Vendors of souvenir items cash in on Sinulog visitors
Aside from the pilgrims and tourists visiting Cebu for the Sinulog celebration, vendors coming from the provinces also set up shop in the city to display their locally made products and take advantage of the heavy foot traffic brought about by the Sinulog activities.
Since December, vendors occupying 54 stalls outside the Abellana National School give Cebuanos and tourists several locally made souvenir items ranging from Sinulog T-shirts, key chains, wallets and a lot more.
One of the stalls that stands out among the others is the stall of Jovelyn Roble of Danao City, Stall No. 16.
Roble has maximized the colors of her Cebu-made products to attract customers to her stall.
Her products include native bags made from abaca, which can be had for P400; batik wallets priced at P50 to P60 depending on the size and Sinulog T-shirts, which can be bought from P150 to P180 each.
But Roble said her bestselling product is the keyholder, which is sold at P15 each.
Roble also sells wood carvings made in Baguio City.
Another stall that catches the eye of passing customers is Stall No. 26, which is rented by Romana Magalso, 56 years old, from Carcar City in southern Cebu.
“Mao ra ni among panginabuhi (This is our only means of livelihood),” Magalso said in an interview with Cebu Daily News.
Like Roble’s stall, Magalso’s stall emphasizes the colorful bags made from abaca, which cost from P200 to P300 each. She also sells Carcar-made sandals.
The espadrille-like sandals can be had for P320 a pair, sandals with heels cost P500 each pair and even imitation rubber shoes which is sold at P500 each pair.
Aside from that, she also sells wood carved I (heart symbol) Cebu and “Native Philippine Product” logos.
Of course, since it’s the fiesta señor and the Sinulog celebrations, there are also stalls selling Señor Sto. Niño images among the vendors displaying their wares along Osmeña Boulevard.
Another interesting stall is Stall No. 47, which specializes in selling delicacies from Cebu and other provinces in the region.
These delicacies include caycay, crunchy layered biscuit with toasted peanuts; ampao, sweet puffed rice cake; dried mangoes; durian candy; piñato or peanut brittle; mangosteen stick, which can be bought at three packs for P100; piaya, a muscovado-filled unleavened flatbread, can be had for P50 a pack; galletas, a kind of flat biscuit, which can be bought for P75 a pack.
Perla Vidas, who rents the stall selling delicacies, said sales has been slow this year.
“Hinay gyud kaayo karon ambot asa ang mga tawo. Basin usa sad nang terrorism or bomb threat (Business has been slow this year. I don’t know where the people are. Maybe, this is because of the terrorism or bomb threat), Vidas said.
She said that last year she would earn at least P7,000 a day, but today she would have difficulty earning P3,000 a day.
According to the vendors, the rent for each stall is P40,000 for a month and P10,000 for the electricity.
Despite this, the stall vendors continue to hope that business would pick up as the Sinulog celebrations draw near.
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