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Naga City’s First Bicol Inclusivity Expo!

The Metro Naga Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MNCCI) in cooperation with the Local Government of the City of Naga has recently introduced for the first time, the Bicol Inclusivity and Equality Exposition at SM City Mall Event Center last October 6,7 and 8, 2023. The event was part of the Annual Bicol Business Month Project of 2023 in the Metro Naga Chamber of Commerce and Industry. The purpose of the event attempted to conduct Job Fair, showcasing of hidden talents, beauty and fashion show among mostly marginalized segments of society and the modernly branded --- LGBTQ and PWD communities. Through inclusivity, we hope to spark a bit of hope and inspiration that whatever one may have hold in a state of life, we can also see beauty. As MNCCI Director Eleanor Zuniga Montemayor puts it “For the longest time, the beauty standards of the mainstream media depict impossible body images that would be unnatural. Comments like “Ang itim mo kaya di ka maganda,” “Ano bayan pwd…. kulang-kulang,… ang panget “ or “ feeling babae” would be the comments around LGBTQ or PWD communities. The people behind these comments would belittle and bully individuals that would not pass the standards of beauty. Beauty is inherent in each and everyone of us. Beauty is something that uplifts individuals to be the best version of ourselves.

The confidence shown by the model participants particularly in the fashion show sent us a message that including everyone, no matter what shape, size, color, or gender merely shows that Beauty is not one mold. Rather, beauty doesn’t have a standard measure. We are all objectively beautiful and we subjectively show it through our own ways.

We would like to congratulate all the MNCCI Board of Directors spearheaded by the energetic President, Dr. Mario Villanueva together with the Chairman of Inclusivity, VP for Plans and Programs, Director Emerson “Ejay” Guazon and his team especially the immediate past Director Lauriano “Jun” Bihag Jr. and the generous participation of Cher Ami International.

The concept of the Bicol Inclusivity and Equality Expo has given birth to a pioneering effort of bringing together multi-sectoral groups in our society who might otherwise be excluded in our normal scheme in life. Inclusivity has been a widely discussed phenomenon articulated in most social conversations as a policy that provides equal access to opportunities and resources among those having physical infirmities and intellectual dis-abilities or belonging to the minority groups. The concluded Job Fair also became an avenue for which all participants may have the chance to present their honed skills and talents to prospective employers who will be on the look out for potential talents needed to fill in some job vacancies.

Through the concerted efforts of Metro Naga Public Employment Service Office (Metro-PESO) and in coordination with the office of the Local Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) here, there were 21 confirmed participating company employers and five (5) Government Agencies who participated in the Local Job Fair. If you have friends who might need to get involved in some gainful possible prospect of employment, Inclusivity Expo has offered the first step, providing an opportunity, a glitter of hope that nothing could be impossible if we try. Next year, please be counted. We will have more fun as we get bigger. See you there!


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