Monday, March 28, 2011

Ask Away, Manta Ray!

Let's try something new! If you have questions about school, music, your career, Winnie the Pooh, starting a business, coffee, or whatever, send us an e-mail and I will try to answer your questions from the perspective of a Sociology-graduate-who-runs-a-cafe-who-likes-donuts-and-coffee-and-is-always-hyper-then-shifts-to-emo-who-has-a-mountain-of-laundry-to-take-care-of-and-has-no-money. 

Just e-mail your questions to C'mown lez dudis!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

We are Elbs

* I don't know exactly why I didn't blog last week. I was online all week and I was on a roll. Maybe weekly blogging for 3 years have become more of a chore to me than a spontaneous outpour of thoughts, ideas, and opinions. I understand why I wouldn't last a year in a corporate office or in the academe. The routine drains me out. But because of my oxyMORONic personality, I also find solace in the safety of routine bubbles. When you're in that bubble it feels like every single variable in the world affecting your life will conspire to make your life safe and predictable. Students should be able to relate to this. Going to school is a large routine bubble. When I got out of that bubble I was in limbo. I was in "uuhh, what now?" mode. The freedom is FREEky. 

* I caught myself smiling every morning last week. It was weird, para akong may topak. I didn't know why I felt like dancing like the guy in 500 Days of Summer's dance number scene, the one with the cartoon bird. That was so funny. But based from twenty four years and 3 months of life experience and a billion NBA games watched on TV, the momentum can shift very easily. Momentum shifts can either be in favor of you resulting in GVs (good vibes) or against you resulting in BVs (bad vibes). In that case, the shift is called a "slump" or a drought. Or in colloquial terms, "badtrip." 

* As a firm believer of the Spice of Life, I believe that we should embrace these shifts in momentum or momentum shifts. Life's gonna be pretty bland without 'em, hence the use of the term "spice." Response to these shifts are also crucial. I still find it a little difficult to practice proper hassle-response strategies. To err is human, to curse is human. But we are not human, we are elves or Elbs because we live in ELBI. We are light on our feet, we do not sink in snow, our youth is immortal, and we have great hair. So let's pick up our bows and arrows and pierce the hearts of every BV there is.

* I wanna give major thanks to all our customers last week. The week was epic! Thanks to Sir Chico and Gelo for the One Broad Night last Friday. We're glad that we're able to share our cafe to all the DevCom students that night. Mad props to the Cafe Antonio Sessions committee and the Cafe Antonio Merchandise committee for organizing the Incubus Tribute Noight last night featuring LIME, Yield Avenue, and Codename Adobo. Thanks to all the Sessionistas who were present to support our indie music community. Long live Indie Band News and Audio Heavy Productions. We wish you more success!

* Our 3rd year anniversary on April 14 is fast approaching! After all the trials and tribulations, we thank God that we're still alive and inspired to do our work at the cafe. It's a lot of fun but it's not easy. Pray for us that God may continue nourishing our hearts, free Quaker Oats oatmeal is not enough to keep our hearts healthy! We're grateful for all your support, people. Raise the roof!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Have a Break, Have a Life Offline

* Over the past two weeks, ever since we had an Internet connection at Cafe Antonio Coffee Corporation's secret lair, a lot of things have opened up for us. You see, the World Wide Web and I have a beautiful on-going 16-year relationship. Laguna Internet. Eudora Mail. Netscape Communicator. Geocities. Shareware games. MIDI tracks. Remember those? We've been through a lot of "eureka moments" and "sh*t happens" over the years and that just inspires us to come up with something new every time. Which leads us to the next paragraph of this blog.

* The cafe has shown a lot of growth over the past 2 years and 11 months. From a stressed-out crew of 3 people to a hyper-dedicated staff of 8 or 10 baristas (depending on who's there) we've agreed to split into three committees and focus on different projects.

1) Cafe Committee - Led by our Operations Manager, Manong Retz, the Cafe Com is in-charge of daily operations at the cafe. From food and beverage development to making sure that the customers are having a good time...toime.

2) Merchandise Committee - Managed by our Ate Marisse, the Merch Com produces official Cafe Antonio Coffee Corp. collectibles and souvenirs for both our Los Banos and Dumaguete market. We also have an online shop (http://cafeantoniostore.multiply) where you can order t-shirts, tumblers, mugs, and CDs from local indie artists. I'll see you there, I'm the shopkeeper!

3) Sessions Committee - Cafe Antonio Sessions have already become a big thing and we finally decided to formalize everything so we can have a solid Los Banos indie music community with epic gigs. Starting June, we will be looking for new artists to join our roster. Our original music can also be heard online at our Soundcloud account (

* So what does the Internet have to do wth this? Well, everything, actually. Without it I can never be able to write and share this blog. Without it we can never be able to share our music or tell you guys about new stuff at the cafe. So thank you everyone for continually reading and supporting this blog and our other websites.

* Like money, the Web is a good thing when used wisely. How? We still won't put WiFi at the cafe! Haha!

CAnton sa ELBI (Official Blog) -
Official Website -
Official YouTube Channel -
Twitter -
Cafe Antonio Merchandise (Online Shop) -
Cafe Antonio Sessions Webzine -

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Cafe Antonio Sessions: Support the Los Banos Indie Music Scene!

* After seventeen (17) rockin' gigs and countless staff meetings, I think it's about time that we properly introduce Cafe Antonio LB's Cafe Antonio Sessions to the blog-reading public.

Café Antonio Sessions
Los Banos Indie Music Community
Since 2010

1)    Café Antonio Sessions is a community of musicians and music production outfit created to support and showcase Los Banos-based indie artists inside and outside of UPLB.  
2)    Cafe Antonio Sessions is a series of gigs held twice a month conceptualized for the purpose of enabling bands with similar musical genres and/or musical tastes to play together in a single venue, specifically in Café Antonio

Our Community’s Preferred Genres:
Indie rock, indie pop, alternative rock, soft rock, acoustic, folk, pop punk, emo, singer-songwriter, piano rock, experimental, jazz, soul, piano pop, electronica, experimental, funk, and any other possible combination of those genres.  

          Café Antonio Sessions was the brainchild of friends Eric Soliven, Jabez Flores, and Jegar delos Reyes. Taking inspiration from AOL Sessions, Levi’s Pioneer Sessions, Paste Presents, VH1 Storytellers, MTV Unplugged, and acoustic nights at the now defunct Kofiholics Anonymous, the three friends decided to start their own music scene at Café Antonio where Jabez and Jegar are employees and Eric is a frequent customer.

Café Antonio Sessions held its first gig at Café Antonio, Los Banos in July 3, 2010 featuring Eric Soliven and Lenard Gabriel of indie rock band, LIME, and Jabez Flores and Gelo Arboleda of acoustic punk band, Juniper Face the Corner. After three intimate acoustic gigs, Calamba/Los Banos-based OPM rock band, Yield Avenue, joined in the group. Soon afterward, UPLB-based artists such as singer-songwriter, Gabes Torres, and dance rock quintet, Segatron became our first student recruits forming the core of our roster of artists.

Cafe Antonio Sessions has two kinds of gigs: the FEATURE GIG, where we highlight either one of our own artists or a newly recruited artist; or all artists in our roster performing original compositions; and the TRIBUTE NIGHT, where we showcase the music of influential musicians, an era of music, or a specific genre of music.

Cafe Antonio Sessions sets itself apart from other gigs by challenging artists in our roster to participate in Tribute Nights where they learn to play music genres outside of their comfort zones.

Cafe Antonio Sessions also aims to make each performance a conceptual gig wherein specific set designs, posters, and promotions are required to differentiate one gig from the other. 


1)    Artists and bands should approach any Café Antonio Sessions staff member and express their interest to join. Or it may happen the other way around. Café Antonio Sessions staff members will approach potential artists and bands after watching them perform in a gig and ask them to join the group.

2)    Interested artists and bands must submit either an MP3 or video of their original music through Facebook or any social networking site. 

3)    Bands should have at least one member from the UPLB campus. He/she can either be a student, an employee, alumni, or a dropout. 

4)    Interested and potential artists and bands should watch at least ONE Café Antonio Sessions gig before being allowed to perform. A minimum of two band members should watch the gig and talk to the Café Antonio Sessions staff. 


1)    Café Antonio Sessions allows all its artists in the roster to use all the equipment and instruments for free. There will be a Membership/Maintenance fee of Php 100 a month from each artist or band to help support and fund our equipment upkeep and our meals, merchandise, and transportation. 

2)    All artists and bands are encouraged, not required, to help in the setup of the stage and in the dismantling and handling of the set design, equipment, and instruments.  

3)    All artists and bands are encouraged, not required, to watch Sessions gigs of their fellow artists and bands at Café Antonio.  


1) A free regular venue to play in 

2) Free meals 

3) Gig photos and videos that are immediately uploaded to YouTube, Facebook, and other social networking sites

4) Assistance in CD/album distribution

5) Free promotion (through posters, flyers, videos)

6) Gig posters

* all this with no written contract or commitment


Jabez Flores - Head Event Coordinator
Francis “Khitz” Contemplacion - Assistant Event Coordinator
Ian Soliven - Logistics Head/Treasurer
Eric Soliven - External Relations
Gelo Arboleda - Campus Coordinator
Jeg delos Reyes & Julius Eusebio - Graphic Artists
Zadl Suministrado& Daniel Richard Sta. Romana - Official Photographers

Yield Avenue
Gabes Torres
Juniper Face the Corner

Sweet Symphony
Sitting on a Cornflake
Next Gig 
Cafe Antonio Sessions XVIII: Incubus Tribute Noight, 8 PM, Saturday, March 26 featuring LIME, Yield Avenue, and Codename Adobo

For inquiries contact 09173406945.

Friday, March 4, 2011

A Rave-view, Yeah!

* Here's a cafe review written by our customer and friend, Millie Morales. Some of you may have read it already but I'll just post it here on our official blog to give it formal recognition. Thanks a lot Millie, this review will definitely inspire us to up the ante!

Rave Against the Machine – Café Antonio’s still kickin’ it, indie style in their new location
What: Independent set-up, young, artful with a talented line-up of baristas.

Where: Los Banos, the university town.

Price: Extremely reasonable (student reasonable – which is very reasonable)

Firmly settled in its new LB square location, Café Antonio has come out swinging with all the sass and independent spirit we’ve come to love – but with a brand new, expanded menu to boot. Part performance space, part living room, part café; Antonio’s has always stood as the antithesis to the vomit-inducing, status seeking, manufactured corporate machine of Starbucks. Only now, with a cracking line-up of cultural events and a swath of new snacky little things, Café Antonio’s is starting to prove that the traditional combination of tasty treats, excellent customer service and entrepreneurial spirit can still trump the bloated, consumerist herd of cafés and restaurants dumped (and for some reason, ‘loved’) across Metro Manila.

Despite all the rock bands and music gigs blasting out of the café at night, the first thing one notices when one steps inside is how quaint and homey the café feels. Bathed in a citrus yellow and lined with wood, the combination of shelves replete with books on art, history and philosophy, a smattering of board games and the dark blue couch make it feel like one has stepped into one’s postgrad, bass-playing, cum-artist uni friend’s living room. The eclectic blend of acid jazz and indie rock pumping completes the experience.

Start by making a dash for the couch and grab the chess set, lest you sit at one of the tables where all the students jumble together, happily knocking elbows over coffee and pasta.

You’d be wise to start with a drink. The coffee is a real standout in an area (hell, let’s face it - a nation) renowned for bad coffee. Owner and barista, Jabez Flores and his barista team are a highly talented bunch, able to master a good Italian cup of coffee and create those indulgent dessert-like drinks that are more fun than coffee bean, so popular these days. The line-up runs the gamut from a well-polished macchiato and respectable cappuccino to the iced variety, coffee jellies, affogatos, blended drinks and said decadent desserts in a mug.

All the usual dessert treats are here – hazelnut, vanilla lattes and a rainbow of syrups to choose from. The team will do anything you ask – double shot, triple shot, jelly in that? You bet. Peppermint in your mocha? They’ve got you covered. But if you’re feeling truly indulgent, grab one of their original creations. The super sweet black forest frajelli, rocky road frothiccino and double shot Choco-Peppermint affogato are outrageous enough to let me toss aside that cup of chai and get down and dirty with some chocolate. Just don’t drink all three in one sitting. These drinks are so crazy that it’s obvious the baristas apply the same experimental and creative approach mixologists apply to cocktails.

If the coffee jellies, affogato and syrups weren’t enough to fill your sugar intake then scoff down a blueberries and cream waffle, fresh off the griddle from a home-made batter mix. Cakes and cookies abound from Yummings and a killer bigingkinitan is on the menu too.

No doubt, though, you’re going to be after the eats. The original menu had a modest selection of sandwiches and pastas, that has now flowered and matured into a thoughtful selection of focaccis, paninis and pastas that can easily make a meal.

Ditch the regular sandwiches and have the crisp and tangy lemon chicken panini, or go for the basil, tomato and mozzarella focaccia. The bread is to die for. The pasta dishes are worth a crack too. The penne Bolognese is generous, with the true home-made Italian taste of tomatoes, sans all the brown sugar and sweet drivel that passes for Italian food elsewhere. But our favourite is the pasta Antonio, served in a rich vegetarian sauce evoking ratatouille and arrabbiata in one spoonful – it truly hits the mark.

It’s not just the coffee machine and the kitchen swinging with both fists either. On the floor is Jabez with the entire crew all hands on deck, so no matter which way you turn, you’re pretty much surrounded by uncut, A-grade talent in a laid back, student-like package. The staff is incredibly affable, a couple of visits and you’ll feel like part of the family. If I’m in Los Banos, Café Antonio is my living room. I always wait, my fork poised and glass raised in anticipation for whatever the region’s brightest young barista talents are ready to throw at me.

What’s it got: Everything you need for a good day/night out at a café. Including the live music.

What’s Missing: Red wine and some sort of brunch deal with poached eggs, béarnaise sauce, sliced avocado and focaccia. Is that asking too much? Yes, it is – but if it did the whole wine and brunch thing, this place would be perfect – and exactly what this country is missing. Oh – and when can we Irish up our coffee?

Some pictures are from Cafe Antonio LB's website. I do not own some of them. If you want to know more about Cafe Antonio, visit their sites