#15 of 1001 Awesome Things: Indigenous Coffee Served in Coconut Shells

September 3, 2017
I love coffee. If you have read my previous awesome things, majority were related to coffee like empty coffee shops, free Starbucks drink and convenience stores serving cheap coffee
Today, we went to UP Diliman to attend Lakbayan 2017. This is an event where the indigenous people around the country gather to fight for their rights. (working on a separate post about it)
During dinner, one of the organizers of the Ifugao group invited us to come to their tent to talk about important issues over a cup of Cordillera coffee
I was expecting to see a coffee maker, or a brewer or a presser. I was surprised that the coffee was brewed in stainless cooking vats. We took some white plastic cups in the corner but the organizer insisted that we use the coconut shells. 
It was one of the best tasting coffee I have tasted. Maybe it was just psychological because of the authentic experience. Maybe it was because I was all revved up because it was brewed by the heroes of the north. I do not know. But daaaaaamn it was goooood! 

#13 of 1001 Awesome Things: Free Starbucks Drink

August 31, 2017
Starbucks iced coffee brings me joy. There are plenty of coffee shops in the city, unfortunately, no one brews like Starbucks. Well, I have 3 favorite iced coffee in the city but they’re served in restaurants and not in coffee shops where I can bring a laptop and do work or personal stuff.
As an advocate of local entrepreneurs,  Starbucks is an exemption to the rule. But no matter how I love this corporation, I still have a way to slap it in the face because of the free drinks I get. Well, I am just poor and I cannot afford myself an expensive cold brew so I need to do this awesome but sometimes shameless hack
Starbucks usually have these cards where you can load and reload. You can load them for a minimum of 300 pesos ($6), which is good for 2 drinks. Every drink will give you free stars, and once you get a certain number of stars, you can get a free drink. So to collect the stars, you need to buy a lot of drinks for that free drink. 
If you register these cards, you can also get a free drink. So here’s my hack: Buy a new card, register it online, get a free drink. Then repeat. Do not combine the cards. Do not reload your old cards. The effort is to create a new email address and thanks to Google and Yahoo for the unlimited emails I can create. 
Sometimes, I just collect, register them all at once and treat my friends a cup of coffee. 

#10 of 1001 Awesome Things: Empty Coffee Shops

August 28, 2017
In a country where coffee is now a staple to millennials and Gen Xers, empty coffee shops, especially those inside a mall, are hard to find.
Today is a holiday and surprisingly, we found an empty coffee shop inside a crowded mall.
Here are some of my reasons why Empty Coffee shops are awesome:
  1. More quiet workspace. Who wants to work at a crowded place, right? You don’t have distractions unless the barista is hot.
  2. Faster wifi. You don’t have to share the connection bandwidth.
  3. The aroma of the coffee is all yours.

Featured Photo: Empty Coffee Shop at Il Padrino SM Pampanga, City of San Fernando, Pampanga, Philippines, August 28, 2017

#5 of 1001 Awesome Things: Convenience Stores

August 23, 2017


I had a very tiring but productive day today. Because I felt the need to reward myself, I invited my office mates to eat our stress away and to do some after work gossips over Mcdonald’s BFF Fries


After our dinner at Mcdonalds, we went to this convenience store at a nearby gas station. The place was cozy like other convenience stores at gas stations, except those you find in expressways. They serve cheap pizza and 20 peso coffee where you can drink at a very comfortable sofa. They even have a free wifi! People don’t stay at gas stations longer than  20 minutes so the human count will always be minimal. I started to think that this will be a better alternative to Starbucks.    


I have a thing with convenience stores. Maybe this was brought by accumulated fun convenience store stories in the past. 


I remembered that sole 711 franchise at North Luzon Expressway when I was a kid. My cousin Gino had an upset stomach so we went to this gas station nearby with a 711. That was my first convenience store experience. It actually felt “first world” during that era. 


I also had this phase of staying at a 711 branch near a University in Angeles City to observe people as they enter and exit the store. Like any other convenience stores, most of the people are in a hurry. I wonder where they will go after buying a bag of ice or a box of condoms or a pack of gummy bears? I usually do this fun activity while drinking a cup of cheap hazelnut coffee. 


I also had fun convenience store experiences outside the country. I remembered when I was in Japan that I waited for 10 pm to buy a bento box in 711 because it’s cheaper than the 9 pm box. In Indonesia, I bought a very cold energy drink at Indo Maret and told a person I just met that the drink was BTS (Better than Sex). We ended up talking about sex after that. During our last night in Korea, my ex-GF and I counted our last coins and almost begged for money just to buy a Samgak and an instant Ramyun for dinner at CU Mart


I have waited a lot of people in convenience stores, too. Waiting for friends, families, and lovers. Convenience stores became the most common rendezvous for Filipinos aside from a Jollibee branch. It’s cold, comfortable and clean.


We all have plenty of convenience store stories. What’s your favorite? Please share below. I want to hear from you! 

Featured Photo: Bonjour Convenience Store, Maimpis, City of San Fernando, Philippines, August 23, 2017

Why I Quit Social Media (Maybe) for Good

I have been under the weather these past few days. It’s a combination of the flu, the seasonal allergies, a mild case of muscle strain and last but not the least, the WebMD paranoia that I have cancer. This calls for a complete bed rest.

So I spent a whole night trying to be productive while on the bed, binge watching Ted Talks. I can’t sleep because of the discomfort of allergies, and these talks comfort me. I watched plenty of these very addictive talks. From comet hunting to the scientific explanation of the paranormal to how the brain works. But one talk caught my attention. Quit Social Media by Dr. Cal Newport. The title was a cliche. It was an old idea in this new world. But I clicked and watched it anyway.


I will not explain what Newport talked about nor will I post the link here. I am pretty sure that one way or another, you have planned on quitting too.


I had my fair share on quitting social media before. I quit a million times, and I kept on coming back. I have 2 reasons why.

Continue reading “Why I Quit Social Media (Maybe) for Good”