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Resort gives international boost to Sabah indigenous handicrafts

26th June, 2019


TUARAN: Sabah indigenous handicrafters and local artisans have all the reason to smile thanks to Shangri-La’s Rasa Ria Resort & Spa which brought their products for international exposure.

This is the second time a community-driven handicraft market was organised at Rasa Ria after the success of their first programme last April.

The handicrafts were displayed this time at a corporate incentive event for nearly 800 Chinese top-sellers for Pearlosophy, a Shanghai-based skincare brand founded in 2015.

“We are incredibly thrilled that Rasa Ria is now cementing its status as the first organisation in creating MICE initiatives of this scale that supports the indigenous people of Sabah.

“We are delighted to see Pearlosophy, an organisation from China actively involved in supporting the livelihoods of the local community.

“We are grateful to see the passion of Pearlosophy in supporting the outreach programme that aims to help improve the livelihood of the local community,” the resort’s general manager Fiona Hagan said.

She thanked PACOS Trust for helping them in putting together the indigenous community market, which came from different Community Learning Centres, located in few villages along the west coast of Sabah.

The population of these villages range from 200 to 1,000 people belonging to the indigenous tribes of Dusun, Rungus, Lundayeh, and Murut relied on handicraft making as an additional source of livelihood, apart from farming.

The Rungus community known for producing beautiful beaded necklaces was one of the features in the handicraft market. They are specialised in making ‘renago’ which is a type of woven basket and tray.

Local food vendors from Tuaran also invited the participants to taste Sabah’s delectable delights such as the kuih apam balik, kuih penjaram, keropok lekor, pisang goreng, and the popular barbecued chicken wings, in traditionally decorate stalls.

Each of the food vendors was trained by the Rasa Ria staff on the standards of Shangri-La’s food safety. Pearlosophy founder Peggy Sun was touched with the friendly people of Sabah which makes them feel like home during their sojourn here.

She shared that her company sourced their pearl materials mainly from Japan and in recently years, they are getting the supply from Tahiti.

“The market here in Sabah is relatively small compared to China, but it has the potential to be developed,” she said, adding that her company has chosen Sabah to reward their staff because they wanted to help boost the tourism industry.

Furthermore, Sabah has the beautiful coastline to see the sunset especially Rasa Ria which is located in a strategic spot, apart from its excellent beachfront and services, she said.

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