Mobility in the age of ECQ

If there’s any silver lining during this dreaded pandemic and several reinstatements of strict quarantine protocols, that would be our country’s ability to adapt to adversities.

Since last year, the availability of on-demand services has more than doubled. Well, I don’t have the exact numbers but a quick search on the App Store should prove that.

Yes, I’m talking about mobile apps and on-demand services that allow you to deal with essentials from the comfort of your sofa. And while these apps are very convenient even before the pandemic, the fluctuating quarantine measures just highlighted their use more. More so if you factor in the health risk when you leave your house.

That said, I’ve listed down some of the best and yet-to-be-known on-demand services available today for essential services. You can call them mobility at home, if you may.

Food delivery

Foodpanda and Grab have been around even before the pandemic so it’s no surprise that they’re the most popular among food delivery services. They also have the widest list of affiliate restaurants on offer, with Grab even offering long-distance deliveries and GrabKitchen. The latter’s sort of a food court service wherein you can order from different restaurants within a single transaction, ergo, single delivery fee.

But apart from those two pioneers, there are others that offer similar or sometimes even better selections. Among those is PICK.A.ROO, which focuses more on premium and high-end restaurants such as The Bistro Group, The Moment Group, The UCC Group, among others. It also offers long-distance deliveries. Craving for Xiao Long Bao? Don’t worry, there’s a pastel blue/green rider that’s ready to take your order.

Some restaurants also offer their own apps for their delivery service, which work in tandem with third-party delivery companies. These include McDonald’s, Shakey’s, KFC, Dominos, among others. Make sure to check the App Store or Google Play.

Grocery pick-up/delivery/pabili

Apart from ready-made food deliveries, groceries can now also be delivered straight to your home. Foodpanda (Panda Mart) and Grab (GrabMart) offer both using their apps, while PICK.A.ROO offers the same but includes supermarkets with membership such as S&R.

Similarly, Landers offers pick-up and grocery delivery via its smartphone app despite its relatively limited branches within Metro Manila. WalterMart and Allday Supermarket offer similar services as well, so it looks like this will depend on your location and item preferences.

Other applications such as Joyride and Lalamove also offer Pabili services, which let users choose the shop to buy at and the items requested.


Groceries and household items aren’t the only ones that can be delivered right to your doorstep. As the health risk continues to rise, even pharmaceutical items are available for pick-up and delivery.

Grab, Foodpanda, Joyride, Lalamove, and PICK.A.ROO are among the primary companies that offer such drug store errand requests, all asking for a minimal fee in exchange for lower risk and convenience.

Household services

Even before the pandemic, there are websites already available that offer on-demand household services such as plumbing, aircon cleaning, emergency repairs, etc. More so during this pandemic and is among them (and the most efficient in my experience), and it now has an app for that.

Of note, Gawin is relatively pricey compared to your local professional service providers. However, what it offers is a guarantee plus the convenience of not having to leave your home. 

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