Student-entrepreneurs in Ilocos Norte hold trade fair instead of JS prom

Students of Ilocos Norte Agricultural College (Inac) in the rural village of San Isidro, Pasuquin town, opted to hold a unique trade fair showcasing their significant accomplishments, instead of a junior-senior (JS) prom.

Under the shade of trees of the school compound, where an array of booths are exhibited, Grade 7 students of the Special Agri-Science Class show off their portable hydroponics project, utilizing recycled plastic gallons, Styrofoam cups and a rice husk.

With the use of snap solution, 14-year-old Edward Pilar explained that the hydroponics technique is easy to apply, as plants can also be grown in soil-less container.

“This is our school project and we can make use of it, too, in our homes. In a few days, we will start harvesting our own pechay,” Pilar said in Ilokano language as he beams with smile.


Another booth also features food-technology students selling fruit candies, cookies, cakes, papaya pickles, calamansi jelly, leche flan and fish sauce, among others.

Amanda Domingsil said they enjoy cooking and selling their own products to fellow students and teachers.

While watching the students sell their own products, which include bread and pastry, food-and-beverage items, ornamental plants, fruits and vegetables, electronics, furniture items, livestock and poultry, among others, Department of Education Supt. Vilma Eda lauded the students of Inac for organizing the trade fair instead of holding a JS prom, like most students do in urban areas.

“I’m so glad that, instead of holding a JS prom, they conducted a trade fair. If we want our students to be economically stable in the future and responsible, we should develop the children like what Inac is doing,” Eda said, as she expressed hope other schools would do the same. “The trade fair is something that students can benefit, as well as the community, because they are showcasing how skillful they are, what they can do to help themselves and how they can help the community.”

The weeklong celebration of Inac’s 73rd Foundation anniversary runs from February 26 to March 2.

Established in 1945, the Inac is a public secondary school in Pasuquin town under the redesigned Technical-Vocational High School Program, located on a 45-acre of land at the foot of Sentinela Hill. As one of the 282 technical vocational schools in the Philippines, Inac continues to develop highly-skilled individuals accredited as an assessment center of the Technical Skills Development Authority.

With the implementation of the K-12 program, Inac started to offer a Special Agri-Science Class designed to equip Junior and Senior high school students with relevant competencies to prepare them for higher education, for immediate employment or for entrepreneurship opportunities.

Almer Ratuita, principal of Inac, said they envision the school to become the “UP Los Banos” of the North, which specializes in research-based technologies to help uplift the living conditions of the community.


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