Ambassador Catriona Gray raises the flag, flaunting the PH weaving
DTI-Regional Operations Group
September 3, 2020
MAKATI CITY –
Following the conferment of 2018 Miss Universe Catriona Gray as the
One Town One Product Philippines (OTOP) Ambassador, the Department
of Trade and Industry (DTI) began preparations for a new video
series entitled Raise Your Flag.
The video series stars
Catriona Gray as she promotes the local micro, small, and medium
enterprises (MSMEs) and the local weaving communities they support.
The goals of this initiative are to spread awareness of the beauty
of Filipino culture, to promote OTOPreneurs and their products, and
to further the advocacy to support and purchase local and quality
Last August 26 to 29, DTI-OTOP
began the production shoot in their first location, Laguna. The
first session was taken at the Provincial Capitol where they met
with Governor Ramil Hernandez and Vice Governor Karen Agapay.
Present there also were DTI-CALABRZON Regional Director Malou Toledo
and other provincial board members and heads of municipalities.
The team visited several
weaving communities such as Lumban Embroidery where the OTOP
Ambassador experienced the traditional sewing working with three
generations of ‘magbuburda’ through OTOPreneur Benson Del Valle.
Here, she also met MODA (Modernong Obra, Disenyong Atin) designer
To further promote the
OTOP stores and initiatives that DTI has been establishing, the team
visited Pagsanjan. Present at the courtesy call were Mayor Peter
Cassius Trinidad and the Negosyo Center Business Counsellor Adrimar
Aquino. They also had another Conferment following this in San Pablo
City where Mayor Amben Amante adopted the beauty queen as an
illustrious daughter of San Pablo City.
The Raise Your Flag Laguna
goals to visit, promote, and appreciate Filipino culture and
resident MSMEs was further pursued as OTOP Ambassador Ms. Catriona
Gray visited Ai-She Footwear, the shoemaker famous for creating the
original Catriona shoes. At the store, Catriona undertook the
process of creating her very own shoes through the guidance of
OTOPreneur Ms. Corazon Coligado. At the Escaba Food Products
location, she was given a fiesta reception with the Association of
Laguna Food Processors (ALAFOP) highlighting 10 of the heritage and
innovative products of the province.
Our OTOP Ambassador
experienced the meaningful life of the local weaving communities and
learned more skills such as cotton twinning at Nooks International.
Aside from this, she worked through the intricate and eco-friendly
process; Upcycled Plastic Weaving, innovated by our local OTOPreneur
at Junk Not Handicraft. Here, Catriona met another MODA designer Loj
Toñacao and learned more from the local entrepreneurs in terms of
providing livelihood to the community as well as creating a path
Laguna de Bay, where there
is an abundance of Water Hyacinths that turned into a resource for
the local MSMEs in Laguna, was an additional stop for the team.
DTI’s OTOP Ambassador again experienced firsthand how the crafts are
being created using the water based plant at Rolyolikha and
Sarilikha through OTOPreneur Renel Baltrato.
To end the successful run
of the first leg of Raise Your Flag series, they visited the Taytay
Falls of Majayjay and had dinner at Infusion Cafe and Deli in Los
The Raise Your Flag Laguna
initiative was truly able to reach the goals of seeing the
importance of learning and advocating our local products, our
weaving communities and our Filipino culture. Adding to the
experience, and the gratitude felt, she was honored by DTI
CALABARZON with OTOP products from Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal &
Quezon. The team also expressed thanks to Regional Operations Group
Assistant Secretary Demphna Du Naga, and Laguna Provincial Director
Susan Palo, for the successful project.
“As the OTOP Philippines
Ambassador, I am lending my platform to our Filipino small
businesses, MSMEs, to give them a hand up and to showcase their
talent, creativity and ingenuity along with their stores, in hope
that we can overcome the challenges together,” Gray expressed her
gratitude to all the local entrepreneurs and weavers on her
instagram with over 10 million followers.
Throughout the duration of
the production, the whole team observed strict health protocols as
enforced by the government. The company involved underwent swab
testing beforehand, and implemented social distancing.
Regional Operations Group
Assistant Secretary Demphna Du-Naga vows her full commitment to
continuously uphold the Philippine weaving industry and to flaunt
our local crafts made by our Pinoy MSMEs.
Galing ng Pilipino, Tatak OTOP, Atin to! Let us Rise up and Raise