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Treasures of SOX Returns to Manila Edit

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Dawn Young  • Contributor
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Original text by Danilo Doguiles | PIA Region 12

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SOCCSKSARGEN Region’s prime products, culture, and tourist destinations will once again be showcased in a travel and trade expo for the benefit of residents of Metro Manila and neighboring places.  


Nelly Nita Dillera, regional director of the Department of Tourism 12, said the Treasures of SOX Travel and Trade Expo Year 4 will be held at the Robinsons Place Manila in Ermita from April 25 to 28.


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SOX is short for SOCCSKSARGEN Region or Region 12.

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“Our objective is to sell products that are supported by the Department of Trade and Industry, Department of Agriculture, Department of Labor and Employment, Technical Education and Skills Development Authority and other government agencies as well as services and different tourism destinations supported by DOT and the local government units,” Dillera explained.

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A sample of the products that visitors may enjoy at the Treasures of SOX trade fair at Robinsons Place Manila on April 25-28.

A number of MSMEs and associations assisted by the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, Agricultural Training Institute, and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources will join as exhibitors.


“As added features we will do investment forum courtesy of DTI. We’ll also do B2B (business-to-business matching), fashion show, and cultural presentations,” Dillera said. 

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Regional Tourism Council chair Michelle Solon said that during the event the tourism council will promote destinations in the four provinces and five cities of SOCCSKSARGEN through business-to-business matching with tour operators in Metro Manila and conduct tour package promotions with prospective customers.


“We’ll be showcasing the different destinations at the mall and also hold private business matchings with tour operators in another venue,” Solon said. 

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A sample of the products that visitors may enjoy at the Treasures of SOX trade fair at Robinsons Place Manila on April 25-28.

DTI 12 Regional Director Dorecita Delima announced that DTI will bring MSMEs, including local cottage industry players they have assisted by improving their product packaging.


“These are products that are only found in their barangays, bakeries, and outlets. Last year, we assisted 52 new products from barangays,” Delima explained.


Collectively promoted as “Our 12 Treats,” these eatables are intended for tourists to relish while visiting the sites here and bring as “pasalubong” for their friends and family when they return home.

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2018 Treasures of SOX: A Travel & Trade Expo | Glorietta Activity Center, Makati

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SOX Farm Tourism Association has seven members, all offering different products and services, said Capt. James Reamon, president of the association and owner of the Felicidad Orchard and Garden Organics in Katanggawan, General Santos City.


“We are the forerunners of farm tourism in the Philippines. As a matter of fact, farm tourism in Region 12 is one of the benchmarks of the national farm tourism,” Reamon said. 

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Tuna fresh from General Santos City "The Tuna Capital of the Philippines" |  Glorietta Activity Center, Makati

At the exhibit area, visitors may buy various fresh and processed food such as mango, pomelo, banana, watermelon, papaya, pineapple, coffee, assorted vegetables, rice, tuna, crabs, shrimps, breads and pastries.


Wearables, bags, textiles, accessories, handicrafts and other products made from indigenous materials will be on sale, too.

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Daily Cultural Performances 

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Lake Holon, T'boli | Top 100 Sustainable Green Destination of the World

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Lake Sebu  | Top 100 Sustainable Green Destination of the World

Visitors will also enjoy the exhibit of the region’s popular tourism sites and the tour packages and products offered by the tour operators and local government units and witness cultural performances organized by the SOX Choreographers Association.


As in the previous events, Treasures of SOX Year 4 will introduce new products and services, including a VIP card which tourists can use to avail of freebies and discounts from Regional Tourism Council-accredited establishments.

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DOT 12 will also highlight its latest initiative the Complete Women, a gender and development effort aimed at empowering the women worker of the tourism industry.

This year’s event will introduce Dante Mana Jr. of the Durante Mana Clothing, a 19-year old designer based in Surallah, South Cotabato.


Mana said he will present 25 of his creations using tnalak, inaul, and other indigenous textiles of Southern Mindanao.


He will be joined by another fashion designer from General Santos City who is currently based in Metro Manila.


Previous Treasures of SOX featured homegrown couturiers Jared Servano and Ivan Raborar.

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2016 Treasures of SOX Fashion Show | Featuring Jared Servano's designs

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2018 Treasures of SOX Fashion Show | Featuring Ivan Roborar's couture

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The iconic Tnalak -- the traditional textile of the Tbolio people -- and the products made out of this will definitely be on display at the Treasures of SOX Travel and Trade Expo.

In 2018, Treasures of SOX’s trade fair generated P578,773 cash sales and P20.5 million worth of bookings. Meanwhile, the travel fair clinched P3.9 million worth of reservations.


Last year, more than 6.6 million tourists visited SOCCSKSARGEN Region, which includes the provinces of South Cotabato, North Cotabato, Sarangani, and Sultan Kudarat and the cities of General Santos, Koronadal, Tacurong, Kidapawan and Cotabato. (DED/PIA 12)


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