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Taste of Home: Grace Dalisay’s car trunk surprise in Lemery, Batangas

November 26, 2021

SAN PABLO CITY – Sending good wishes to friends and loved ones has always been accompanied with big celebrations. May it be a beach party, a vacation abroad, or a get together with close pals at home, the Filipinos make time for special occasions and often celebrate it with a big feast.

Grace Dalisay
Grace Dalisay smiles in front of her car trunk surprise for a seven-year-old birthday celebrator in Lemery, Batangas.

Alas, the COVID-19 pandemic left families bereft of grand celebrations. Birthdays, weddings, and anniversaries were celebrated with small, immediate families, more often than not, at home.

The pandemic should have crippled businesses related to food, events, and party services, but one family in Lemery, Batangas, took the pandemic as a challenge and came up with a way to celebrate in a practical, fun, and safe manner.

Gracelda “Grace” Dalisay and her family were dining together, when a portion of cooked food and camote with cheese were left untouched. From here, they tried to sell the excess to neighbors who were more than enthusiastic to try Grace’s cooking. As days passed, the Dalisay family was urged to hold a small surprise for a few close friends who were celebrating their birthday, but due to the pandemic, this was no small feat. However, with the new seven-seater minivan they loaned from CARD SME Bank, the Dalisay family explored the idea of using the vehicle to hold what is now popularly known as a car trunk surprise.

These were the beginnings of Taste of Home, the Dalisay’s food delivery service that holds car trunk surprises for those celebrating their birthday, anniversary, and other special events in the comforts of their home.

A Taste of Success

The family business started in February 2020, ironically, at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic to cater to families who want to celebrate special occasions without breaking the government’s protocol, which is set to immobilize the spread of the virus.

Together with her husband and her sister, Grace cooks an assortment of food including pasta, noodle dishes like pansit, various Filipino delicacies including maja and puto, sandwiches, spring rolls, and many more.

With a car trunk surprise, not only is food delivered to the doorsteps of a family, but it also prevents families from stepping out of their homes and risk compromising their health. It also brings incredible joy to families in the midst of a health crisis that affects the rest of the world.

Through word of mouth, Grace’s car surprise has reached different parts of Batangas, Cavite, and Laguna. According to Grace, their minivan became a big part of their lives as it brought them a steady source of income during the pandemic.

“The car we loaned is a blessing to us. We are grateful to CARD SME Bank for giving us a chance to own a car that we have never dreamt of using for our business. With the grace of God, we have never lacked anything because of this. I am really grateful,” Grace said.

Through her son, Grace and her family availed the Drive Ur Wheels car loan amounting to P1,000,000 from CARD SME Bank, a full-fledged thrift bank that provides financial assistance, microinsurance, and other community development programs to microentrepreneurs and their family.

The Journey with CARD

Grace has been a client of CARD since 2007. From CARD, Inc., she was then transitioned later to CARD SME Bank. Therefore, CARD has been a witness to her journey from being an overseas Filipino worker to a cook in a small restaurant in Mahayahay in Lemery, Batangas, to finally being a businesswoman of her own car trunk surprise service.

CARD was also present in her children’s life, particularly with her second youngest son, Victor Manuel, who was a recipient of the educational loan during his time at Batangas Science High School.

Aside from these milestones, Grace is also now an authorized konek2CARD Agent in their community since May 2021. A konek2CARD Agent is a trusted partner of CARD in bringing konek2CARD, its mobile banking service, closer to clients in the community. Through agents like Grace, clients of CARD SME Bank can withdraw, deposit, pay their bills, and settle their weekly dues without going to the bank.

Grace is currently holding 14 centers with a total of P250,000 collected payments weekly and P1,000,000 monthly. Through konek2CARD, Grace earns an extra income that she uses for leisure activities to bond with her husband and their children.

If there is one thing the Dalisays are good at, it is celebrating small wins in life and sharing their family’s love and joy with other people. With Taste of Home, Grace and her family believe that people can still celebrate and create memories with their loved ones even in the midst of adversities.