Monday, December 28, 2009

Cafe Antonio ELBI's Best of 2009

I thought it would be fun to list down the best (and the worst) moments that we had this year. Thanks to Time Magazine for the inspiration.


1.ABS-CBN, Bandila Shooting with Sherwin Felicidario (November)
- Even though we didn't get the chance to see ourselves and the cafe on the tube, we all had a wonderful time while Sherwin of CDC was being interviewed for the "Boto Mo I-Patrol Mo" segment. I picked this as the best moment because it all got us hyped even though the segment wasn't about the cafe. Talk about hype-hangover! The TV crew even filmed us for a few "filler" scenes. Well that was a 2009 moment we would certainly remember!

2. First Year Anniversary 15K Gross Sales (April)
- This was the first time we opened at lunchtime and we had two shifts for the day. The crowd was amazing and we were all overwhelmed and thankful for how our customers supported us on the celebration of our first year.

3. Code Red Magazine Review (April)
- I got a text message from my friend, Zadl Suministrado, telling me that his friend read about the cafe in a magazine. The article was written by Myke Celis, and he did a very good review of our cafe. What's amazing is we don't even know him. Thank you sir!

4. Addition of Barista, Ramhil Malabanan (March)
- Kuya Ramhil is certainly a blessing to our crew. A hard-worker, this guy has improved a lot since we first started training. He was part of my first batch of baristas that I formally trained.

5. World Food Expo (August)
- I went there with my baristas, Neil Rebua and Kuya Ramhil, and our friend Al Labadan II. We came to the event to observe other baristas at work and to watch the Barista Competition. That was our crew's first exposure in a food industry-related event.

6. Facebook Boom! (June-July)
- We only had 7 friends on Facebook before. The in-thing back then was Multiply. Thanks to Facebook for the strong network of friends and fans that we made along the way!

7. Rural Walwal (December)
- Thanks to this event, we reconnected with our fellow alumni. The cafe made a good rallying point for all the Rural people. We're glad that we could band together and give our retiring teachers the recognition they deserve!

8. Go Negosyo: Sigaw ng Kabataan Youth Convention/Blog Entry Printed on Major Newspapers
- This was a victory for this blogsite. It was the first cafe blog entry to be ever printed on a newspaper (Joey Concepcion's column on the Philippine Star). A line from the blog was even used by Go Negosyo in their ads in the Philippine Star and the Philippine Daily Inquirer. An accomplishment indeed!

9. Young Entrepreneurs' Convention at UP Diliman (UP Circle of Entrepreneurs)
- I was invited by my friend, Mark Race, to speak at this event. Deo Cajano, Dan Sta. Romana, and my Pop came along and watched as I spoke to a very young audience about the joys and challenges of being a young entrepreneur.

10. Cafe Staff Zambales Road Trip
- Pure fun. We all had a great time as we drove along the city of Olangapo not knowing what to do. But we did spend the afternoon at the beach. Thanks to Jeg's supreme knowledge of the place.

* Jabez's Singapore Barista Training Part 2 (March)
* Jabez's Dumaguete Meeting at the Main Branch (October)
* SLEX & Starbucks adventures with crew and friends
* The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus Mall Tour with crew and friends (March)


1. The Orange Multicab (a real blessing indeed!)
2. Paper Cups from Primatech Paper Solutions
3. Frappe Glasses from Cafe Antonio, Dumaguete
4. Ozaki Woofer of Woofer Speakers (JBL Speakers also)
5. Steaming Thermometer from Starbucks

Deceased: Bodum 12oz French Press (you did well, my friend)

1. Leaking Ceiling (January)
2. Multicab Accident at Tayuman (July)
3. Typhoons Ondoy (September) and Santi (October)

Best Drink of the Year - WHITE MOCHA FROTHICCINO
Best Non Coffee-Based Drink of the Year - BLUE CRUSH
Best FoM of the Year - S'MORES FROTHICCINO

Most Played Song of the Year - Trouble is a Friend by Lenka (when iPod is shuffled)

That's it! Hope you enjoyed our Best of 2009 list. You all have been a part of this! Let's make a better one next year! Happy New Year and God Bless You All!

Monday, December 21, 2009

See You Next Decade!

We had a great 2009, see you on January 4, 2010! We will be closed on January 9 (Saturday) for the Ne-yo concert.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

We Owe Our Mentors A Million

For the past few days, my friends and I have been busy promoting a fund-raising activity for our alma mater, the UP Rural High School.

Yesterday, we went to Rural to shoot videos of our teachers to help promote the event. We thought it would simply be a "shoot-and-run" thing but we were held back by the things we found out as we sat down and talked with our few remaining teachers who stayed at Rural.

Our beloved teachers are retiring. And one of them is sick and badly needs help. It comes to a point where one feels compelled to do something special for these people who (we really have to admit) have built and honed us in our four years of transitioning from our days as little kids in elementary to our bad-ass ways in college.

We have given so much attention to our batch and to our school, and usually forget the teachers who really are the foundation of the school. They haven't been given enough kudos, we have to admit. Usually, we really feel good about ourselves, be proud of our school, and make fun of our teachers. But who are we without these people? They're the ones who have pushed us, pressured us, agitated us, inspired us, and challenged us to be the best students that we can be.

While we were talking with Ma'am Sofia Palacpac, I saw her carrying a book about writing and I don't know why that moment struck me so much. I thought, "all those years...they spent their lives teaching bratty kids like us...all those years...ang tiyaga talaga." I actually felt bad about myself. It reminded me of a situation when parents invested so much time and money for their children's education and when the kids have learned so much they become mayabang, independent, and mostly forgetting about what their parents did for them. Well, parents are somehow just like our teachers because they have spent their lives teaching us. As for teachers, they spend their lives teaching different kids.

I hugged my teachers after shooting the videos, it was the least I could do at that moment. I haven't got the chance to do that when I was in high school. But now, I know we could do more.
Let's honor our teachers on December 19, especially those who are retiring, Ma'am Dimaandal, Ma'am Palacpac, and Ma'am Uri.

After all, having taught Ruralites for most of their lives is truly a heroic feat.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Blog Celebrates 10,000 Views

Teachers' Day Update


* Jomar just finished his Teachers' Day duty just a few minutes ago. He was wrapping things up and waiting his last table before I went to Koinonia to blog. Well, he had a decent 2 hours, not as spectacular as last year, but still good.


* This year's Teachers' Day superstar was Mahalia Serrano aka Majals. She was scheduled for this Friday and not last Friday. But she told me she already told her students to come. That mistake turned out to be a good thing for us since that day gave us 10,000 bucks gross sales. That was just awesome. I was tired as hell! But the opportunity to serve and make drinks for 95 paying customers is simply unbeatable. We would like to thank everybody who came last week.


Blog Celebrates 10,000 Views


* Last week, our blog site reached 10,000 page views. So 10K was our lucky number last week. I couldn't believe that people actually read our blog. Thanks to all our readers. I hope you guys get something out of our blog. If you're far away, we're always here to update you about what's going on in the cafe and in our beloved town of ELBI.


Promo Cards


* We have two new promo cards. First, we have our Loyalty Card. Last year we also had a similar promo. But that one gave you a Loyalty Mug which some of you are still using. This time you get a uniquely-shaped card (the shape of a Frothiccino, which is a hassle to cut out) that will give you a free 16 ounce tumbler and one espresso-based drink if you complete 20 signatures. The promo's until February 2010, so you'll have lots of time to complete it.


* The second card is the Maximum Tambay Card. Now this card is for our hardcore customers. I recommend that mega-barkadas and orgs would use this. For every group order of 1000 pesos you get 1 signature. You need 20 signatures to get 100 pesos off on every group order worth 500 pesos after completing the card. It's okay, you have a year to complete it and use it. The card's valid until December 2010.


* You can avail of these cards at the counter.


Rural Walwal


* Calling all Ruralites (lahat ng batches)! We will be having an after-party on December 19 (8 PM, Saturday) at Java Avenue. The event is called Rural Walwal: An Exclusive UPRHS Alumni Mega Party. Tickets are available starting tomorrow (Dec. 8) at Cafe Antonio. Tickets are sold for only 250 pesos each (inclusive of raffle ticket, food & drinks, and entrance fee) this week. Next week, tickets will be available for 300 pesos each. So better buy a ticket as early as possible. See you all there! Please contact Deo Cajano for more details: 0916-5758034 or visit