The University of the Philippines Pandananon (UPP), together with the Office of Pandan, Antique Vice Mayor Raymund Nonato Gumboc, organized a weekend market to highlight Pandan’s artisanal foods and other products on September 13, 2020, 7:00 am to 1:00 pm, at the Liberman Sports Center in the at the said municipality. Twenty-four sellers offering a variety of artisanal foods and handicrafts made from bariw and coconut shells, as well as plants for plant enthusiasts and collectors, displayed their wares in the weekend market. Notable among those being offered were two of the town’s famous delicacies – binabak (a viand made from coconut and freshwater shrimp) and molido (a dessert made from coconut and sweet potato).
The weekend market was a concept that was proposed because of the situation in June when Pandan was highly affected by the pandemic as it was the first town in mainland Antique to register a positive case of Covid-19 infection. The strict quarantine guidelines altered the lives of all Pandananons vegetable farmers and artisanal food producers because transporting their products for various markets were restricted. To assist them, members of UPP purchased 200 kilograms of ampalaya from the vegetable growers. Half of these were distributed to front-liners while the other half were pickled. The idea of providing a market for vegetable growers and makers of artisanal products was then introduced – thus, the 1st Weekend Market in the town.
Customers of the weekend market came as far as San Jose, the capital town of Antique, and Kalibo - the capital town of Aklan. IATF guidelines and proper health protocols with regards to Covid-19 were observed at the market. These are temperature check at the entrance, visual cues for social distancing, and the wearing of face masks and face shields, among others.
With the success of the activity and the request for another weekend market by those who were not able to come, another one is set on October 4, at the same time and at the same venue. (UP Pandananon; Photos by Jun Castillo)