Write Post

Featured Image
Memorable Events

I have always been a fan of Japanese food, and like visiting Japan. So when a friend told me about Manila Japanese School's event, I jumped at the chance to taste  Japanese culture, not just in their food, but how they celebrate a traditional festival. It was also very convenient for us, as the school is located not far from our condo. It was like visiting a neighbourhood event.

I was informed by my Japanese friend that Bon Odori Festival is a festival to honor dead ancestors. This is similar to many cultures. "Odori" refers to folk dances, and "Bon" is a contraction of "Obon", a buddhist festival in which people remember departed friends and loved ones.  This was the 19th Bon Odori Festival held in Manila. Like previous years, a platform (yagura) was set up in the middle of the school yard to house the taiko drum, and red lanterns that symbolize the souls of the ancestors were hung around the platform. You can see the set up in the video.

Admission was free, and every one was welcomed. Visitors were required to sign in and had their bags inspected. There were games stalls and stalls selling food and other items. Each game cost P50 and food items were sold at reasonable prices. For example, a stick of beef barbecue cost P130.

At the foot of the platform, space was marked by cones, and everyone seemed to know that the cones set the boundary on the ground beyond which no one was allowed to sit down or put their stuff. It was to reserve the space for the dancing that was part of the festival.

According to a source, "the guiding atmosphere of Bon Odori is to set aside the ego and dance freely as though no-one is watching." I guess outsiders were too shy to participate in the dance, as the dancing we saw was very orderly and done by people wearing some sort of costume.

Nonetheless, outside the reserved area, people were free to put down their mats as if they were on a beach. Tables were provided for visitors to consume the food purchased from the stalls, but a lot of people seemed to prefer to sit on the mats that they brought from home. It was a very relaxing occasion. People drank beer and ate Japanese food items bought from the stalls, while kids ran around, playing in the bouncy castles for small kids, or trying their hands in catching goldfish  with paper scoops, or other traditional Japanese festival games.

There were about twenty food stalls at the festival. We happily downed barbecued pork and beef and sushi, and could not find space for takoyaki with chocolate, even though they looked scrumptious :(.

While the odori dancing was held around the platform, at one corner of the school yard, space was set aside for student performances. Groups of students performed their numbers to the beat of pop music, and parents clapped supportively after each performance.

I was hoping to see the firework at 8pm, but after drinking a can of Kirin beer, I felt very sleepy, and it was only 7pm. Since my kid had ran out of things to do, we decided to head home, and missed the spectacular event! Next time, I will hold the beer drinking until after the firework.

Featured Image

"Loss of Taguig park cats sparks outcry" - headline of national newspaper, Inquirer Philippines on Feb 19, 2018

"Outrage over 20 missing cats" - top story of Manilastandard.net on Feb 20, 2018

More BGC cat stories in national TV channels in the following days, including GMA Network and ABS-CBN.

I was made aware of this outcry over the removal of cats from a park adjacent to Shangri-La at the Fort Hotel when someone in a messenger app circulated an emotionally charged Facebook page about it.

One Bonifacio Park was opened in December 2015. It is an amenity that is much welcomed by residents like me. For one, it provides a green access between Bonifacio High Street and Crescent Park west, a residential area in the western part of Fort Bonifacio. It is a good place to get a respite from the traffic polluted streets in BGC.

In the first year of its opening, only a handful of cats were seen in the park. They were super adorable and attracted the care of many passerbys. I found them cute and was happy that they were there so that we would not have mice in the park. At the same time, I did not interact with them because I had been bitten by ticks before, and I suspect that the ticks were from cats.

I took this photo in August 2017, when the Book Stop was still located in Bonifacio High Street

As time went by, I noticed more and more cats in the park.  I began to feel uneasy about the presence of the cats in the park. They sometimes occupied a large space in the park when they waited to be fed, and I would not want to go near that space. I also believe that many parents with young children would not let their kids go near that area because of hygiene as well as safety concerns.

Around November 2017, the Book Stop was moved from Bonifacio High Street to Bonifacio One Park. One month later, one could sometimes spot a few cats sleeping on the book shelves. They looked very cute, and I took a photo of them, but somehow something bothered me, and I did not keep the photo.

Photo above: The Book Stop was moved to One Bonifacio Park. This photo was taken before the pillows and milk bottles were placed inside it.

Then soon, I saw pillows placed inside the Book Stop, presumably to make life comfortable for the cats, but books were displaced.  Furthermore, milk bottles and other food items were placed in a cardboard box inside the Book Stop, apparently to feed the cats. It was no wonder that the cat population exploded, to the degree that they became bothersome to people who passed by the park.

After a while, the cardboard box and its contents were torn and broken by the cats. They became quite unsightly, and the food remnants became a source of nuisance.

When I saw a post in a messenger app that referred me to a Facebook post about the removal of stray cats at the Bonifacio One Park, I got the impression that the worst had happened to the cats. "I could not hold back my grief, my panic, my heart sank to my stomach....it is the Lunar New Year today, but I feel no sense of happiness, it feels like the day my daddy died..." (full message reproduced above).

This Facebook post was so powerful that an outrage was sparked against the authorities who removed the stray cats. All the national media reported about it. Many took the side of the Facebook post's author.

Then the PR management of the establishment concerned, Shangri-La at the Fort Hotel, countered the allegations. They issued a press release, saying that some of the cats were adopted by their employees, and others were relocated to another place, and that no cat was killed. An animal concern group asked for proof that the cats were indeed adopted and relocated.

When one reads the comments on the articles reporting this issue, one can see a lot of angry words on both sides. Only a few were constructive suggestions, asking the authorities to offer the public a chance to adopt the cats before removing the cats. There was a lot of animosity and some comments descended into personal attacks and name-calling. It was ugly.

At the risk of antagonizing people who feel passionate about the cats, I would say that it was the wrong kind of human intervention that created this tragedy from the start. It was fine that cats came to BGC to look for food. Most people will agree that it is good that some cats are here, as they will catch mice so we do not have to apply dangerous chemicals. However, actively feeding them had caused the cat population to reach a level that many of us considered too invasive of the limited public space that we have. Too many people enjoy interacting with the cats, but do not care for them enough to take them home. Instead, public space is used for keeping their pets.

The fate of the cats was sealed when their patrons started turning the Book Stop into a cat home. They ignored the need of other users of the park, the owner and supporters of the Book Stop.

 At first glance, it may seem that the outcry was caused by too much love for the cats. However, if we think more about it, I think it was because there was not enough love for the furry animals. Not enough love to take them home to care for them. Not enough love to think for the future of the cats, and to restrain ourselves from feeding them just in order to get instant gratification from the interactions.

* * *

Like the author of the powerful Facebook post, I also experienced a heartbreaking event recently. At the end of last year, I received news from a friend that an orphanage that she had been running for many years had to close. The reason? long delay in processing the adoption cases by the authorities.  This made it too costly to care for an orphan. It was hard for the orphanage to raise funds from donors, as donors felt that the impact of their donation was small.

It was a dreadful news. I was saddened not only by the closure of the orphanage, but the thought that orphans in all of the orphanages in the Philippines have to endure long waiting time before they can reach people who are ready to give them the love and attention of parents.  In most orphanages, the resources are stretched. Babies have to wear soiled diapers for hours. Toys, if available, are worn out and not cleaned that often. There is insufficient attention, let alone love, to give to each child.

I do not know the real reason for the long processing time, which can be over two years in some cases, but from the information that I obtained from my friend, it seems that it used to be the court system that delayed the processing of adoption cases. Not only did adoption cases had to wait in line with all other court cases, adoption cases were often handled in the same way as trial cases as if it were a criminal or civil case where prospective adoptive parents were interrogated as if they were on trial. 

Then the procedures were changed, and the Department of Social Welfare was given the authority to approve adoption applications. Long delays continued because the social workers were afraid of making mistakes and asked for repeated assessments of each case.

Now a law is being considered to revert the approving authority back to the court. But according to people running the orphanages, the new law does not provide any solution to shorten processing time.

There is no cute photo to show babies languishing in orphanages, no moving photos to tell people that the babies do not get cuddled when they are crying, thus no outcry on how these babies are delayed from getting the care and attention from people who are ready to love them as if their own children.

These babies were not only abandoned once, they are again let down by the society. Their cries are not heard, and no one speaks for them.

If I were a real journalist, I know which subject I would prefer to write about.

Featured Image
Community Events

Fort Bonifacio has the highest concentration of international schools than any other place in the Philippines. However, most of the time these establishments are closed to outsiders. Therefore, the international festival held annually at British School Manila is a rare chance for members of the public to go inside this exclusive school. Money raised from the event is to benefit charitable activities of the school.

This year, the event was held on 23 February. The event has three major components: a parade, international food stalls, and student performances. 

The parade started at around 5pm. Parents and children put on their best national costumes and walked around the ground to greet everyone. There were so many different countries that we lost count. Dance troops from the Philippines provided the drum beats and dancing to keep the festivity alive.

Highlight of the event was the food offering. There were 17 food stalls showcasing cuisines from all around the world. It was clear that parents of the school kids put in tons of hard work to prepare the food, and donated their valuable time to serve it. 

There were Peking duck from China (of course), beef sandwiches from Canada, samosa from India and Pakistan, food from Japan, Korea,  Thailand, and a lot from the big tent from the Philippines. We liked a lot the snacks from Ireland, which included some smoked salmon and Irish stew, and we particularily liked their free flow of Irish cream!

The most popular dessert was a rolled ice-cream located at the Chinese tent. It was not a Chinese food, but the novelty was attractive enough that people waited in line to get a taste. 

Beer and soft drinks were sold on site, but even adding in the cost of the drinks, the quality of the food and the unique ambience of the event made this festival the best-value buffet in Fort Bonifacio!

**Sorry you cannot see the video of this event any more since British School Manila does not allow any video taken within its premises.**

Featured Image

Manila House is a members-only club opened in early 2017, and it currently has a membership of about 1,000. Since only members or guests accompanied by members are allowed in, it means not many people have seen the inside of this club, known for its artsy interior decorations. 

We were invited there for lunch two days ago, and got a tour of this exclusive club. If we are asked to sum up the club in a utilitarian way, one would say that Manila House is a place that houses five restaurants and several function rooms. But Manila House is much more than a 5-Star hotel minus the accommodation. It is exclusive, so that you will only mingle with people with significance. It has taste in design, food offering, and the activities that it organizes for its members. 

To get to Manila House, you can either enter the lobby located to the left of a restaurant called Green Pastures on the ground floor of the Net Park building along 5th Avenue, or go to a lift accessed through a guarded corridor that is situated across Caravan Black, a cafe also on the ground floor of the Net Park building. Take either lift to the 8th floor. 

When you get out of the lift, you will find yourself in a hallway that is painted red. Turn left, and you will see what is shown in the featured photo. It is a place for members to lounge before going to the main restaurant, which has a tropical feel to it (a lot of greenery and wooden parrots) and serves 'continental' food.

The largest restaurant of Manila House serves 'continental food', which, to common people, means western food.

Japanese restaurant in Manila House. You can get a lot of privacy there, since it is quite empty.

Photo above: This restaurant serves Filipino food.

Other than these restaurants, there is a bar for drinks, and a grill room for meat lovers.

Manila House has several hallways that can be rented for events. We were told that the furniture arrangement in the club is changed every month. All artworks there are for sale.

Having taken a look at the place, I bet you want to know about the food we had. There were nine of us, so we had a chance to sample many dishes. The menu in the continental restaurant was actually quite extensive. Prices and quality are similar to a 5-star hotel, but some dishes are a tad less pricey than in 5-star hotels.

A salad with fresh greens, fruits, pine nuts and beetroot.

The House burger was nothing to write home about.

The Poke Bowl had salmon, tuna, blue crab, edamame, and seaweeds. All very fresh and tasty. About right at P650.

Sea bass at P1,400 was definitely not the best value-for-money dish.

The title of best-value-for-money dish for that meal went to..... Fried Chicken. At P380, it had two huge pieces of chicken, a slice of bacon and mashed potato. The chicken was super crispy, moist and flavorful.

So if you have a couple of hundred thousand pesos to spare, and want to be in the same room with people of significance, this could be your place. For that amount of dough, you can get a life time membership in this prestigious club.

Featured Image

When you have tried all the burgers in the neighborhood, there is nothing else to look forward than meal time, right? That was what we felt when we decided to start the Off-Menu Gourmand Club in the Fort.  We wanted to get the excitement from expecting a dish.

However, finding a restaurant willing to offer an off-menu item is not that easy. Restaurant chains are big bureaucracies. They do not offer anything without going through a lot of procedures. For independent restaurants, the chef has to be confident enough to offer something not tested before.

We were lucky that the chef of Grind Bistro and Cafe at The Net Park was up to the challenge. 

Photo: Mystery burger number one is a brioche burger with gorgonzola cheese, shiitake mushroom, and soy ketchup

We contacted a few restaurants that are known for their burgers ahead of time and gave an all-in budget of P500 per head. We were very happy that Grind Bistro and Cafe accepted our challenge so that the Off Menu Gourmand Club could have our first gathering,

There were only three of us at the restaurant on November 28, 2017, but that did not take away the excitement of trying something new and unique, as in no one else who had walked into that restaurant had ever tried it!

That night, Chef Steven Carl offered us two burgers, a brioche burger with gorgonzola cheese and shiitake mushroom, seasoned with soy ketchup. The other was an open-faced rye bread sandwich that has pastrami slices on a beef patty, with sauteed onion, melted gouda cheese, and mustard aioli. We ordered both for sharing and never looked back.

The brioche, which is a sweet and buttery bread, was firm but not hard, and not too sweet. All the ingredients inside the burger had the flavor that they were supposed to have, and yet they worked very well together. The beef patty was succulent, the mushroom slices were umami, and the gorgonzola cheese was mild yet had the distinct flavor of blue cheese. It was blue cheese without the aggressiveness of ordinary blue cheese that often turn some people off. The soy ketchup was not too salty. It added just the right amount of saltiness to the whole burger.

It was a satisfying burger that had tons of flavor, all balanced and worked well together. For those of us who liked to keep our hands dry after eating a burger, we were even happier since this fantastic beast was juicy but not drippy.

Photo above: Open-faced rye bread pastrami sandwich; inset: Chef Steven Carl

The star of the open-faced rye bread pastrami sandwich had to be the pastrami. It was slices of well-cooked high-grade beef that piled on top of a thick beef patty. In a hurry to try it, unfortunately, we did not take a very good photo of the sandwich. Just believe us when we say that it was the best pastrami burger that we ever had. 

Someone asked me, isn't pastrami the same as corned beef? Lucky for us who live in the era of the internet. We googled and found the answer right away. Both pastrami and corned beef were beef marinated in brine, but corned beef is cooked by boiling the meat while pastrami is made by smoking the beef after brining. This pastrami cooked by Chef Steven must have used very high-quality beef since it was very tender and succulent and with the right amount of saltiness and smoky flavor.

The smokiness of the pastrami went well with the beef patty. The melt gouda was very mild, probably to give way to the beef flavor in the sandwich. But when we looked up the internet for Gouda cheese, we learned that this cheese had an advantage over other cheeses, even though it is very subdued in the taste department. Gouda contains Vitamin K2, which has anti-aging properties. So while we were eating a burger, we were slowing down aging!

Our bill for the three burgers came to P1,650, a little bit above our budget, but we were super happy with the food and service we got from Grind Bistro. Bravo, Chef Steven!

Featured Image
Community Events

BGC Yard Sales are organized by Bonifacio Estate Services Corporation (BESC) for residents and people working in Bonifacio Global City.  This webpage is based on information provided by BESC, but it is not an official page. Please use contact information provided here to seek further clarification from BESC.

The coming BGC Yard Sale will be on Feb 24, 2018. As in previous BGC Yard Sales, it will be held at De Jesus Oval, a garden located near Pacific Plaza Tower at 25th Street.

The event is a community service by BESC to promote community building and recycling of pre-loved items, therefore no fees are charged. But there are rules to follow, and if participants need to rent tent, tables and chairs, rental fees have to apply. 

In addition, participants have to provide proof that they are residents of BGC, or working in BGC.

The person in charge in BESC is Ms Angel. She can be contacted via email at purchasingassistant@besc.com.ph. 


Step 1. Register online

Residents and people working in BGC can register to join the yard sale by registering in this link:


Step 2. For new participants, attend orientation

This will be a very short briefing. For this yard sale, it will be held on Tuesday Feb  20 at 2pm at BESC Office, 2nd floor, Bonifacio Technology Center Bldg, 31st Street. Please bring proof that you are a resident of or working in BGC. Those who participated in BGC Yard Sales before do not need to attend orientation again. Payment for rental of chairs etc. as described in Step 4 can be made during the orientation.

Step 3. Fill in a form, and pay bond

A bond of P500 needs to be paid before a deadline set by BESC. Payment is to be made to Ms Angel of BESC at BESC's office located at 2/F of Bonifacio Technology Center, 31st Street corner 1st Avenue, BGC. The yellow building next to JP Morgan / Net Plaza Building. The office is open Monday to Friday, 8am to 5pm.

Step 4. Pay rental of chairs, tables, tent, if required.

You do not need to rent anything if you have all you need. If you need to rent tent, chairs and tables, you can pay the fees to BESC. This can be done at the same time as Step 3. For rates, see the form below:

Step 5. Arrive at the venue early on the day of the yard sale. Report to the BESC counter. If you have rented a tent, your name will be shown on the allocated tent. You can also pick up your tables and chairs from the BESC counter.

This post is a community service by www.TheFortCity.com. We are not the organizer of the event. Questions should be sent to Ms Angel for official reply. Feel free to share your experience of the yard sale here. To help drive traffic to the yard sale, you can post your items in our bulletin board so that people can get excited about items to be sold at the yard sale. 

Featured Image
Memorable Events

Not being a drinker of any alcoholic beverage, my motive for attending the Whisky Live Manila event held on Oct 21 and 22, 2017 at Shangri-La at the Fort was to understand why whisky has become so popular that it has its own event in the grandest ballroom of the swankiest hotel in the Fort. Whisky is a hard liquor, ie. a drink that has high alcohol content, quite expensive, and its image in the old days, which is like twenty years ago, was associated mostly with a group of wealthy elderly men drinking quietly in a dimly lit room. 

I was unable to attend the first night of the event, so I went there early on the second day. I arrived at around 5 p.m., but found out that most of the program started at 7pm, and most people came in after 8pm. So the first thing that I learned about whisky was that people usually drink it after dinner (unless you are a Japanese whisky drinker, who would drink it during a meal).

Photo above: At 8pm, the Grand Ballroom where Whisky Live Manila 2017 was held, is filled with merry participants.

Being there early turned out to be not a bad move, though, as I could talk to exhibitors quietly and at length, which would not be possible if I had arrived after 8pm.

How the event worked. Each participant upon registration was given ten chips. For each shot of whisky tasted, the participant would give one chip to the exhibitor, so that each participant could try only ten shots. An additional chip was for voting for the best tasting whisky, and another one for voting for the best decorated exhibition. 

The event had over 40 exhibitors. There were brands well-known to the general public, such as Chivas, Remy, Johnny Walker, Tanduay, as well as brands only known to whisky connoisseurs, such as Dalmore, Glenfiddich, Dewar's, Glengoyne, bourbons like Jim Beam, Irish whisky like Jameson, Japanese whisky like Yamazakura, and new comers like Koval from USA. There was even a local liquor producer, Lakan, that offers premium Philippine Lambanog, a wine made from coconut.

A steamer that lets you 'nose' the whisky

The first exhibit that I stopped at was that of a whisky brand called Dewar. I was drawn to that exhibit because it had an unusual contraption on display. It was a glass dome with a button. When the button was pushed, steam carrying the flavor of a whisky would be released and we could inhale it to get a wisp of its aroma. My take? It was a nice breath of warm air with alcoholic and grainy smell. I could have spent a few minutes inhaling it if I had more time. Dewar's bartender, Lennon, was a very nice guy and answered all my questions about whisky that I could think of. 

Master Classes

The event included a number of master classes, with presenters from different whisky brands to impart their knowledge about whisky. I went to one presented by Neil Strachan of Balvenie, called "The Art of the Craft". In the class, Neil highlighted the features of Balvenie that form the identity of the brand, and along the way, explained the steps of whisky making the Balvenie way. The company's pride was the craftmen that they have for each step of whisky making, and their ownership of workshops, such as having their own cooperage, which is a workshop that builds whisky barrels (or casks) from pre-used wine or whisky barrels. 

Apart from dispensing whisky-making knowledge, Balvenie master class was memorable for their generous freebies for attendees. We each were given a replicate of a "Dipping Dog", a container made from copper tube which was used by distillery workers to 'liberate' whisky from casks in the warehouse.

Balvenie's "Dipping Dog" that contains malted barley, which can be consumed as bar snack.

Event to remember

The crowd that I met at Whisky Live Manila was quite different from those that I imagined. They were younger, many were in their 30s, and they were not only men. Even at the master class that I attended, out of 20 attendees, 6 were women. Sure, there were those who were there just for tasting the whiskies, and socializing with other drinkers. But there were many who seemed genuinely interested in learning about the ways to differential one whisky from another, such as through the method of making the drink, the flavors found in each, or the story behind the brand, details that make appreciation of a liquor possible. 

To get a feel of the vibe at the Whisky Manila Live event, check out the video below.

Intimate Whisky Experience

While tasting whisky from different brands and interacting with sellers in a big event like Whisky Manila Live is a great way to learn about whisky, such events do not happen all the time. Meanwhile, there are places that we can dip our toe into whisky appreciation in a more intimate setting.

Three days before the event, I went to LIT Japanese Whisky Bar at Serendra Piazza to attend their Rum Tasting masterclass. Rum is not exactly whisky, I am told, but I wanted to get a feel of the learning environment at LIT, which also conducts Japanese Whisky appreciation classes.

I must say, the experience was quite different from that in Whisky Manila Live. First, the presenter was not tied to a brand, and thus could offer opinion on products from different brands. Second, the place was small, so participants could engage in more involved discussion.

Featured Image

Sure, there are big specialty coffee chains like Starbucks, CBTL, Figaro, Seattles Best, UCC, and Toby's Estate in the Fort. They make decent coffee, provide free wi-fi and newspaper, and a nice place to lounge. On the other hand, they cannot offer something that true coffee artists have.

Coffee artists are people who love coffee madly and truly, and they invest their time and money on it. They brew each cup with great care. When you talk to them, it is like you are talking to surfers, because they will talk about the first, second and third wave of specialty coffee for a long, long time. They are bold, constantly creating new flavors to challenge our taste buds. You can feel their enthusiasm for their craft oozing from their pores. And THAT is their charm.

Where do you find them?

Rent is high in Bonifacio Global City, therefore, you will not find many of them occupying a retail space with tables. Most likely, you will find a coffee artist running his stall in an event. Take Lanz (Lorenzo Casteillo) of Candid Coffee, for example. I met him at a community event held recently in a condominium building in Forbestown Road. He manned a pop-up coffee cart and made simple espresso based coffee from a professional coffee maker. Because of the low overhead, he could sell a decent handcrafted cappuccino for P80. He can also put a roasted marshmallow topping on your coffee.

You can find someone like Lanz probably in a lot of weekend events in Fort Bonifacio, and when you do, do not miss the chance to talk to them. If they are the real deal, you can get a free lesson on coffee beans, a story of their entrepreneurial journey, and a share of their zeal.

El Union Coffee

Recently, a specialty coffee outfit found a way to introduce their coffee to the residents of Fort Bonifacio without incurring an expensive overhead. El Union Coffee from La Union has opened a coffee stall at the ground floor of Kensington Place, Burgos Circle. It shares the retail space with a bar that opens only at night. So coffee is served from 8am to 6pm. Since that place is in my neighborhood, I chanced upon it one morning while going to the supermarket.

Even though the space they occupy is small, they put in a lot of machines, and all of them are metallic, giving the place a surgical feel, as if they were saying that their beverages are precision-made. There are three industrial grade coffee grinders, a 3-head coffee tap (the first of its kind in the Fort), and a two-group automatic espresso machine. There is space left for only two chairs for the customers.

El Union Coffee has all metal gear

The unique coffee tap is actually used for dispensing cold milk and other cold liquid for the beverages that they make. For example, I ordered a cinnamon milk drink on the recommendation of one of the two baristas there. It was made of cinnamon powder, rice milk and cow milk. The rice and cow milk mixture came out of the tap. As for real coffee, even though they have a high grade espresso machine, their preferred way of making coffee is by hand pour.

Indeed, the coffee profession seems to have come full circle, by starting with pour-over coffee in the old days, then went nuts with espresso drinks in the 20th century, now going back to hand poured coffee, albeit with better equipment and technique.

Barista Sylvester standing next to the nitro coffee tap and the price list

While deciding what to order, I asked the baristas, Sylvester and Josh, about the business. Sylvester said that their company came from La Union, and they used coffee beans sourced ethically locally and aboard. He explained everything in so much details that I had to ask if he was an owner of the shop. He said he worked for the company, but the company had a very flat structure, so everyone took pride in being part of the company. I looked up the Facebook page of the company, and found that it does look like a very progressive establishment. An interesting discovery during a stroll in the neighborhood.

In between the specialty coffee big chains and the small new coffee artists on the block, there are semi-independents, such as Single Origin at Bonifacio High Street (BHS), Kuppa at Commercenter Building, 4th Avenue, Luna Coffee at BHS and NAC Tower, 32nd Street, Local Edition at Serendra Piazza, Travel Bean and Coffee Empire at Venice Piazza, McKinley Hill. They are local specialty coffee companies with only a handful of outlets, so they have to really use all the tricks in their book to get enough business to pay for the high overhead of a full size cafe. 

One popular way to attract more customers is to have alcohol on the menu. In the old, old days, of course cafes had booze and coffee. Then the first wave specialty coffee shops like Starbucks focus just on coffee. Now the coffee and alcohol combo is back. Single Origin and El Union use it, and also the newest specialty coffee shop in Fort Bonifacio, Slurp, for example.

Slurp Coffee

Slurp is located on the third floor of Venice Grand Canal Mall, next to the cineplex.

It has wine and cheese alongside the coffee offerings on its menu.

Apart from wine, another feature that Slurp highlights in the cafe is the quality of the water used in making the coffee. Serious coffee drinkers know that the taste of water used in making coffee has a big impact on the flavor of the coffee. So the owner of Slurp displays the filters used to make the coffee.

In addition to filters to remove sediments and odor, there is even a filter to reduce scale in the water used to make your coffee

Other than water quality and wine, the owner also emphasizes the gold filter used in making the pour over coffee.

Instead of paper filter, a gold filter will be placed in the filter holder when making pour-over coffee.

A haven for coffee lovers

For coffee lovers, they should be able to celebrate everyday in Fort Bonifacio, as there are so many coffee specialists strutting their expertise to make you a cup of satisfying coffee.