Monday, February 22, 2010

When Your Work Starts to Look Like Your Life and the Other Way Around

* A common scenario is you wake up in the morning then go to work, endure the 8 hours, go home, do what you want then sleep. It's like going to school. It's a lovable pattern, it's a workable time frame. And it's different, something that we, the Canton staff, are not doing. 

* Most of us wake up at 2 pm then go to work at 2:45. We prepare for an hour and open at 4. We endure the 9 hours then we go home the next day and do what we want when everybody else is asleep. That's just how we are.

* It got me thinking. I don't actually just endure the work, I enjoy it. Some people might say, "this is my life!" BUT sometimes I get a little confused. I'll ask myself: Is this everything I am? Will I always be known for my job? 

* Before, I didn't have a Facebook account of my own. Because I assumed that everything I was thinking and everything I am can be communicated through and associated with the cafe. Apparently I was wrong. Because (I have no definite answer for that...yet).

* Hmm...I don't think this is a common problem. When you love your work sooooo much, sometimes it doesn't merely become part of you, it becomes YOU. Is this wrong? Does anyone have a similar predicament? Kinda weird. I was blessed to find my passion in life at an early age...and these are the problems that come with it. Sometimes I'll get suspicious and ask myself, "Am I going to die young?" Morbid. Just a thought.

* Anyway, I've been talking to different people since 2 pm today. Different meetings, discussions, brain-storming, Bible study, etc. I've got a lot of input and inspiration, thanks to them. I salute you. And here I am right now talking through my fingers. So what is the moral lesson for this blog entry? I can't think of any. I'll just end this blog abruptly for a change.

* We would like to thank the Not-the-planner people for letting us display and sell their planners at the cafe. Ten copies gone in 2 days kahit Feb na! Visit their site at

Monday, February 15, 2010

The Most Famous Among the Unknown

* Last week's Public Display of Art, or PDA, was a lot of fun. It was fun organizing it, executing it, and just being a part of it. It was definitely an escape from real-world pressures. We were playing around with the concepts of innocence, youthfulness, good clean fun, and "something-normal-people-won't-do-during-Feb Fair-and/or-Valentine's Day".

* The event wasn't crafted to generate any profit. We didn't expect people to attend in the first place. It's UPLB's Feb Fair, everyone's there. It's Valentine's, and there's nothing romantic about going to a coffee shop decorated with scrapbook-worthy memorabilia. Pinwheels, for crying out loud!

* The cafe was full during Poetry Reading night. Friends, family, and guests were there to witness what came to be a very light-hearted hour of poetic bliss. Bessy opened the night with her collection of poems and haikus. Lea Marasigan of CAS followed and read her favorite poems written in Filipino. After that, I read three of my favorite poems from Il Postino. Baleng Lagos of CHE ended the night singing a song while strumming on her acoustic guitar.

(My Mom's "Starburst" quilt in the background)

* It was a great night. Everybody enjoyed their pinwheels and each other's company. We look forward to hosting more events like this in the future! 

* To Ise Ronquillo, hope you're okay there in Singapore! We will take care of Eric! Update us please!

* We celebrated Manong Retz's 23rd  birthday last Thursday. It was also Movie Night that night. Only a handful came to watch the movies, but a lot sure did enjoy the free cookies from Yummings! We're also thankful to those who stayed to watch. And also to those who stayed despite the 30 minute power outage. Ate Marisse baked a Choco-Apple birthday cake for Retz. We ate that right after taking a few pictures. We also went to Burger King for the extended birthday celebration. Thanks to Dan for the pix!

* Some welcome back greetings to our old customers, Kalegs and Luigi! We definitely missed you guys, hope you could visit again!

* We're sorry The Bookshelf Cassette gig got cancelled. Something came up. The good thing is we ended the week strong by unexpectedly having a lot of people coming over on a Saturday and on the eve of Valentine's. Thanks to our friends and small following of new and old customers, you've been keeping us afloat and inspired. We hope to have a PDA Part 2 next semester!

* As for me, another one of my dreams have come true. To have a cafe that looked like Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends for a week is a fantasy of mine. I can never thank my family and friends enough for supporting me in the things I do. Thanks especially to Jenni Sumagui and Bessy Espina for sharing with me a somehow vague passion for creating beautiful and meaningful things that are most of the time hard to appreciate, understand, and to communicate to others. I salute you guys!

* Now that this activity is over, we are entering a new stage, a new chapter in Cafe Antonio Elbi's storybook. Pray for us, our team, our staff, and all the people involved in running the business. May we not lose sight of what we were sent out to do.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Kanya-Kanyang Trippings Lang Yan!

* I think that was my first blog title in Tagalog. Well, that was momentous.

* Last night, a few friends came over to help us decorate the cafe for our Public Display of Art or PDA (thanks to Jenni Sumagui for the title and the concept). It's been awhile since we made kindergarten-level art projects so the experience was both nostalgic and liberating (liberating because most of us want to become artists but really can't be one because we believe we don't have the skills to be one. B1 B1 B1). We celebrated the workshop by having dinner at Burger King (thanks to my Mom!).

* The cafe was not exactly decorated for Valentine's Day. The art show is some kind of an expression of love not directed towards "someone" but to "something" instead. In Tagalog, matagal na namin gusto gawin yan, matagal ko na gusto mag-drawing ng mga hayop!" We just looked for an excuse to do it.

* There's actually no theme to the exhibit. We thought that a mash-up of different projects would look better, just like a shuffled playlist. You'll never see the big picture, you'll just fall in love with how things come into place. 

* I invited my Mom to display her quilts because she has this livelihood group called Poeima. It's her ministry to moms at our local church to help them support their families and supplement their income. Her two quilts on display have been an attraction to many of our customers today.

* On Tuesday (tomorrow night) we will be having some poetry reading from our friends and customers. It's like an open-mic style of poetry reading. You can read original compositions or all-time favorites of yours. You can bring your own background music while your read. Our default BGM will be Snow Patrol frontman's other band, The Reindeer Section.

* On Thursday, you can watch 2 films for free starting at 8 PM. The first one is Four Last Songs, the second one is Julie and Julia. Both films star Stanley Tucci (he looks like a way older version of Chris Daughtry). We chose those two films because they share a unique focus on love and passion for something, music and food respectively (two things I personally love). If you've already watched it, watch it again. There will be free butter cookies from Yummings.

* And on Saturday, the Bookshelf Cassette will have their second gig at the cafe. We'll cover songs by Bloc Party, Athlete, and An Horse. Hope you guys enjoy their music.

* This looks like a fun week. See you later! 

Monday, February 1, 2010

Cutting to the Chase

* Remember the "In Coat-tations" blog article? That was written about a month ago, and my, a lot of things happened after that. My "suited" soul-searching friends, Vinci and Zadl (Maangas na Saturday Crew), well, they're now Mr. Samsung Engineer, and Mr. Registered Nurse respectively.  At the start of the year, they knew that the year would and should be different and life-changing for them. And here they are now, happy as hell.We're all very proud of them. Congrats guys!

* As for me and the CAnton gang, we have our own reasons to be happy and thankful. But I wouldn't spoil the excitement by telling you guys what those reasons are. Haha! Something to look forward to this year! So just please pray for us. Thanks for believing in us these past two years, we'll be doing our best to serve you, the people of Elbi--the best place on Earth.

* Today's the start of our price increase. Plus five pesos to all food and drinks, Php 10 to Special Frothiccinos and FoMs. This was inevitable. We tried our best to keep our prices down even though our rent went up by 10% this year. The turning point, however, was the price increase from our sauce and syrup supplier. It gave us the "let's-give-up-the-75-peso-Frothiccino-image" go signal. Proceeds will go to the overall improvement of the overall improvement of the cafe.

* This month's FoM: White Strawberry Frothiccino! It's one of the toughest to make. It has vanilla ice cream, whipped cream, wafer sticks, and the works in a 20-oz glass. Very ideal to share with a friend, or a date, or a friendly date. Only Php 170.

* I've yet to come up with a Valentines Promo. My sister, Grace, and CAnton tambay, Mike, suggested many combo packages and discount promos earlier this evening. I've yet to process any of their suggestions. I'm thinking of something that wouldn't be too cheesy. Like, if you kiss Neil Rebua, you'll get the drink for free. Stuff like that. This promo thing needs a day's worth of thinking. I'll be thinking about that in my sleep.

* Next week, my friends, Jenni and Bessy, and I are going to have the best art show in the universe! It's not exactly the kind of art show you would expect. It's just an exhibit of some stuff we made in our free time that's not related at all to Valentines Day. There would be a movie night, poetry reading, and a gig by The Bookshelf Cassette. Free coffee and pinwheels will be given away. Stuff like that. Admission is free. Activities  will push through even if no one comes.

* That's it for the first week of February. Study for your exams this week and enjoy the Feb Fair next week! See y'all!