It’s that time of the year when people check out establishments to search for perfect holiday gifts. There are the malls that house a plethora of shops — from clothing to accessories, footwear, books, stationeries, art and writing materials, food and the list goes on; there are the tiangges or urban bargain stalls that offer interesting items at affordable prices, and there are the community bazaars with booths for micro, small and medium enterprises that offer a diverse selection of unique, homegrown products.
Worth visiting this Christmas season is BPI Foundation’s BPI Sinag ng Pasko bazaar that will take place on 5 and 6 December at the Glorietta 2 Activity Center, Palm Drive in Makati City.
The bazaar, which is running on its fourth year, serves as a platform for Philippine-based social enterprises to showcase their products. Typically held during the holidays, it provides an opportunity for social entrepreneurs to connect to a much wider audience.
“With BPI Sinag ng Pasko, we want to help holiday shoppers like us to find unique, artisanal gifts for their loved ones, as well as make a positive and meaningful impact on various communities around the country,” said Maricris San Diego, executive director of BPI Foundation.
Fifty-five social enterprises are set to participate in the bazaar that will feature products in the line of arts and crafts, fashion, as well as food and beverage.
Thirty-one of these social enterprises were awardees of BPI Sinag Accelerate, the flagship project of BPI Foundation that provides business boot camps, in-depth mentoring, industry networks, cash grants and scholarships to entrepreneurs with ventures that help communities grow and make the world a better place.
According to Sarah Alli, BPI Foundation’s program manager for entrepreneurship, “This year, we will have a very good mix of Sinag and non-Sinag merchant-participants, all of whom are social entrepreneurs. And each has a very valuable and interesting story behind them.”
For instance, 2018 BPI Sinag awardee, Saret Organic Farmville is a family-run agricultural enterprise that is based in Bulacan. The organization works with upland farmers and sources agricultural crops from them such as cacao to produce chocolates, as well as basil, turmeric, ginger and many more to develop a line of organic herbs and spices.
Also expected to join the bazaar are two other BPI Sinag social enterprises: Junk Not Handicraft that teaches locals to create furniture, bags and other accessories from plastic waste and Uproot Aquaponics that introduces water-based farming to communities for them to grow a variety of salad greens and herbs.
There are more social enterprises that will offer food products at the BPI Sinag ng Pasko bazaar. These include Auro Chocolate, ASAM.ph, Balangay’s Best, The Bila Rural Improvement Development (BIRD) Club and Gawad Kalinga Enchanted Farm’s Puto ni Papa.
It will also feature arts and crafts gifting items from AADR Arts and Crafts Center, Accents and Petals, Button’n’things, CustomMade Crafts, Edaya Cordillera, Jacinto & Lirio, Karaw CraftVentures, Mori Notes and Ayala Foundation; and a selection of home decors and cleaning solutions from Grood Wood and Messy Bessy, respectively.
For fashion pieces, one can visit the respective booths of Akaba, Angie Yakan, Bags for Life, Everything is Pine, Habi Lifestyle, Hera Beatrice, JCJ Barcelon Enterprises, Knitting Expedition, Tejo, Xabukid and Zambawood.
The social welfare arm of the Bank of the Philippine Islands, BPI Foundation carries out programs for education, entrepreneurship andthe environment to improve the lives of Filipinos.
One of the foundation’s initiatives, BPI Sinag Accelerate is annually-held since 2015 to widen the knowledge and expertise of social entrepreneurs in running their enterprises — to scale up, expand and deepen its impact in community development.
To know more about BPI Sinag and the other programs of BPI Foundation, follow its Facebook page at www.facebook.com/BPIFoundation or log on to www.bpifoundation.org/.