ILOILO CITY — The town of Maasin, Iloilo, which is being positioned as a center of the bamboo industry, supplied most of the kiosks for this year’s Ilonggo Food Festival in a bid to highlight the town’s design talent.

Phillipp Chua, chairman of the Iloilo Festivals Foundation Inc.’s (IFFI) committee on kiosks, said the organization tapped the local government of Maasin for the construction of 330 out of 500 food stalls that were set up for the Dinagyang Festival.

“The design of the 330 kiosks (was) by the people of Maasin so that we can also showcase their craftsmanship,” Mr. Chua said in a news conference last week before the Dinagyang weekend.

Maasin Mayor Francis A. Amboy said the town signed a P1.2-million contract with IFFI for the project, which used about 3,000 bamboo poles and employed 100 carpenters from the town.

“It (included) the construction of the kiosks and their installation at the venue. They (were) inspired by the typical bahay kubo,” Mr. Amboy said.

“This opportunity is really a big help for us because first, it creates employment for the people of Maasin and second, we can showcase our products. We are really proud that we have been tapped to create the kiosks,” he added.

The 330 IFFI-accredited stalls were set up at the Downtown Triangle.

The 170 other food stalls participated in other food fairs organized by the Iloilo Hotel Restaurants & Resorts Association (IHRRA), Association of Barangay Captains in City Proper District, and the ‘Kaon Ta, Iloilo’ Facebook group.

Maasin, located about 30 kilometers northeast of Iloilo City, has a 5,000-hectare bamboo plantation.

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources, along with the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development (PCAARD), has been assisting the town’s KAPAWA people’s organization for the development of bamboo woven products. — Emme Rose S. Santiagudo