Cafes in Laguna Part I: Kapetearya and Hiraya Manawari Cafe

During the first two weeks of June, I needed to be in Laguna for another assignment, and before going home, I visited cafes nearby. (This might have a part 2.)

Kapetearya

The first time I went to Laguna, I thought, Why not feature a cafe while I’m in here? One of the nearest in our location was Kapetearya, which was located in Rosario Avenue, San Pedro, Laguna.

It’s a neat and spacious cafe with both indoor and outdoor dining, perfect for simple gatherings. I saw individuals reviewing for exams, so as long as you didn’t need sockets for laptops, this place was fine. There’s one free socket near the middle table.

I was only able to eat churros with caramel dipped, and I loved it. The drink included above was mocha espresso, but I also ordered an oreo frappe beforehand, which I was only able to include in my Tiktok entry for Kapetearya.

Aside from their staff being kind and approachable, what I liked most was how relaxing the vibe was in the cafe. They have different branches, from I’ve searched.


Kapetearya
12:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m.
Rosario Avenue, San Pedro, Laguna
https://www.facebook.com/kapetearya.sanpedro/

Hiraya Manawari Cafe

This one, on the other hand, was easier to find and much more convenient to go to because you can find it inside Robinsons Galleria South, near the food court.

The whole cafe felt cozy and homey, probably because of the greens from the plants, the warm lighting, and the wooden tables. They also have free Wi-Fi access and sockets available for each table, making it an ideal working space.

I ordered their aglio olio (PhP 250) for lunch and choco chip cookie (PhP 90) for lunch. The aglio olio was spicy, but I loved it nevertheless. The cookie had a unique taste that I couldn’t pinpoint what, maybe from an ingredient.

Their cappuccino (PhP 120) had a bitter taste, and as an introvert, I didn’t ask for sugar. Hehe. I’m used to ordering cappuccino with sugar in it already. On the other hand, their lattes are sweet, which I liked better. Loved their double chocolate mocha (PhP 150).


Hiraya Manawari Cafe
10 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Level 4, Robinsons Galleria South, San Pedro, Launa
https://www.facebook.com/hirayamanawarilaguna/

Back to Zero: Cafe Hunting and Mental Health, 181DOMJ (and More)

Content warning: Before you start reading my blog, sasabihin ko na that there are mentions of mental health issues ko here na kinubli ko for the entire June. If you’re okay with that and you’re willing to listen/read on what’s on my mind, you may continue. ‘Yung content under the first two headlines lang naman. The content under the last two headings are writing related.

Kape Tayo, Rizal on a Hiatus

Ang daming natigil kasabay ng pagtaas ng bilihin, and that includes me going to cafes. Ang mahal ng pamasahe, and nagsitaasan din ng rates for some goods. I’ve decided to put my cafe hopping on a hiatus kaysa naman ipilit ko at maghikahos ako in the end.

Grabe, ‘no? Well, passion ko lang naman kasi ito aside from writing, pero unlike writing, this consumes a lot of my energy. I have 40 hours a week to work, so that’s 8 hours a day dapat. Pero ang ginagawa ko kasi dati, I work 10 hours a day para 4 days lang ako magwo-work, and either Thursday or Friday e gagawin kong day for cafe and writing. Weekends will be for chores and for alone time sana. For a while, this worked. Pero at some point, I realized na ginagawa ko na to give others content . . . not to give myself a time to relax and enjoy. E, hello, hindi naman ako kumikita rito.

Kailangan ko mag-step back, in short. I’ll still post the cafes I’ve been to before I paused cafe-hopping.

But there’s another reason why I stopped, which I’ll tackle next.

Unhealthy Habits

Again, please check the content warning above, lalo na kung may eating disorders at body dysmorphia kayo tulad ko. Reader discretion is advised.

I know overworking isn’t healthy, but sometimes work—along with writing—becomes my coping mechanism. I deflect my issues that I know I should address immediately, else I get worse.

Felt down for the past two (or three) months. My BDD may have returned. I gained weight because I had to stop exercising for a time. There were a lot of factors: ‘yung sakit ko sa tiyan, ‘yung boil ko, ‘yung ilang linggo kong ubo’t lagnat, not COVID though. And I slowly gained weight.

Whatever happened to body positivity? I just feel so . . . bad about myself.

Pero pinakamalala na nangyari ‘to last June when I was supposed to work in a cafe. But after seeing myself in front of my mirror, I collapsed onto my bed and sobbed. I felt like I couldn’t share this to anyone—too afraid to be called petty, too afraid to be told “it’s all in your mind, too afraid to hear “some have worse days than you.”

The last two days, I was so eager to work, but today I slept and wept the whole morning while I try to get my shit together. I attempted to open online documents, but I was only able to start during lunchtime after dragging myself out of my bed, thinking how I could not disappoint not only the people who relied on me but also myself.

Note entry last June 20, 2022

So whenever I look at the mirror, I just . . . I just want to break it, alam n’yo ‘yon? Hirap na ako mag-selfie, na-realize ko, kasi naiiyak ako kapag nakikita ko sarili ko. Natigil ako mag-cafe dahil dito. I don’t want to meet people anymore. However I look at myself interferes with how I interact. Maski video cam nga, ayoko na rin. Someone told me I wasn’t what I perceived myself to be, and that I was beautiful, pero ewan. Even compliments don’t work. It seemed to me that they’re saying these stuff to try to make me feel better.

Anyway, ginagawan ko ng paraan. I go back to the diet that worked before (medyo mahal lang talaga), intermittent fasting, pills, derma . . . lahat na. I’ll go back to exercising this week since um-okay na ang ubo ko. Kaya rin tinigil ko muna ang cafe hopping dahil ayoko namang pupunta ako sa ibang lugar only to be anxious about people looking at me tapos feeling ko nadiya-judge ako kahit hindi naman at ako lang talaga nag-iisip n’on.

Ending this negative part of my blog here. Proceed tayo sa mas okay na parts of my life.

181 Days of Madeline Jesty

Part ng Back to Zero blog kasi it’s my first time writing a story na maraming conflicts. The last time I did that was for Siya, pero this is more complex. Ang progress ng conflict ay Person vs. Destiny, Person vs. Person, Person vs. Society, Person vs. Supernatural, and Person vs. Self. Two types of conflicts may happen at the same time, and I’ll be doing this within 80 chapters—o baka puwede pa madagdagan—and in the 181 remaining days of the character, as per the title.

Na-e-excite ako, pero at the same time walang audience. Hahaha. Iniisip ko, Filipino kasi ang readers ko, and they’re quite comfortable with Filipino siguro. And fluff. E, this one’s a bit dramatic. Pero kababasa ko ng English sa Wattpad, pati language ko rito ay naiba. Hahaha. Pero okay lang. It’s a challenge for me. Kung walang Filipino audience, siguro I’ll make a way para magkaro’n. Maybe submitting to a publisher? Ewan. Basta ang goal ay matapos at makarating sa gusto kong wakas. And then revise. And then submit it somewhere na pahahalagahan ‘yung kuwento at ako as an author.

Content Warnings in Writing

That being said, 181 Days of Madeline Jesty is the second work I placed content warnings early on. Dati kasi, hindi ko ‘yon ginagawa. Pero sabi ko nga, we grow as writers. May nakita pa nga akong tweet na ganito:

authors purposefully write fucked up characters, you are supposed to HATE them. that’s like the whole point of having unreliable characters

And then in one of the comments, I found:

redemption arc dopamine

I agree with that, but a content warning would be good at the back of the book where the blurb is written. Some readers prefer stories with an “all is good, all will be good” ending to escape reality. Readers have different preferences just as characters have different goals. I’m talking about published books, ha.

If a warning was written and the way the book was marketed was honest, then readers should stand for their choice. It’s true that one can judge a book by their cover and what’s written in the cover. I mean . . . it’s what they prefer, e.

In my case, I like positive character changes in romance, sci-fi, detective, coming-of-age, and fantasy stories. And again, I’d like to know because I read and watch these genres to escape, to ignite the little hope and faith in humanity I have, which is why I always look at reviews before I read or watch. I only accept negative character changes in horror and psychological thrillers, na to be honest, itong mga ‘to ang nagiging favorite movies ko (e.g., Gone Girl, Midsommar, Ready or Not).

On Wattpad naman, I believe some writers just go with the flow and do not have a specific ending until they feel that the story should end. Kaya may mga readers na pinipiling basahin kapag tapos na kasi they can check if it’s a happy ending. If it is, saka nila babasahin. There are, of course, adventurous and spontaneous readers and movie goers. I salute them for their courage, but to each their own.

When I was only beginning as a writer, I thought that putting such warnings would spoil the fun, but I’ve come to realize that not everyone has the same tolerance. One scene you thought was “just part of a story” could actually reopen one’s Pandora’s box. I learned this the hard way. (I know it’s inexcusable that I haven’t updated the description of my old stories, but I promise, I’ll fix them when I have time. Isa-isa lang huhu.) I mean, kung ako rin siguro reader ng Gakuwesaribig, matutulala na lang ako habambuhay. Sorry na powhz.

Anyway . . . the tweet is an opinion about another opinion, and this blog is an opinion about that tweet, and things must have ended with the tweet only if I didn’t choose to write this. Ha, it’s difficult to shrug off a topic that is related to what I do.

🍑

Ayun lang. I only allotted an hour for this blog dahil ang dami ko pang gagawin today, which includes writing two other blogs. Listen to Wildside by Red Velvet and ingat kayo lagi.

Cafe Esque: A Highly Recommended Coffee Shop for the Workawithacoffeeholics

Cafe Esque may be one of the local coffee shops in Rizal with high traffic, and I understand why. It could compete side by side against popular international cafes, if I’m being honest. Where would you be able to find a coffee shop with Wi-Fi access, sockets, good food and coffee, relaxing ambience, both indoor and outdoor dining, a comfort room complete with bidet and toiletries that is open 24/7 while supporting local business? Only Cafe Esque! Never did I imagine to be able to find such an all-in-one coffee shop.

How to Go to Cafe Esque

Ride any Antipolo-Tanay jeep and tell the driver to drop you off at Ynares Center. The jeep should drop you off by a shed near CPR Building where Cafe Esque resides. Do NOT ride Antipolo Simbahan unless you are okay to walk (not recommended under the extremely hot weather conditions).

What to Expect in Cafe Esque

Cafe Esque has two floors, and each floor has its own outdoor dining where smokers are allowed to stay. The first-floor al fresco dining had vertical plant walls, while you could enjoy a small glimpse of Antipolo in their second-floor al fresco.

Their indoor dining is greatly well maintained. The cement-furnished walls, wooden furniture, warm lighting, and classy paintings give an atmosphere that would encourage you to be productive, not to mention that they have free Wi-Fi access and available sockets to those who need it.

What to Eat in Cafe Esque

I stayed there for a long time, so I ordered two meals: one for my lunch and one for my merienda. For lunch, I had their best-selling chicken alfredo pasta for PhP 195, which I highly recommend if you’re a creamy pasta lover like me, and a 12 oz hazelnut latte worth PhP 130. It was one fulfilling lunch, indeed. Their latte was so good I was tempted to buy another for snack time but decided to go with another drink for variety.

After about three hours of stay, I ordered their tossed fries (PhP 95) and a 16 oz choco mint blast blended coffee. If you are a mint lover like me as well, I swear you’d love that drink.

For more information about Cafe Esque, visit my post on Kape Tayo, Rizal:

Favorite Picture


Cafe Esque
Open 24/7
Ground Floor, CPR Bldg. L. Sumulong Circle, Bgy. San Roque, Antipolo City
https://www.facebook.com/CAFE.ESQUE/