Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Political Sociology Woodstock 2010

* I've been extremely lethargic these past 2 days. My head is as heavy as a raincloud, my lips are as flaky as cornflakes, and my mood has been bordering on contemplative to sleepy-dreamy hallucination. Then I realized that I haven't eaten rice since Monday. I only had baked mac on Monday and a ham and cheese sandwich yesterday.  Talk about poor diet. The 4 sachets of Enervon HP I've drank the past two days barely kept me afloat.

* Bad eating habits aside, I also had my share of stress-inducing, Prison Break-level, skinny jeans-tight series of predicaments worthy of future blog entries and press releases.

* Ma'am Lea Marasigan, our friend and loyal customer, had this amazing idea of conducting her students' paper presentations at the cafe. If you've noticed we've closed the cafe to the public these past 2 days. But some of you have managed to sneak in orders. That's cool. Hakuna Matata. 

* The activity was scheduled to start at 3:30 pm and end at 9:30 pm. But because of heightened excitement and passionate deliveries, the activity was extended until 11:30 pm.

* I was a panelist for the two-day activity. At first I thought it would be an easy task. I'll just listen and nod and then ask some questions and so on. Oh yes, I needed to understand and comprehend the papers too to give a good critique. That part was hard. I haven't used the sociology side of my brain for a very long time!

* It was a sight to be seen.The students were nervous and shaking, and the atmosphere at the cafe was oozing with intellectual stuff that will really move you and give you a massive migraine!

* I was really impressed with the students' papers. Their topics were very well thought of. Ma'am Lea, you have taught them well indeed! 

* I was happy at how the whole activity turned out because of the following things:

- I'm a BA Sociology graduate, and the least I can do to contribute to my beloved discipline is to provide a venue for activities such as this. It gives the cafe an intellectual climate that is soooo UPLB.

- The students were able to present their papers in an alternative venue. A venue where it can be fun and exciting to present their research. Imagine how boring it would have been if they did that in the classroom!

- The idea of having coffee at the center of intellectual discourse is golden. Thank you Ma'am Lea for putting that idea into practice.

- There were a lot of first time visitors. The activity was a great way to introduce them to Cafe Antonio.

- And aside from providing the cafe with exceptional Monday and Tuesday sales, the paper presentations contributed to the dynamic and student-oriented image of the cafe.

* In our closing remarks, I told the students, where else can we experience a 2-day Sociology Paper Presentation marathon, right?! It was like a Woodstock of Sociological research!

*Although we were all exhausted, everybody had a meaningful experience. Even the CAnton crew learned a lot from the paper presentations. 

* Let's do this again next semester! 

Monday, March 15, 2010

A Culture Known but Defined by No One

* I was very late for my SOC 130: Social Psychology class. I was a good student and I didn't miss a a single class that semester (2004?). I had no choice, I didn't take a bath and I didn't have time to change. All I did was wear shorts over my boxers and I came to my class on time in my "pantulog" complete with uncombed hair and all. I love UPLB so much. You can come to class in "haggard-puyatness" form and not get laughed at nor discriminated. 

* I always viewed my UPLB college life as one big summer camp. Classes are just like workshops, dorms and apartments are like cabins or cottages, and your classmates are your camping buddies. People would come to class in basketball shorts, jerseys, carrying nothing, eating in silog stands, always looking for the cheapest places to eat, cramming until the wee hours of the morning, walking around campus in the evening, etc. Very poetic. This was UP ELBI, very unique in many ways. "Matatalino naman tayo e", we would say, justifying an attitude, a lifestyle, a culture that's very academic yet, ironically, very laid back.

* We're fans of the ELBI AIN'T MNL project on Facebook. And personally, I think that idea was very cool. The landscape of Los Banos has definitely changed and along with the recent developments, certain attitudes are slowly being altered. 

* Someone on their Facebook fan page commented that ELBI surely ain't Manila, but ELBI also isn't static. That's a very good point. Let's be careful here, we wouldn't want to turn into these "oldies" telling the younger UPLB students, "during our time, wala pang ganyan, ganyan, at ganyan, etc." Because surely, those who are older than us are also telling us the same things! The complexion of Los Banos has definitely changed through the decades! But we have this constant and lingering fear that development might change or threaten our culture. A culture that was crafted by the environment and the people in it.

* In my opinion, it's not completely wrong for ELBI to develop like what is happening right now. What's happening right now is kinda like an economic boom as a result of the increase of consumers, especially the increase of those kids with dough. What is important right now is that we preserve the culture that we believe we have. Because it is us, the older people, who will be the keepers of the culture. We should be the ones showing new residents and students what ELBI is all about. 

* Try remembering what you love most about ELBI and start from there. On our part, memorable moments were made in Kofiholics Anonymous (a now defunct coffee shop where popular canteen, Sulyaw, now stands). It closed in 2005 and a lot of people missed it. I even made a paper about it before it closed. We loved KA and we want to re-create our good experiences through our cafe (although KA can never ever be replicated or copied). 

* The point is, we loved the coffee shop, and this is our way of preserving what we used to love about ELBI. Because this is what ELBI is all about, a collection of experiences made by the people who love the place and the people in it. We hope we'll continue making those experiences real.

* ELBI AIN'T MNL people, thanks for waking us up!

Monday, March 8, 2010

A Pre-Anniversary Blog Contest Promo Whatever


* We would like to say thank you to Padeys Cajano for organizing a very successful CAnton Chronicles last Thursday night! The place was packed, we even had to open the door so people outside can hear the performances! Mucho thanks also to Mam Lallie for writing the monodramas for the actors, Chok, Foxy, Oscar, Mam Dee, and, again, Padeys. All of you were amazing! We hope we could do this again next sem. Sir Rufo, thanks for the impromptu! That was great!

* To Zadl and Dan, our CAnton Web Team, thanks for doing a great job promoting and covering the event, taking pictures and shooting videos, uploading web content, etc. That was a lot of help! We have more projects to come! 

* Sherwin Felicidario of CDC celebrated his birthday last Tuesday at the cafe. Once again, thanks Aldo, Candy, and the rest of the gang for choosing CAnton as your bertdeyan. Aldo, ikaw na sunod!



* On April 14, we will be celebrating our 2nd year anniversary!!! Yeah! We're planning special things for this momentous occasion. Dan and I thought of this pre-anniv contest a few hours ago...

* Every now and then, I scour the net for blogs talking about Cafe Antonio. Customers and friends shared amazing experiences, and positive reviews. And it's a good feeling for us to know that people are having a good time at our cafe. With that we would like to turn this into a contest.

We will give 2000 pesos to the person who will write the best blog entry about the cafe on April 14! Sounds good? Here are the mechanics:

- all blog articles written this year (2010) are automatic entries

- blog articles must be published in any blog site or social networking site (especially Facebook or Multiply)

- you can self-promote your blog article in any way you like, just make sure we'll be able to Google it

- blog article may be written in English or Tagalog

- the following keywords must be used: cafe antonio, los banos, elbi, best blog entry

- only Cafe Antonio - Los Banos customers can join (you must have visited the cafe at least once)

- TOPIC: Anything about Cafe Antonio ELBI, that's the freedom you'll get

- criteria: 98% sincerity, 2% grammar = 100% panalo

GRAND PRIZE: Php 2000 cash; Blog article will be published in Cafe Antoni ELBI's Annual Scrapbook (Compilation of Blog Entries from Day 1 to Today)

2ND PRIZE: Cafe Antonio Orange Tall Tumbler

3RD PRIZE: Flavor of the Month

Okay diba?!?!?! We're still working on the whole idea and depth of this contest, but at least now you know! C'MON START BLOGGING AWAY!!! YEY!!!

* I've sprinkled this blog with a liberal amount of exclamation points, thanks to Zadl for inspiring me to shout everyday...!

Monday, March 1, 2010

A Self-Proclaimed Alternative Activities 37 Square Meter Space Place

* I'm holding this tub of Chocolate Truffles ice cream that Zadl bought us last night, it's very inspirational. Thank you sir! BANG! (Big Bang Theory theme song hangover)

* I'm blogging at home tonight, not at my usual spot at Koinonia. I had to make this poster for Thursday night and I needed a quiet place to think. And my room is the most conducive place for such thinking activities. I already posted it on Facebook and Multiply. Then I saw the poster and the date read: March 11. That's wrong, it's supposed to be March 4. I deleted the wrong one and replaced it immediately. Talk about hassle, sayang load ng Globe Tattoo ko.

* In the spirit of last month's PDA (Public Display of Art) activities, our friend, Padeys, came up with this idea of a monodrama where he and his friends (the ELBI PIE cast) individually portray several characters in one set. Sounds interesting. He even read us a line from the script. I promise you, it's hilarious! Thanks to Mam Lallie for penning the script and the other participating actors for having the time to involve themselves in something as "indie" as this. You'll get free iced tea. Regular or Blended.

* So people, please come this Thursday night at 7 pm! Admission is free, all you have to do is order food and drinks. That could be a cookie and a 20 ounce glass of regular iced tea, a 45 peso value meal. Invite your friends. This is a CAnton Elbi first!

* How time flies. It's already March 1, happy birthday Mako Nadal!

* Zadl and I tabulated the survey results last night.  We were happy with the results (79 out of 80 respondents answered "Yes" when asked if they are satisfied with their CAnton experience, no one answered "No", he/she just didn't answer the question, baka nahiya) and your suggestions are the best! We will definitely work something out. The "fireworks" suggestion was golden. Zadl said, "Paputok tayo ng Roman Candle sa kalsada, haha!"

* Thanks for the ideas guys! We'll conduct more surveys, so we'll know what you guys want. Thanks to everyone who donated 1 peso or more for the expansion of the cafe! Malayo mararating nun!

* Well that's it for now. Continue to pray for us, the CAnton crew. We're gonna do something big this year. We're turning 2 years old next month, who knows what will happen, right?

* Ace those exams. Drink our FoM, the Mochaccino Diablo. It's chocolaty-icy-spicy, unlike any drink you've tasted. Get a kick out of it!