Jay Gibson Eronico, a seafarer, found his silver lining when he opened Dingras Food House in Cavite after being repatriated due
to the pandemic. 

Jay worked as a Demi Chef de Partie for six years before he had to stay for good in the Philippines due to the pandemic. With his work experience, Jay decided to feed the community’s demand for restaurant quality food and opened a food delivery business. 

“Madalas nasa bahay lang ang mga tao kaya naisip naming ihatid sa kanilang mga bahay ang restaurant experience sa pamamagitan ng paggawa ng restaurant-quality food,” Jay shared.

As he already has the necessary skills and concept for the business, Jay was on the lookout for a possible source of funding. 

“A friend introduced the HEROES Program to me. Naisipan ko pong manghiram sa HEROES Program para magkaroon ng kapital. Nakakatuwa na ito ay walang interes at may grace period pa,” Jay shared.

Jay used the loan proceeds in applying for a business permit and purchasing the needed equipment for his business idea. From servicing nearby communities, Jay already expanded his delivery area to other towns.

When asked what are the lessons he wish to share to his fellow repatriated OFWs, “Magsimula sa malitt at pahalagahan ang pera. Magsimula sa kung anong meron ka. Manalig na tutulungan tayo ng Diyos at ang Diyos ay gagamit ng mga tao at ahensya ng gobyerno para makamit ang ating panalangin,” Jay added.

With the current status of Dingras Food House, Jay believes that one day he can expand the business through franchising. Jay also shared that once allowed, they will be ready for al fresco dining. At the moment they are maximizing e-commerce and other available online platforms.