I was scouring the world wide web for some interesting sites and social pages that are related to Cadiz so I can at least compile a few of them for the purpose of letting the Cadiznons know how connected we are to digital media. Well I found a few notable social communities and groups that I have added to my previous post. During this time I also found a few websites that I linked to from this site before. I found this hidden gem of a site a few days back that caught my very short attention span.
One of my friends from overseas (a Cadiznon also) one day asked if there is a way for her to send out a gift to her little sisters birthday here to Cadiz safely. She did not trust couriers (aside from it being very expensive), and other online sites and services of the like especially if she doesn’t yet know how legit they are.
She asked for a favor from me if she can send the gift through me in form of online cash (considering I do a lot of transactions online and stuff), and just buy the stuff for her sister here locally. Id like to do that for a friend every so often, but how about others who don’t have someone like me to ask a favor from to do a simple request like this for them. That good friend of mine also quipped that she hoped there was a way to actually just send her little sister a gift that she personally bought than giving her cash or go through the hassle of asking someone (me) for it. I said, well if I was your brother, I’d definitely appreciate cash instead, and we laughed about it.
But that’s when I remembered this little gem of a site called HomeTownRegalo.com, which actually solves the dilemma I experienced with this friend before. HomeTownRegalo caters to the people of Bacolod and yes, Cadiz Too! The name says it all if you were wondering what in a nutshell the site is all about.
Later that day, I tried to research a bit further about HomeTownRegalo.com in which I learned that their local logistics counterpart in Negros Island is a good friend of mine. The owners of the site are from Cadiz as well. So the inquisitive part of me really wanted to dig in to understand what the site is all about.
To me at first, their website appeared like a personal site, a blog (short for web log, which is simply online journal or online diary) about what kind of “regalos” to give to people. It didn’t appear to me as an online store or an e-commerce site or a service provider. I later learned that this site was a also a Charitable endeavor that in a Nutshell, allows our Kababayans overseas, especially OFW’s to be able to send their loved ones at home an actual gift as if they bought it for them personally and have these gifts hand-delivered to whichever part of Cadiz you are from. It is the element of surprise and the thought of someone from afar managing to remember a special day, an occasion and even a simple gesture of thanks for their loved ones at home is the main aim of the site. The Charitable part is that they give a portion of the sites revenue in giving back to the community like providing books for students and other outreach projects.
I asked around for more info and gladly the owner sent me a few answers to my questions that manage to give me and hopefully you guys willing to try them out the whole idea of what the site is all about, and how it was formed.
1. Why is the site created?
2. Who are the owners and their primary drive for the creation of the site?
HometownRegalo.com is an online store serving customers from the US, Canada, and the Philippines, who wish to send gifts to their loved ones in the Philippine provinces. The company was founded by Ruby Bedrejo Matejcik. Ruby grew up in Cadiz and Bacolod, went to college in Manila, and moved to the United States shortly after college. She met her husband in graduate school in Ohio and has lived in the US for the past 25 years.
“As a Filipino based in the US, I’ve always thought that the market for gift delivery to the Philippine provinces has been overlooked. There are numerous such services available for the Manila area, but hardly any for the provinces. I wanted to provide that service to the provinces, but I also wanted to go beyond being just another business selling products and services.”
“My vision is to build a business that makes a difference for everyone. I wanted to showcase the products of local Philippine merchants and I also wanted to help the local charities. My concept is sort of a cross between Fair Trade (which helps farmers in developing countries build sustainable businesses) and Newman’s Own (Paul Newman’s salad dressing company which has donated its profits to thousands of charities since the early 80′s). Inspired by these two organizations, I created HometownRegalo.com to help merchants in the Philippine towns sell their products online to reach foreign-based customers and to benefit the charities in the Philippine towns through the donation of all its net profits. It’s a unique concept, a win-win for all.”
“In February 2012, with the help of some family members, I finally brought the concept to reality. HometownRegalo.com was launched to serve initially the markets of Bacolod and Cadiz. My brother Rafael is in charge of the Cadiz operations. We hope to expand to other towns and provinces in the near future.”
3. Why is the domain chosen as such? (Inspiration to the name HomeTownRegalo)
The name Hometown Regalo conveys the site’s mission to provide a gift-giving service that truly gives back to your hometown. Gift-givers, gift-recipients, local Philippine merchants and charities all benefit from each purchase on the store.
For Cadiz gift delivery, we carry the products of local Cadiz favorites – Cindy’s Cakes and Pastries, Jimmy’s Homemade Ice-Cream, Nikoy’s Pizza Haus, Nido’s Lechon, and Blooming Buds, Flowers by Batotoy. We are proud to help them market their products online.
The Cadiz charity we support is the Sto. Niño Youth Educational Programs, which provides religious education to the children of Cadiz and distributes school supplies and clothes annually to needy school children in the Cadiz public schools.
5. Walk Us (Your Customers) Through Ordering and Checking out on the site.
Customers from the US, Canada, or the Philippines can place orders on our site. Just go to HometownRegalo.com. Click on your delivery town (Bacolod Items or Cadiz Items) and select the gift you wish to send to your loved ones in the Philippines. Enter your billing and delivery information. Pay by credit card – Visa, MasterCard, or Discover. Our encrypted connection ensures that your information is transmitted securely. Upon completion of your order, you will get an email confirming the order. Once delivery to your loved one in Cadiz or Bacolod is completed, you will get an email confirming the gift delivery. It’s so convenient and so simple. Give it a try. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions, comments, or suggestions.
Here are some comments from their happy gift-givers and recipients:
A mother from the US who recently placed a Hometown Regalo order for her daughter in Bacolod has this to say:
“My daughter had a good time with her friends. I am so happy that she appreciated the gesture and you came along at the right time. She loved the cake, she said it was tasty and creamy. She is used to the Red Ribbon mango cake here in the US and she said your cake was better. Thank you very much for the experience that I was able to celebrate with her from afar.”
A grandmother from Cadiz who received a Hometown Regalo gift from her grandson in the US says:
“I was so surprised when the food was delivered to my house. I was told it came from my grandson in the US! How did he make that happen? I was very touched by his thoughtfulness.”
4. What Would you like the people to know especially the Cadiznons?
“Although I have spent more than half of my life in the US, Cadiz and Bacolod remain near and dear to me. Most of my family still lives in Cadiz. Each time I make a trip back to the Philippines, I often end up spending the most time in Cadiz. Cadiz has so much potential for growth and development, I always wish the best for my hometown.”
Well, that wraps-up my interview with Miss Ruby, and my personal opinion wouldn’t matter that much, but I urge you to try their service. Not only will you experience the convenience of sending Regalos (Gifts) to your loved ones at home, you will also be helping a Very Good Cause.