The age of the internet has drastically changed our lifestyle. From connecting with friends and booking our flights to how we shop and pay our bills, we can do virtually anything online.
One of the most notable aspects of the explosion of social media over the last decade is the rise of locally grown enterprises—those that found a way to build their clientele through social media.
Free platforms such as Facebook and Instagram have encouraged the sprouting of Filipino brands in fashion, food, the arts and services, among them niche artisanal startups given a chance to compete in business through cyberspace.
A plus, too, is the variety of payment platforms now accessible, including cashless options such as GCash. The leading mobile wallet currently has over 50,000 partner merchants, from major brands to up-and-coming ones.
Here are some merchants taking either online or over-the-counter orders offering GCash as a payment option:
Rob & Mara (IG: @robandmaraph)
Rob & Mara is a local brand offering handcrafted leather shoes and accessories for women. Their Marikina-made products range from pretty sandals and pastel loafers to sturdy oxfords and boots. They also sell wallets and cardholders that can be personalized with monograms.
Inglorious Cookies (IG: @ingloriouscookies)
This Cebu-based shop offers homemade gourmet cookies from indulgent chewy chocolate chip options to nutty treats. Those with a sweet tooth may sample their products in a variety box with their choice of flavors or get their favorites to go by cup or carton.
Lotus Activewear (IG: @lotusactivewear)
This local activewear brand boasts of a wide range of workout clothing options for both men and women. From standard top-and-bottom pairings to hip mesh designs, Lotus Activewear offers an added motivation for anyone with fitness goals: look great doing it! Its product range also includes waist bags for runners, drawstring bags for gym trips, workout gloves and yoga mats.
Zark’s Burgers (IG: @zarksburgers)
Zark’s Burgers is a homegrown restaurant popular for its delicious burgers, including decadent offerings with multiple patties, bacon, spam and egg. Zark’s also offers a food challenge with one of its formidable feasts: a 2-pound cheeseburger aptly named Tombstone. Chow down the burger in 10 minutes, including the side fries and drinks, and you can get it for free, plus a shirt and a photo on Zark’s wall of fame.
Keep It MNL (IG: @keepitmnl)
Keep It MNL is another locally grown brand that offers well-crafted leather accessories, including passport and card holders, iPad keepers, and phone cases. It describes its products as tech-forward, artisanal and stylish—perfect for those fond of travel.