June 4, 2023

A gallery that offers a permanent home to arts, crafts, and other products of micro, small, and medium enterprises in Baguio and the Cordillera recently opened in one of the home-grown malls in the city, giving them a boost as economies struggle to recover due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Layad di Kordilyera, which in March this year initiated an exhibit for the benefit of MSMEs, officially launched its organization by building the Layad di Kordilyera Gallery that provides space to at least 60 exhibitors of quality and world-class local crafts and artworks at the second floor of Porta Vaga Mall at Session Road to help entrepreneurs, especially start-ups, showcase their works and sustain their livelihood.
Jogin Rey Tamayo, one of Layad’s founders and curator of the visual arts portion of the gallery, said they hope they can continue to provide for these small enterprises so that they in return could continue producing items for sale as a source of livelihood especially since many have lost their jobs and a lot of businesses closed due to the pandemic.
“Our aim is to gather entrepreneurs and help them sell their products,” said Tamayo, who is also Courier’s editorial cartoonist and a returning overseas Filipino worker.
Monica Samoranos, owner of Zane Nutri-Delights which produces vegetable-based ice cream using local resources and one of the MSMEs at the gallery, thanked the group and its partners Department of Trade and Industry and Porta Vaga Mall for helping them bring their products to the public.
She said a small business like hers could have not afforded to maintain a stall, inside a mall at that, without the support of Layad, the trainings provided by the DTI, and partnership with a commercial establishment that welcomes MSMEs into their fold.
Porta Vaga Mall Manager Ronald Ceballos said while MSMEs are recently given a chance to sell when Session Road closes every Sunday for the market fair, they wonder where these MSMEs go and survive on other days.
“The answer is we don’t know, but one thing for sure is they are there but sadly just anywhere. A small conversation resulted in bringing you here, inside, because the mall owners and management did not want to see MSMEs just anywhere especially during this situation of the pandemic, we want you to sell, to grow with you safely inside Porta Vaga,” Ceballos said.
Mayor Benjamin Magalong thanked mall management, Layad’s organizers, and the DTI “for giving MSMEs an opportunity and hope” and for helping promote local art and culture, a fitting accolade for the Baguio’s membership in the United Nations Creative Cities network.
Magalong has encouraged them to avail of the city’s stimulus package project where MSMEs could take up loans as a startup capital or to revive a business, with zero interest and reasonable loan terms. – Hanna C. Lacsamana