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Bicol biz month all set for Nov. 7 opening

By Jason B. Neola

RIDING high on the theme “Onward Powerhouse Bicolandia,” all is set for the final opening of Bicol Business Month 2016 on November 7 at SM City Naga and at various other venues for the succeeding events lined up for this year’s biggest trade and business event.

The Bicol Business Month is an annual activity spearheaded by the Metro Naga Chamber of Commerce and Industry with the strong support of the City Government of Naga and various partner agencies from both the government and private sectors.

Joe Perez, this year’s BBM chair, said that an array of guests and speakers led by no less than Vice President Leni Robredo who will address the Women’s Congress slated on Nov. 26 will top bill the different seminars, forums and symposia to highlight Bicol’s coming of age as an emerging socio-economic powerhouse in this part of the Luzon south of Manila.

Now on its second year, this scaled-up makeover of the previous ten-year old Bicol Business Week has now been transformed into a longer, bigger, and more promising Bicol Business Month starting last year, according to MNCCI President Gilbert Albero.

Agri-Aqua Fair
Bicol Regional Directors Elena de los Santos of the Department of Agriculture and Joy Blanco of the Department of Trade and Industry will lead the guests and participants during the formal opening ceremonies and the cutting of ribbon for the Agri-Aqua Trade Fair at 10:00 a.m. of Nov. 7 at the Activity Center of SM City Naga.

Rep. Gabby Bordado will keynote the ensuing Farmers’ Forum to be held at Crown Hotel on Nov. 11.

First Lady Farah Bongat will lead the celebration of the National Air Month with a bike fest that has its own line up of fun and activities to be held November 12 inside city hall and a bike race around the city to promote clean air and healthy environment.

Pres. Albero said Secretary Rodolfo Salalima of the newly-created Department of Information and Communication Technology (DICT) has been invited to be the keynote speaker during the ICT Summit and Expo on November 14-16 at SM City Naga and Avenue Plaza Hotel, respectively.

The secretary, a fellow Bicolano from Albay, is expected to discuss “Digital Transformation and How It Brings Countryside Development.

Speakers from leading ICT players such as PLDT, Epson, Asus, Cisco, Acer, and HP will lead the battery of speakers who will discuss the latest trends in digital products and technology.

Local ICT leader Magno Edilberto Conag III, founder and creator of Nueva Caceres Technology Solutions will be asked to share his experiences as one of the few Bicolano digital enterprise pioneers whose success story is worth emulating.

There will also be a speaker from IBM who will tell his local audience about the rise of Business Process Outsourcing in the Bicol Region, its impact and implications. Another featured event is a forum on “New Era of Global Readers: Trends and Opportunities in the Digital Book Publishing with Anthony de Luna, founder and CEO of Flipside, as speaker.

Culinary showdown
Famous chefs from Manila will be coming over for Dine Naga CamSur food showdown and caravan on Nov. 17-18 at The Tent, Avenue Plaza Hotel, as one of the newest addition to the major events lined up by the BBM organizers for this year. This will be coupled with a seminar series as the ultimate source of latest trends in the food industry, tackling culinary practices, agriculture and supply chain, and practical operations concerns in running a food business. The food showdown will peat the best recipes prepared by Manila chefs versus those concocted by local chefs led by Chef Doy Sto. Domingo and Teen Celebrity Chef Louise Mabulo.

Dine Naga CamSur as a major BBM event has been brought here by Dine Philippines founder Adolf Aran, Jr., president and CEO of Courage Asia Management Consulting. He said that food businesses abound in the industry as they comprise a healthy chunk of the country’s SMEs. “With the boom in hospitality and tourism, we can expect our favorite dining establishments to expand their reach; which in turn allows us to taste new food concepts that shall open around the country,” Aran said.

Youth Summit
Ms. Aiza Seguerra will be the honored guest speaker during the Youth Entrep Forum to be held Nov. 19, at Naga Regent Hotel on Nov. 19.

Halyao Awards
Real Estate honcho Frederick Go, President/CEO of Robinson’s Land will be the guest of honor during the much-awaited Halyao Awards to be held Nov. 24 at the Avenue Convention Plaza, according Carlo Buenaflor, chair of this year’s Halyao Awards which bestows honor and recognition to the region’s outstanding businessmen and young entrepreneur of the year.

More events
Other events lined up for the biggest trade show in Bicol: Car and Motor Show at Avenue Plaza Hotel Open Parking Area, Summit on Disaster Risk Management by Asia-Pacific Alliance on Disaster Management, DOST Technology Fair, and Travel and Tourism.

The latest technology and inventions on gadgets and equipment to modernize local food and crafts production and processing will be showcased at the Naga City People’s Hall on Nov. 21-23, along with related lectures and trainings, courtesy of the regional office of the Department of Science and Technology. There will also be Job Fair at Plaza Quezon that will be put in collaboration with the city government’s Metro PESO and the Department of Labor and Employment.