My wife and I got fully vaccinated recently and we’ve been visiting the place we frequented pre-pandemic. We barely went out for almost two years to lessen the risk of catching the virus. Judging from me being hospitalized for having Covid 19, it was necessary for us to do that for survival.
Now, staying at home for that long of a time was possible because we were fortunate to have the opportunity to work from home. It also helped that grocery apps became stable and reliable. Birthdays and anniversaries had to be celebrated at home, and no visits to or from friends and family. And of course, Coffee had to be made at home. So, although we have not been to as many shops as we want, we have still tried to incorporate visits to coffee shops during these short weekend trips.
To be perfectly honest with you all, I have not been to the Harlan + Holden Because Coffee shop in BGC before. It was amusing for it to be the first ships I got to visit after recovering from Covid. I phrased it like that because I did go to a small, local shop in Cainta before contracting the virus (and I’ve checked, it was not possible I could have caught it from there, why am I explaining this?). I said it’s amusing because it hit me then that I may have actually not have tried such a popular coffee shop if something had happened to me then. It was also amusing that even though I had been is used to cashless payments during lockdown but I still managed to look like an idiot trying to figure out how to order and pay here.
It was also amusing how many people just really wanted to take pictures inside the shop particularly under the “Because Coffee” sign – I mean it, there was a small line just to get a picture in that bench under that sign. Lastly, I found it amusing that no one even bothered to open the lid of their coffee cups to check out the latte art their barista made for their order. It’s not essential for you to drink this cup of coffee and I know that latte art does not mean a good drink, but it was a nice touch from them considering how they know it will barely be noticed by their patrons.
There was also a stretch there when we went out and did not get any coffee at all, that was a thing and I am sorry for those who were (and still) disappointed with me. Fat Seed in UP Town Center was already closed when we finished shopping in the one day only (at least it was marketed that way) 50% off Nike Park in-store sale. I was also confused by the seating at The Curator on a Friday evening, I was unsure if we could walk-in to Commune, and we had to rush to catch the grocery in Feliz. Bottomline, all that happened because I did not plan those trips thinking it was still okay to wing it.
When we went to SM Aura, I had recently seen a post tagged with #shareyourkape about EST Bakery and that I planned appropriately – but we still had to look for it. It was some nice Americano (made with good espresso) paired with good food, though it was a bit on the expensive side. Something that really surprised me during that trip though was how easy we were able to get a Grab from Aura to Cainta right when the mall closed. After a week, we were back in the BGC area and got to try Rogue Doughnuts. There were exactly two donuts left (donut – doughnut, it’s the same), a couple of Ube Cheese ones which I like to think is 2020 in a doughnut. We also got a hot Pili Nut Latte and a Sagada Coffee Kombucha. The latter, I just found weird. I have completely forgot what Sagada coffee should taste like so that did not really matter, but I also think Kombuchas are just not my thing. The doughnuts were big but, I’ll just put it this way – we need to try Rogue Doughnuts again. Again, those were the last two donuts.
And now we get to the latest trip to Shang, I mall you could say I grew up in. I went to school around the area and I literally saw Shangri-La Plaza (what is it really called now?) being finished. I’m old, and so is this mall. My favorite feature to it though, has always been it’s Atrium and the two escalators that spanned two floors each. I still feel something riding the one from the 6th to 4th floor and you can just see all the way down to the ground floor. The most recent shop I have been to was the Tobys Estate at the bottom of the lower of these two escalators overlooking what used to be the Tokyo-Tokyo we were so hyped up on when it first opened when I was still in school (or at least I think it was there, along with a Hello Kitty store?). I watched Blacklist International’s match vs EVOS Singapore there (remember, I play Mobile Legends casually?), while also getting coffee and a snack. I was in Shang pretty early that day, I joined one of me teams for Lunch, so two coffees were not just so I would not feel guilty sitting there for hours but actually essential. It was always full, kind of surprising.
I’ve said it before, but I’m just grateful I still got a chance to try these shops again (or for the first time) even after getting Covid 19. We were among the lucky ones so we are not at all taking this virus lightly even after getting vaccinated. It’s still essential to follow safety protocols and wear masks. The vaccine does not give us full immunity, but it at least helps prevent serious complications. Also, some have chosen not to get vaccinated (though I just don’t get why) and you have no idea who is who when in a crowd. For everyone’s sake, don’t forget it’s still a pandemic even though more and more of us have started to learn to live with the virus.
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