By ALMA B. SINUMLAG
LA TRINIDAD, Benguet —The spokesperson of this town’s Municipal Agricultural and Fishery Council (MAPC) and chairperson of the Barangay Agricultural and Fishery Council (BAPC) in Lubas, La Trinidad clarified that cut flowers do not really originate in Baguio City.
Christina Tiongan in an interview on November 24 lamented that tourists always associate Baguio City with cut flowers and other products like temperate vegetables that do not really originate in the city. “We are the ones producing those products but there had been no efforts from the city to correct tourists’ perception,” she said.
Tiongan admitted that the city is a marketing area in the whole region and it is an advantage to sell products in its vicinity because of overflowing tourists. However, she is hoping that the city will not claim that the said products are theirs. “We also want to be recognized as producers of cut flowers and temperate vegetables,” she explained.
Tiongan further told this writer that whenever they listen to the radio or watch television, it is always projected that the said products originate in Baguio. “Ti kinaagpayso na met ket awan met ti mamulaan idiay Baguio,” (The truth is, there is no space in the city where you can plant such products) she added. As producers, she said they feel bad with what they read, hear or watch in the media regarding the origins of these products.
In their quest to be recognized as producers of cut flowers, they did set up booths during the All souls day and All Saints day in the La Trinidad public market to sell cut flowers with the help of the municipal council. This has helped in their campaign for La Trinidad to be better known as the real producer of the said products, according to her.
Tiongan said La Trinidad is the biggest producer of cut flowers in the province of Benguet. The top cut-flower producing barangays include barangay Cruz, Ambiong, Lubas, Tawang, Bineng, Shilan, Bahong and Alno among others.
Tiongan is hoping that there will come a time when tourists and buyers of cut flowers will go directly to them. # nordis.net