing how packaging can give anything a whole new lease on life, I told the young lady who was at the Rizal Province table. I was referring to the white cheese, something that my Mom used to be so fond of but which used to be humbly wrapped in banana leaves in the old days.

Then, there were the chips. I am no stranger to banana chips – which I never liked, anyway. At the exhibition, I discovered that chips are now also being made from, can you believe it, cassava and – of all things – malunggay. The middle-aged woman at the Batangas booth tried her damnedest to sales-talk me into buying the malunggay chips; but since I’m not breastfeeding anybody, I politely declined. Besides, for all the malunggay’s well-documented nutritional value, the chips did not look very appetizing. To humour the woman, I bought a small panutsa.

A little late, perhaps, for undas but just in time for the holiday seasons were a wide variety of colourful and interestingly shaped candles. I have no real interest in these but took pictures, anyway. The colours were lovely; and I figured homemakers would be interested.

Among the other products on display were various tamarind products including something curiously named, the Tamarind Balls; ginger products, of which the ginger tea, a.k.a. salabat, probably stood out; colourful boxes and bayongs, all made from environmentally friendly materials; bottled honey; and a variety of sweets. If you go visit, make sure you have some money with you. You may just find yourself tempted to buy something from that very interesting and educational exhibition.

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