MANILA, September 6, 2014 — With 78 exhibitors, the 5th Bishop Francisco Gainza Trade Fair (BFGTF) themed “Sa Maka-Dios na Sosyedad, may Ekonomiyang nag-uuswag” will open on September 11, Thursday along the Elias Angeles Street, Naga City.
“We make it a point to bring something new as we hold each year the BFGTF,” BFGTF Chairman and Caceres Social Action Foundation, Inc. (CASAFI) Director Fr. Jeffry Briones said.
Agricultural, aqua-marine products
There will be product demonstration and entrepreneurial sharing from the exhibitors, some of whom come from the different regions of the country.
Featuring agricultural and aqua-marine products, the fair is being organized in partnership with the Department of Agriculture (DA); the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR); the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and ABS-CBN, long time partners since the BFGTF began in September 2010 during the Tercentenary Celebration of the devotion to Our Lady of Peñafrancia.
Opening a day before the Traslacion, the fair will be a stone’s throw away from the center of the Peñafrancia activities at the Naga Metropolitan Cathedral.
A recollection for the organizers was given on September 4. Orientation for volunteers will be on Saturday, September 6, and briefing of exhibitors will be on September 10, Wednesday.
The man behind the first September Trade Fair
In his Bikol Annals, Domingo Abella talks about the history of the 1st Peñafrancia Trade Fair under the leadership of then Bishop Francisco Gainza. The ‘first Agro-Industrial Fair’ was held on September 18-20, 1875. Described by Abella as a “brilliant administrator, farsighted planner and a builder of resourceful enterprise”, Gainza, a Dominican prelate, arrived in the country on February 23, 1841. But it was not until many years later that he became one of the most distinguished bishops of Caceres.
A professor at the College of Santo Tomas, Gainza succeeded Bishop Manuel Grijalvo, O.S.A. as the 25th bishop of Caceres on March 19, 1863. In his article on Gainza, Church historian Fr. Rex Andrew Alarcon describes him as a man who left “quite big shoes to fill”. During his episcopacy, Gainza restored and built many infrastructures, made his first pastoral visits two months after his installation, “tried to reform his clergy, had improved the state of education, completed four diocesan visits, and published religious and devotional materials in the Bikol dialect”. His passing away in 1879 was described by Alarcon as a very tragic event. He wrote, “The city manifested publicly its grief over the death of a beloved and revered prelate”.
Thus, it is just fitting that more than a hundred years later, at the onset of the re-establishment of a more organized and contemporary trade fair, the Archdiocese of Caceres, has, in part, dedicated it to the man who started it all. (Natalie Quimlat)