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What is your go-to comfort food?


By Sol Vanzi
Images by Noel Pabalate

Intermittent thunderstorms and rains for several weekends kept many at home or in their places of work and away from restaurants serving their favorite rainy day comfort food such as Ilocos empanada La Paz batchoy, and the newbie bulalugaw.

In the old days, the inclement weather would have meant heavy losses for empty restaurants and heavy hearts for marooned bhungry customers. Not anymore, thanks to an app that is boosting restaurant sales, providing employment, and boosting the local economy through healthy growth of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs).

TWO FOR THE TUMMY Bulalugaw Super Special

We learned from small restaurant owners that their sales increased by as much as 50 percent during the rainy weeks, thanks to GrabFood. And all that happened with no need for additional staff or restaurant space. Their businesses also gained from heightened brand recognition without any advertising cost. Gino Datayan of Bulalugaw Express, Brylle Uytiepo of Liezl’s La Paz Batchoy, and Ellice Chew of Empanada Nation had nothing but praise for the tremendous growth of their businesses since their tieup with Grab.

We learned all these, and more, a few days ago at the BGC launch of Grab’s NakakaLOKAL Festival, a campaign that brings together homegrown businesses and Grab’s super app services to celebrate the unique flavors and traditions of the Philippines.

Filipino culture is powered by local SMEs, which pass on traditional recipes and maintain local values in their business operations. According to the Asian Development Bank (ADB), SMEs serve as the backbone of Asian economies. In the Philippines, SMEs and micro enterprises combined make up 99.6 percent of all business establishments.

“At Grab, we recognize technology as a force for good and continue to level the playing field so that SMEs can grow. Through our superapp services like GrabFood, GrabExpress and more, SMEs now have access to millions of users through an online storefront, resulting in efficiency in logistics costs and incremental revenue,” said Grab Philippines president Brian Cu.

In celebration of Buwan ng Wika this August, Grab steps up as a proud supporter and enabler of local SMEs in the Philippines through a monthlong celebration of businesses that keep the Philippine culture alive. The NakakaLOKAL Festival will run for the whole month in the Grab app and during Fridays and Saturdays of August at the Central Square in Bonifacio Global City, and The Market by Sugbo in Mandaue City, Cebu. Open publicly to all Grab users, the festival features a culinary and crafts adventure with GrabFood’s most popular homegrown food brands and local businesses under GrabExpress’ roster.

At the festival, we enjoyed a culinary journey across the different islands of the Philippines: the famous Aysee sisig from a humble karinderia in Mandaluyong, the sweet and fragrant buko pandan drink of Nathaniel’s, tasty bacon silog of Ate Rica’s, the steaming La Paz batchoy of Liezl’s, the longganisa-filled Ilocos empanadas of Empanada Nation, the rich and filling variants of Bulalugaw Express, the localized shawarma of Uncle Moe’s, and the juicy sausages of Cow Wow’s.

#GrabNakakaLOKAL Festival also features Filipino craftsmen and businesses in partnership with Karton, an online shop that delivers an alternative platform for local entrepreneurs to sell their products while providing shoppers with a hassle- free online buying experience. We bought Auro Chocolate made from cocoa beans directly sourced from local farming communities in Davao, Cavite’s famous skin care products from Natural Balance, and a wide selection of natural organic super food products of Green Tummy.

As an added treat, GrabPay users get a 15 percent discount on all food and concessionaires at the festival. To celebrate the NakakaLOKAL Festival, Grab is also introducing NakakaLOKAL MVP, for its users throughout August until the first week of September. First time Grab- Pay users in Manila, Cebu, Pampanga get R100 cashback when they activate their GrabPay wallet and make at least one regular transaction with a minimum amount of R200 on GrabCar, GrabExpress, in-store transaction via scan-to-pay, or online payments using GrabPay.

Existing GrabPay users in Manila, Cebu and Pampanga get P100 cashback when they do at least two regular transactions on GrabCar, GrabExpress, in-store transaction via scan-topay, or online payments worth at least P200 using GrabPay. Grab users in Davao, Pampanga, Baguio, Iloilo, and Cagayan de Oro can get a total of R60 discount voucher when they do a total of six Grab rides
with a minimum fare of P150.

Users who complete the NakakaLOKAL MVP challenge will automatically qualify to exciting raffle promos such as travel packages for Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao (including flight and hotel accommodation) and flight tickets via Mabuhay Miles to any Philippine destination

The NakakaLOKAL MVP challenge runs until Sept. 8. Winners will be announced on the second week of September.

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