The only project you actually need

In an establishment along Kalaayan road in Kawit, Cavite, hides Coffee Project. The catchy coffee shop can easily be seen at the second floor of AllHome, A home improvement store owned by the Villar Group of Companies. Comparably, it may leverage itself with the excellence of Starbucks and Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf, but Coffee Project, with it’s vintage bikes hanging on its walls and ceilings, knows how to strike you initially at the moment came for it to impress.

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Shot using my Samsung A5

It may not be hard to understand that coffee shops give us feeling of warmth and comfort. But to elevate coffee shops into something strikingly beautiful as an art fair, Coffee Project will be a reminiscent of French classic studios adorned with exquisite furniture and lush of indoor plants.

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The interior at daylight

If Coffee Project would be a candidate in a beauty pageant, it will be someone whose proud, well-dressed, and gorgeous not just because you put some good lighting to it. The generous amount of exquisite pieces like eclectic bulbs, blooms and inspirational quotes make Coffee Project an IG worthy to go place.

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If you wanted to squeeze some quite time to your week or reserve a night for your date, this can be a place to visit as it offers a homey and comforting vibe.

 

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The slur of spices in the longganisa will definitely tickle your tongue. Combined with a flavored salad, and fried rice, all your guilt will be set aside once you’ve taken the remnants of the plate.

 

Perfect for more quite time for families and friends, Coffee Project also offers an array of comfort foods such as pastas, sandwiches, cakes, brownies and salads. All breakfast meals were also served for those who are looking for full meals.

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Kani Salad

Coffee Project definitely knows how treat veggies with utmost care. The perfect combination of kani and fruits make a show off. This may seem a not-so-extraordinary meal but the freshness of Kani blends perfectly with creamy sauce as it melts in your mouth.

 

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Blueberry Almond Cupcake with Cappuccino Frappe

This cupcake comes with a not so typical combination, almonds and blueberry. Taming the tangy taste of the blueberry, the balance of sweetness and crisp taste of the outer part, this blue berry almond cupcake will serve as a fine dessert.

 

Overall, Coffee Project is not just a pretty and picturesque café for Cavitenos. It feels like your own private hideaway for special someone and friends. The dishes and meals aim to make you happy and refreshed for the upcoming work and study week.

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Guess it will make you a special guest on a night that wants you to stay in.

 

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Run on the Weekend

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I loathe sports. Volleyball is a little bit discriminating because I have nearsighted vision. I am not that good at chess, (although I mastered Sycilian Defense more than anyone else in high school, I still didn’t make it to the cut). I may have realized earlier that sports was not for me, but running at this point of my life brought not just toughness but contentment beyond comprehension. Happy hormones it is.

In the morning, the moment I stepped the distance, as I bring my feet whether past the grassy field, cemented road, or less likely an elevated terrain, I am looking forward to the exceptional freedom in half-dream and half-reality ecstatic state.

According to Runner’s World, not only it is healthy for the body and mind, running can help you get in shape and build muscles. Your muscles start using adenosine triphosphate (ATP). ATP is the energy molecules your body makes from food. Then it does something to the burning of glycogen and releasing of sweat. (Which I find too technical but I’ll share anyway for the sake if scientific evidence).

Just to share also, I have different encounters on the road. Sometimes I step on a dog’s poop, a not-so-dried puke, and sticky muds (when it rained on the evening). Regardless of what nature has to offer, you’ve got to do one thing. You have to run. Not to lose your pace despite the cat-calling of nearby bystanders.

But what became most tremendously astonishing is when I got to witness the light orange tinted morning sky. It’s still blue on the upper portion of the horizon but it is beginning to show the rising sun, not blinding to look at as its morning glare tells you it’s time to get going. The mixing hues of dark blue, faint orange and bright yellow makes you feel you’re in between night and day.

Then during my weekend morning run,  it became a routine for me to anticipate its beauty.

Sometimes I finished 6 kilometers in 1 hour, but most of the time it is just 5 kilometers. Until recently, I joined National Geographic Marathon,  I finished 10 kilometers in 1 hour and 26 minutes. They say it is good for a beginner like me.

I guess what I liked most about running is that it allows you to compete with no one else but yourself. The more you push yourself beyond your limits the more empowered you become. As you grasp the meaning of your achievement, it resonates to your soul. It tells you that you are made to conquer and at the same time makes you appreciate the life you have. You are strong enough and there’s nothing wrong with that.

Will I run more often during weekends? Yes but it could be at night. Let’s see.

Tale of a little monster: “How to Make it Red, Bloody Red”

 

I remember a line from Charles Dicken’s novel that has something to with a fresh graduate’s situation.  It says something about one’s pocket is empty but his head ferments with knowledge and persistence. From the late 1800’s up to the 21st century, this statement holds true. Whether you are a fresh graduate or not, whether from a reputable university or college, we are all struggling to leave a legacy to the industry that we are in (and of course to earn lots of money). At all cost we want to make a mark in our own fields as we keep our spunk ever present on our disposition.

Labored upon, well curated and detailed resumes are being sent to multitudes of headhunter’s email addresses. Not just eyebrows are estimated as “on point” but our job radars as well. Deemed as little internet predators, our eyes are glued to monitors. Hunched shoulders, so hunched that it will resemble a question mark, questioning our capabilities whether we will be enlisted or not. Eyes of Jobstreet monsters will suddenly pop out whenever we receive notification on our SMS, emails or any social media platform we used to make ourselves available to the job ecosystem.

We carefully choose our best outfit for the interview. Will you wear polo? Skirt or pants? Or will you opt to wear a black and armored suit as what John Wick has put it, a tactical one (just kidding). From here, I will no longer elaborate how the job interview process goes. Of course, it is a combination of agony of waiting, of calculated answers, endless application forms to accomplished,  names of your dependents (if there’s any), and so on.

At last you made it. You no longer consider yourself as a disposable bin by these so called headhunters. This is the real game, give your fair share of knowledge to the company and the company in return, will give a piece of their money. That’s how the ecosystem goes. You find yourself in the jungle, where the brutal reality of corporate setting finally takes its shape.

The swiftest will win, the smartest will succeed. You see managers as hungry tigers with perfect strength to join the competition. Having a stronghold on their thrones are the resilient wolves, tough enough to withstand the test of times. And you,  what will you morph into?

 

 

 

 

 

After Luigi

 

Luigi ceased to dream of that celestial face but never stopped wondering why the smoothly polished wooden chair beside him still has her lingering presence.  They say that aromas have a strong association with memory, they insinuate the exact scenario, and reminds how they felt, appear and smell.  As much as he wanted to restrain the flow of memory, all he could do is to immediately set into the sipping of his cappuccino and give in. Her white carnation dress flutters like a bird’s wings in front of St. Mary Magdalene’s Church as she ran after him, he clearly saw the bouquet of orange tulips torn apart as if a rough wind destroyed its symmetry. Luigi cannot forgive himself for the red rimmed eyes he had caused her.  Nor counting the ten years since the last time he saw her could alter the meaning of what he has done.

Memories are bad companions but he clings to them. He clings to them enough to realize that they are just memories and nothing more.

He reached for another sip, the white smoke from the brown vintage cup faintly visible. It was chillier now, the night outside perhaps appears like a dark blanket covering the sky. Sometimes Josefina was cold. He remembered the elmo designed sweater she used to wear outside their apartment, hanging loose on her tiny frame with her long black hair pulled up in a bun. He used to buy her coffee at times when they decided to walk the streets of Ermita. Belching PUV horns and eye-stinging red lights are in constant uproar. Jeepneys and passenger buses are inches from each other as they are once again caught in another web of traffic situation.

“It never changes, does it?” Josefina asked in between coughs. She had been suffering persistent coughs that time maybe because the smoke and filth surrounding the area.

“What, the traffic situation?”

“No, the one on that side.” She pointed the middle-aged man sitting in the corner of a whitewashed wall. He was holding his dinner in a plastic container that used to be an ice cream case. He doesn’t mind the dark and barren smoke coming from vehicles just inches away from his wooden booth. Beside his small business, no more than two meters from the road is an old Chinese restaurant named Golden Fortune.

“I heard he’s been here for five years.” Josefina said as she hurried towards the strange looking white-haired man.

“Really? Just selling candies?”

Josefina went straight to the man’s stall. The wooded table was somewhat dilapidated; anyone who was a meter away could easily say it was able to withstand changing weathers. She was saying something to the man and then Luigi came closer to decipher her words.

She was buying a cappuccino flavor 3-in-one coffee and as Luigi was beginning to loathe the smell, the stench of urine oozing all over the place, he noticed that Josefina was conversing with the man using a pen and paper.  She could’ve bought a coffee at Starbucks located at adjacent their condo but she opted to take a stroll on the streets.

“Are you alone Sir? It was half past eleven already.” Luigi barged in. He just shook his head when Luigi thought he was going to nod. Josefina let out a half-whispered giggle which he always find sexy.

“He can’t hear you Luigi. And he can’t talk.” And they continue to laugh in silence and in the dead night.

He always knew that the quiet and contemplative nature of Josefina has something to do with her deep understanding of humanity. On the way she observe things, the way she looked at the street children dressed in bursting blackish cloth due to the smoke that accompany them as close as their shadows. Josefina would notice every detail of them as if everything she saw captures her wonder.

***

“Caramel Cocoa Cluster for Mel please”.

The barista on the counter was now standing close the plump customer and Luigi noticed that the drink was medium sized and the wisp of white cream is a stark contrast to its dark brown color. The barista’s voice was small in proportion to her tiny figure as it was easily muffled by the clanking sounds of coffee makers mixing unapologetically with joyous voices of a middle-aged woman and her amigas.

He suddenly felt tiring to drink and move. Those memories are just a fraction away from him the moment he decided to move on.

Luigi reached for his wallet on his vintage bag and found a piece of paper containing Josefina’s handwriting. It was not a letter intended for him not long before her death. It was the conversation between her and the middle-aged man. The piece of paper appeared wrinkled and worn out due to the long time it was kept inside his wallet. The blue strokes of her cursive letters are beginning to form a blotch on the surface. He is afraid he might lose the exact look of her penmanship.

Sitting at the front of the café, he decided to left because of the swarm of students ordering at the counter. He went to his car and brushed everything off. Start all over again.. He said to himself.

And for tonight, he might find hard to sleep.

Why Bags of Beans is an enemy of Dementors

In literal sense, it seems that every corner is glowing. Reading in between the vintage interiors and late victorian era vibe, Bag of Beans is a place for exquisite fine dining. The fancy white painted bird cages, reclaimed wood counters and painted mini bicycle with tuscan style dinning tables all come together to bring an enchanted ambiance. Every chair and tables are painted white suggesting calmness and purity.

In perspective, Tagaytay is brimming with mid-century cafes, coffee shops and restaurants but Bag of Beans seems to break the hemogeny by its non buzzy mood and anti-coffee shop in the mall feel.

This twin lake branch is subdivided into two parts. The lower section contains more fancy crafts and a lunch with Madhatter type of dinning table

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I  believe this spot is dedicated for mother goose and your official Grims’ Fairytale characters

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Way more romantic than the backseat of your Rover

20161101_103252I ordered tuna putanesca and it is perfect for those who are stopping for a healthy treat

Marriage of Flavors

 

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Starbucks’ Spinach Lasagna

The Gordon Ramsay in me has rekindled.

As I ran through my little gastronomic experiences, I have always known spinach as a side kick role in the language of Italian cuisines (correct me if I’m wrong). I know it’a bit late to do a review for this but I’ll do it anyway. Spinach to Pasta is like a Robin to Batman. But as I rummaged over the Starbucks’ newest lunch offering, I decided to try their spinach pasta. I’m not really a fan of spinach but this time, it steals the show by being complimenting the slightly tangy taste of tomato sauce.  This time, it is the marriage of Harley Quinn and Joker. Hehe. It has the right amount of feta cheese in it and Starbucks absolutely redefined standards in coming up with the finest quality of core food item.

Will definitely watch out for their newest item next year! 🙂

Sleepwalkers

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They wander aimlessly. Photo not mine

 

This has not something to do with mythical creatures that Filipino folklore is known at. This entity is far from the ghouls and manananggals whose rate of survival in urban setting is close to nonexistent. This is definitely not as enormous as the size of kapres, who keeps on lurking in the dark but some used to come with same habit of hitting a cigarette.

To tell the truth, these are ordinary humans comprising the entire percentage of Filipino workforce and I am one of them.

In silence, with the tiniest sound you can hear is some shuffling of paper money from driver’s seat, we all breathe in the cold and lysol smelling like air. We are on journey to our homes while some are headed towards their nocturnal whereabouts. In this case, I belong to the former. This smooth travel is not so seemless at all. Time to time you will hear blaring of horns and whistles. They break into the silence and mix with soft, dreamy whispers.

Traffic is never good at this time and not that particularly better in the morning. The hustle and bustle of the street already belong to our system. The sounds rushing jeeps and the dark, arid smoke that comes from it and the scampering feet of street children resemble an orchaestra with failed symphony.

How will I describe these creatures? Maybe I can no longer go far from droopy eyes and eyebags that needs some excavation. Half-open eyes. Head keep losing its balance. And hungry stomachs.

What more can I say? Maybe we have to simply exist. Maybe pretending to be lost and at the same time alive in the world of the sleepless. In the decade of complex commuting system. Of restless bodies and little hopes of change.