Do your Christmas Gifts support a local product and local community?
In this season of thanksgiving and gift giving, we need to continue to support our local businesses affected by the pandemic. One awesome way to do this is by giving awesome gifts made by our local artisans and Filipino entrepreneurs. Not only do you support the small and medium businesses, but you also support the local communities they support to be more resilient and to thrive in the pandemic.
Our budget for gifts would go a long way by gifting local products because you buy once but actually give twice—first, to the small and medium social enterprises and second, to the local communities they support. Nakapag-Christmas shopping ka na, nakatulong ka pa!
About Gift Local from Globe Business
’Tis the season once more to make that Christmas list and indulge loved ones and friends with gifts that bring them good cheer. To keep the holiday tradition of gifting alive, show homegrown brands some love and shop for items that help you give back to a good cause.
In its fifth year, Globe Business’ Gift Local campaign is putting the spotlight on micro, small and medium local social enterprises that support the livelihood of farmers, local designers, and indigenous communities, as well as those who follow sustainable practices behind every product they put on the shelf. The initiative intends to enable these purpose-led businesses to thrive especially at this time when many Filipinos are affected by unemployment due to the pandemic.
“This year’s campaign aims to bring out the goodness behind each purchase by giving Filipinos the opportunity to choose holiday gifts that give twice the joy—to the recipient and to the local business and community that they benefit,” said KD Dizon, Head of MSME Group, Globe Business.
From artisanal chocolates to virgin coconut oils, skincare essentials to handwoven blankets and towels, here are some of the local brands which offer gifts that will bring joy not only to your loved ones, but also to the little communities these small businesses support.
Shoppers may visit the Globe Business Gift Local Page https://glbe.co/giftlocal to check out these products and the communities each of the partner merchants support.
(Note: For order fulfillment and service level agreement (SLA), please visit the eCommerce platform/website of respective brands below.)
Add a restful touch to any home with Locano’s woven crafts: skillfully pedal-loomed by the artisan women of Vigan and Santa, Ilocos and Bangar, La Union. Modern meets tradition in their inabel blankets, sanepa, trambia, and towels in Binetwagan patterns.
Though weavers take hours to create these perfectly woven blankets, Locano only operates during the off-season, so they can help their families farm during harvest season. Locano founder Chem Torrente finds joy in preserving traditions through responsible entrepreneurship. Support their advocacy and shop for these exquisite pieces.
LOCANO is the happy convergence of things borne out of love and its enduring nature—the love for things beautifully made, love for discovery and grounding, and love in relationships, especially that of mothers and daughters.
Discovery of handmade
Handmade is well made. “My mom is from Vigan, Ilocos Sur, but I grew up in Manila,” begins founder Chem Torrente. “When we were kids, we would only visit Vigan during holidays of obligation, like Holy Week, family reunions, and funerals. As I grew older, I visited Vigan less and less. I became a stranger to the city.”
In 2015, in the middle of a rough life phase, Chem decided to visit her mother’s hometown again. And what she thought would be a trip she needed for distraction became a journey to re-discovery. She chanced upon a weaving house in town, which was run by one of her mother’s friends. They made all kinds of abel (the Ilocano word for ‘weave’): rugs, kitchen towels, table runners, and blankets. Curious, Chem sat down and tried out the loom, running her hands through every piece of fabric in that place. “It felt magical. I found myself lost in the stacks of abel,” she recalls. “And I wondered why I never noticed this before. It was right under my nose!”
She left for Manila with some blankets and a couple of rugs in tow. “At first, I didn’t know what to do with them, but I felt excited to start something—to tell others about it.” In a conversation with a friend, she shared newfound discoveries, stories, and ideas, and the name LOCANO presented itself. “I am Ilocano and also a bit of a loca-loca.”
In August of 2015, LOCANO was launched.
It takes a community to cultivate culture
Five years and counting, LOCANO continues to work directly with the weavers from Ilocos, in Vigan, in Santa, and now mainly in Bangar, La Union, a choice that’s both fulfilling and challenging. “The work allows the weavers to earn extra income, and the improvements in their lives are evident,” says Chem. “But in the harvest season, a lot of them would prefer to farm than weave.”
Instead of seeing this as a hindrance, she understood that this was their way of life, and supporting them meant finding ways to work around it. It’s their stories, after all, and the tradition and culture of years and years, woven unto the products they make, that she wishes to carry and convey to others.
“You can tell a lot about the origin and story of a weave by looking at the patterns,” shares Chem, urging a second, closer look at the intricate woven designs that LOCANO has selected for its collection of blankets, towels, and table runners. One can see the intimacy in the texture of the weaves, of secret messages, fondness and love, appreciation of what’s around. “These are patterns of routine, places, and activities.”
The greatest form of love is paying attention
At the core of it all is a joint venture of mother and daughter, and it’s one of discovery, of each other and oneself, and of grounding and going back to their roots. “It’s because of my mom that I realized that I needed to learn the basics—the simplified and practical life skills,” reveals Chem, who, on the other hand, is more acquainted with the fast-paced, modern city life. “My mom is very maalam sa buhay, domesticated.”
From sewing to cooking, tying loose ends in the business to tending to the family’s needs, Chem quietly admires how her mother traverses through life on the daily. Household skills aren’t her forte, but Chem is learning how to sew, among other things, from her mother.
Ultimately, LOCANO is like walking back home. “Blankets have a way of making you feel the comfort of being cared for,” says Chem. When one looks back at the story, the craft, and the work that goes behind the making of each inabel blanket, one realizes the love and meaning that’s woven in. Each one conveys a special message that’s borne and shared from a special love in relationships, especially reminiscent of mothers and daughters.
“It’s like a sign and symbol of showing that you care,” Chem adds. “It’s like the kind of love you see and receive from loved ones, that you also want to give back.”
Indulge in award-winning chocolate goodness perfect for the holidays with Malagos Chocolate. The social enterprise started with rehabilitating cacao trees in Malagos, Baguio District, Davao City, seeing the crop’s value in uplifting Filipino farmers’ lives through sustainable practices. Today, through improving chocolate processing, farms, nurseries, facilities, and factories, they have won many awards around the world. That allowed them to provide stable income to the farmers in their Partner Farmer Program. Help Malagos continue training and supporting farmers, and shop for their chocolates!
REX VICTOR PUENTESPINA’s Malagos Chocolate is among the most awarded chocolates from Asia. As farmer and chocolate-maker at Malagos Chocolate, he guides the small, family-owned corporation into producing world-class, tree-to-bar chocolates that adhere to strict international quality and ethical standards. He introduced Malagos Chocolate to markets in Asia, Europe and the US, and continuously develops new products using the single-origin cacao beans from the family’s farm in Davao in the southern Philippine island of Mindanao.
Rex was born and raised in Davao to a family that has been in the field of agriculture for over five decades. In 2017, Rex opened the first chocolate museum in the Philippines to promote awareness and a richer understanding of cacao, and how the Philippines can become one of the world’s leading sources of chocolate.
Malagos Agri-Ventures Corporation produces the award-winning Malagos Chocolate. It is involved in the entire value chain—from the sowing, growing, harvesting, fermenting, and even until packaging of the chocolates. All its chocolates are processed and manufactured in its own facilities using cacao from trees growing on its farm in Davao on the island of Mindanao in the southern Philippines.
Since its founding in 2012, the family-owned company has earned international acclaim for its single-origin, premium chocolates. In 2017, Puentespina Farms was named among the top 50 cacao beans by the Cocoa of Excellence Award. In 2019 cacao beans from its farms were designated as Heirloom Cacao by the Heirloom Cacao Preservation Fund.
Through its Malagos Cacao Development Center, it teaches farmers and helps them operate their own farms. It also connects farmers to opportunities by including them in production and marketing agreements, providing support and pruning services, and even cacao bean trading. Its own farm, Puentespina From, serves as a learning site for farming technology as well as a model for agri-tourism.
The Roots Collective is a community and marketplace of social enterprises and creative startups that bridges them with conscious consumers and advocates. Since 2016, it has been in the business of helping social enterprises achieve market leadership through its three pillars of community development, capacity-building, and market access. Its enterprise development programs conduct social enterprise funding, rural community training, and inter-enterprise collaborations; while its market access platform envisions an omni-channel distribution of social enterprise and artisanal local products.
The Roots Collective is currently found online at https://www.rootscollective.ph.
Thank you to Globe Business for the #GiftLocal Campaign and for continuing to provide innovative products to help in the digital-first pivot of SME’s business in the pandemic.
To further strengthen your digital-first transformation, join the Globe Business Academy to meet and network with like-minded entrepreneurs to support the local economy and to thrive together amidst pandemic realities. Continuing education is important and taking advantage of trends and leading innovation ideas is crucial to continue to thrive in the pandemic.
Don’t forget to give awesome gifts by gifting local this Christmas season! Let’s continue to work together to survive and thrive in the pandemic.
Live an Awesome Life with Christ,
Founder & Digital Creator, Our Awesome Planet
Disclosure: Our Awesome Planet is an official supporter of Globe Business Gift Local Campaign.