234 – On An Update And Catching Up In 2020

It’s been a while since I wrote an update post. The recent community quarantine brought about by the spread of Covid-19 prompted a lot of companies to enact work-from-home setups, which included the one I’m currently working for. Thus, I managed to sneak in some time to draft a new post while I’m working on deliverables. Plus points to the company, too, for providing me a work laptop! Now that I’ve de-congested some pending posts as per my January 2020 triptych, let me begin.

First, I left the company that served as my home for more than three and a half years. While it is true that change is the only thing constant in the world, one ought to do what needs to be done when the writing’s on the wall. I tried not to think I overstayed my welcome as much as possible. However, it reached the point that getting out of bed was a challenge. Much as I tried to motivate myself, I’ve reached the inevitable point of being burnt out. The straw that broke the camel’s back, however, came from the French office head. An apparent “workplace violation” became the clear signal that it was time to go.

I managed to secure a job offer just a mere seven days after the incident. It was then that I filed my resignation and rendered the 30 day notice mandated by law, processing my pre-employment requirements during that time. I didn’t even have a weekend to rest, as I reported to the new office after my last day in the previous one. And then the lockdown happened. One day to report for my orientation, and then working from home for a month.

During those trying times at my previous job, it helped that I frequented a sort of watering hole in Cubao Expo before heading home. KatHa Lifestyle Store has been around in the enclave for some time now, but it recently transferred to a bigger, two-level location. This new space (still in Cubao X) now hosts a coffee shop — in partnership with The Brewman Coffee — at the lower floor, while the non-food and lifestyle products are on display at the upper floor.

In a short span of time, I have expanded my social circle and have known some amazing individuals. There’s Kat and Hazel (eponymous owners of KatHa Lifestyle Store); baristas Jonathan (the eponymous Brewman), Dane, and Marcus; fellow regulars Ana, Angel, Migs, Joey, Marlon, David G, Yuan, Gelo, Rico, Erz, Jenny, Jaze, David R, Japs, Kit, Cy, and a bunch of other customers I missed out whilst typing.

Hanging out at KatHa also introduced me to the world of third-wave coffee, something I never thought I would delve in. If there are some people to thank – those would be Mandrake, Emman, Chef Jef, Nat, Alex, and Thea. This common circle of friends also allowed me to attend my first socials event — NANI?!: Coffee · Food · Socials last February. It was memorable as the event marked a few firsts for me: first time to hang out and drink at Cubao X with other people, first time to close down the area, and first time to arrive home at 3:30 in the morning.

Just a few days before I was set to report in my new workplace, I had the chance to check out the Philippine National Coffee Competition 2020. The competition was held at SM Megamall, and incidentally – I had lunch there after processing some documents. I’m not exactly into third-wave coffee as I only discovered it recently, but having a picture with Hubert Young of the UCC Group convinced me that it was worth passing by there. See, Mr. Young is the one responsible for bringing some top-notch Japanese restaurant franchises to the Philippines — including UCC Cafe, Coco Ichibanya, Tendon Kohaku, Mitsuyado Seimen, and the upcoming Mos Burger. I thanked him for permitting me to have a picture with him, and wished him good health and more power to bring other amazing Japanese brands to the Philippines before we parted ways.

Now, in other aspects. I know this leaves a bad taste in the mouth for some people, but I’ve unfollowed a number of people here on WordPress. I’ve tried interacting with them ever since I started, but I guess I’m simply seen as a statistic instead of an actual person. I know these are petty reasons for removing followers: being influencers themselves (the influencer community is toxic), conversations being one-sided, former decent bloggers selling out, etc. Don’t get me wrong, people change. But change itself is a two-way street; if they shift their priorities, you have the same right to do so.  If I’m but a +1 for their follower count, then I’m glad to make them a -1 in mine. Fair game.

And yes, dating? I’ll just let these images sum up my experience. Now that I’ve thought of it, the Four Noble Truths of Buddhism make perfect sense now.

I still have two more pending posts as of this time, but at least I’ve de-congested my backlogs from some time ago. Hopefully, my new job lets me get some time to work on these remaining ones – permitting me to give way to lover overdue entries.

Well, that’s it for now. Until the next post!


18 thoughts on “234 – On An Update And Catching Up In 2020

  1. Wow. I cannot remember the last time I was Cubao Expo. I don’t even know the places you’ve mentioned. I remember it when TodayX was still there and Mogwai still existed. Back when you can simply order a bottle of beer, sit on the sidewalk and just enjoy the company of yourself, your friends, or the surroundings. Now that I think about it, though, that was a decade ago. God, time really does fly.

    • Some of the other establishments are still there, however. Bellini’s, Fred’s, Habanero, Tacio’s…still going strong. 🙂

      I get what you mean by how simple hanging out at Cubao X was back then. But what made me attracted to the place, however, was the welcoming vibe. My interests aren’t exactly mainstream (mod culture, casual, etc.) – but despite that, I never felt out of place even though the crowd there tends to look intimidating.

      Now that you mentioned it, Gelo (of The Four Strings ukulele shop) would usually tell stories of how Cubao X was back in the day and how the counterculture denizens would enjoy things such as Halloween. 🙂

  2. Hi Monch!

    Hoping I am not one of those you unfriended! Joke! You just commented on my blog. I too have revived my blog, including my Youtube channel (though I am still working on this) because of the Covid19 ECQ. Many of us have just canceled a lot of events, including our graduation in Senior HS, so I also found time to refresh my blog, write some articles, coz it has been awhile.
    I am recovering from 3 metatarsal fractures, so I am in a cast, but the quarantine has given me time to rest and build my broken bones.
    More of your blog post, and thanks for your presence in other of my social media sites.

    Fr. JBoy SJ

    • You’re welcome, Fr. Jboy! I heard about what happened to you, and mabuti naman po na on the way to recovery na kayo. I hope magtuloy-tuloy na ang paggaling, and will pray for you. 🙂

      Hoping for more content din on your end! (On a side note, we’re connected on IG so no worries!)

      Most of all, am hoping to finally meet you in person – kapag pareho tayong nasa Loyola Heights after ng ECQ! =))

      • I know we’re connected in IG, tagal na tayo di ba? I remember you posting about shoes, or a new pair. hahaha! Do take care and be safe! Yes we should meet, and I’ll treat you, but bring me to those cafes. haha!

  3. I never tried those coffees that you mention, perhaps after the lock down that’s something I will try. It make me feel sad whenever someone from my workplace is leaving, but like you said, change is nothing but constant in this world we live in. Stay safe, stay at home.

    • Now that you mentioned it, I ought to visit that particular coffee shop again once the situation dies down. Nothing beats supporting and patronizing a friend’s business after this long quarantine period.

      Likewise, stay safe!

    • On the contrary, I don’t remember unfollowing you anywhere haha! (Though there was one instance on IG, back when your account got compromised or something — but you got it back now.) 🙂

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