Noeleen’s Gift Shop
…a historic commercial landmark in Tacurong City
By Apolinario Villalobos
Noeleen’s Gift Shop had its soft opening in October 1968 just when Tacurong was beginning to metamorphose into a progressive junction with protrusions that led towards Cotabato (today, divided into Sultan Kudarat and Maguindanao), South Cotabato, North Cotabato, and Davao. Tacurong is politically within the scope of the Sultan Kudarat province.
According to Mrs. Nenita Lao Bernardo, the proprietess, she opened the boutique with just a capitalization of Php2,800 but by dint of hard work and astute management, she was able to develop it into what it is now…delightfully crammed with affordable novelty items. One can find neatly stacked blankets, towels, branded t-shirts, fashionable apparels, shoes, sandals, home decors, perfumes, colognes, jewelries, watches, trinkets, and various gifts for special occasions.
It is interesting to note that the shop today, serves even the third generation of early patrons, as their grandchildren have kept the tradition of trekking to it for anything that they need for various occasions, be they party dress, shoes, or gifts for birthdays and weddings. The boutique is frequented by customers from as far as Esperanza, Tantangan, Isulan, and of course, Buluan. One time, I chanced upon a family of 6 with the mother in colorful malong directing her children to the stacks of items where they should choose what they needed.
Noeleen’s is open from Monday to Saturday, as early as 8AM to accommodate customers who would come all the way from surrounding towns.