Cameras and Coffee

Camille and I have long shared the desire to explore more, always searching for new places to visit. We’ve meant to visit this place for so long now, (along with a LOT of other coffee shops nearby) and we finally did. It was actually the perfect timing when we got there. It was past 5 PM, almost to the golden hour and it wasn’t too hot to walk in Maginhawa, just the right amount of sunlight and rays hitting the pavement. Luckily, when we arrived, there were only two people inside because the cafe is actually pretty small compared to photos. It’s housed in an studio-type apartment unit which fits only about 6-8 people at a time. The coffee and ambiance was okay, not what I’d expected though; might come back but not too soon.

 

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Happy Thursdays

Finally, Decembreak! This past month was stringed up with endless exams and plates. I’ve been wanting to blog for so long but I have no new adventures yet. For the start of my official break from school, a couple of my high school friends and I went to Evia for our dear friend’s despidida (she’s leaving for the States). So happy I finally have a decent camera I can use to photograph! I’ve been wanting to learn since forever. Here are a couple of snapshots from our Happy Thursday.

 

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Coffee Break

Since I saw this cafe on Instagram, I’ve been wanting to check it out. What’s unique to this coffee shop is that they feature local artists and exhibit their works. Their ceiling has steel “grids” (don’t have a picture :( ) where they can hang their works or any additional ornaments. They have a large chalkboard and plain walls which await the next artist. This month features lettering extraordinaire Abbey Sy and Arriane Serafico, both a part of the team behind Design Her Story project.

I was in a thrill to visit this place since the exhibit changes every month/every few months, and I admire their works a lot; so I dragged my trusty friend and partner in “artsy/cultured” stuff, Camille, to accompany me.

Apologies for the blur photos, I used a rusty old model of DSLR for this (whose both auto focus and manual focus is damaged). I did my best trying to sharpen them haha

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Manila, Manila

It’s no wonder why Escolta was deemed as the “Most Beautiful City in Asia” from 1950s to the mis-1970s. It was a sight to behold – with clean streets lined with Chevy Bel-airs and VW Beetles and people looking sophisticated as they weave through the sidewalk, instead of the road. Streets were spotless, not a piece of paper on the ground; while the buildings lined the roads – polished.

But look at it now – a heaping mess of dilapidated houses and the buildings that were once pleasant to the sight are now an eyesore, with cracks lining the edges, paint fading to scorch-like marks, and stores once filled with shoppers now turned into unwanted stock rooms.

Presently, a number of concerned citizens, architects, and officials are teaming up to revive this once the-place-to-be city. There are Saturday Markets held once a month, where you can buy vintage books, clothes, and other neat things.

Last June, my friend and I went to another event, a Revive Escolta concert/bazaar. There were a few booths than expected but we were able to buy vintage vinyls and postcards. We didn’t stay for the concert and went to Divisoria instead.

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Working Girl

Having been on vacation, I did not expect that I would get “tired” of the bum life. Yes, I have enjoyed (and still enjoying) it for the most part but I am a restless person – I have to do something in my idle time (hey, sleeping and eating count). And when I do have something to do at the moment, I still feel the need to do another thing (a self-proclaimed multi-tasker). Like, right now, while I am typing away – I am watching (or half-watching/half-listening) to an episode of HIMYM.

Because of that inevitable and innate quality of mine, I looked for a non-Arki related job (because I think I can’t handle working in a firm yet). Luckily, I knew a friend of mine whose parents own a Kumon branch. The work was relatively easy and the pay fair – enough for the day’s job. The best part of it was having to be surrounded my kids!

There’s a preschool area for toddlers ages 3-6. Some are really noisy but most of them are bearable because of their cuteness and that “little, pre-puberty voice” wherein whatever they say sounds innocent and charming. I met this girl named Rhian, a comely Filipino-Korean girl. Whenever you ask her name, she always says her entire name, with a voice so cute that I couldn’t help myself asking for her name over and over again.

There’s also this boy, Aecon, (whom I think has ADHD), who puts off answering his classwork until the last minute and roams around, trying to be a ninja. When he’s sitting down, he jerks off his head in different directions and says inaudible stuff like he’s from outer spaces (I think it’s almost Klingon), disturbing his seatmates. Any attempt of hushing him to perfect stillness is known to be an utter failure, so the teachers and the checkers let him be. He usually does what he needs to do for the day, anyway, he just exceeds his allotted time. He’s not by far my favorite, but he’s the one I remember most. So I guess when I leave, I’ll (sort of) miss him and his weirdness.

I have been working for almost a month now, and how much of a rout my work has been, I still enjoy it. So far, my co-workers and I get along well, especially the two college freshmen. They constantly ask me for advice on subjects, particularly how challenging Math is (well, we all know what’s that like for me).

There are two things I learned from this experience:

First: Earning money is hard work.

Of course, I knew this from my parents and adults who rave about having a long, tiring day at work, cranky bosses or having no overtime pay. But hearing and knowing of it is far different from learning it yourself, that I tell you. But despite enduring the extensive hours behind the desk while waiting for lunch break or dismissal time (yes, just like school), it feels alright once you get used to it.

What I like about working is the strong feeling of independence you feel after a long day, and when you receive your pay at the end of it all. It is really fulfilling to have money handed to you knowing that you spent hours, sweat and effort earning it. Indeed, your own hard-earned money, no matter how small, is better than any check worth a million you didn’t work for.

Second: Do what you love and love what you do.

Those are wise words to live by, my friend. Since my work is not related to my field at all, a week in it and I felt like I wasn’t going to enjoy it. Not that I’m complaining, but if you really don’t like what you do, and you merely do it for the money, then it is just another day at the office for you. Having known that, I am thankful that my love for architecture has not diminished and is still growing in expectation and appreciation every day. Now I can say that I am sure of the course I chose and I am happy I stuck by it.