Unexpected (Minimalist) Café outside Metro Manila

Bulacan, Philippines

Saturdays are usually days when you just enjoy each minute relaxing and doing nothing. Today was different. For a guy who is normally content just staying at home, I decided to get out and do a ‘roadcation’ with the girlfriend. 🙂

There were two options: one is just to go to hang out and stroll at Bonifacio Global City or two, take the car and drive up north. The second option won.

Amidst the extremely, crazy, horrendous traffic along EDSA, Dai (ze girlfriend) and I decided to cruise to Santa Rita, Bulacan to a quaint, minimalist-themed café called ‘Café +’. I have been there several times with my brother and a good friend and I have only good words to say about the place. I told Dai about my previous experience but I haven’t brought her there yet. So, I guess doing the road trip and making her experience the café was a good plan.

Upon entering the area, you’ll immediately notice the simple signage but what caught our attention was the facade and the interior design. Unlike the humongous areas of Starbucks and CBTL, this shop’s size was just right. We weren’t hungry so we just got drinks. I went for my usual Americano while Dai got her iced tea (Bayani Brew). Both were pretty good in my opinion. 🙂

Directions (by land / car):
From Manila, it took us around 1.5 hours to get to Santa Rita, Bulacan. From the North Luzon Expressway, we took the Santa Rita Exit Toll and drove towards Pulilan, Bulacan. Note, Café + is to your left.

Contact information:

Maharlika Highway, Plaridel, Bulacan

Telephone Number: (044) 325 0279

Operating Hours: 9 A.M. to 10 P.M.

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/CAFEplusCBD
















The Bitter Club

August 14, 2014

MANILA, Philippines – I had an AWESOME experience last Saturday as I experienced what a play is like…in a coffee shop!!

I wrote about this play several months back but I have not seen it live. Since then, I kept my excitement and occupied myself by supporting the marketing efforts of Acasia, the non-profit organization producing “Kapeng Barako Club: Samahan ng mga Bitter”. All the preparation boiled down to one night, a special encore presentation for the Media and Bloggers. The wait was worth every minute. Everyone was having fun, got a lot of freebies and was able to interact with the actors. 🙂

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The play started at exactly 7:30pm. Honestly, I didn’t expect it to happen on time but the group was committed to what it promised to the attendees. From scene 1 up to the final act, all 7 actors lived up to their characters. Kudos to Mr. Juan Ekis, the Palanca Award-Winning writer who orchestrated the night.



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Thank you again to all who supported and joined us last Saturday. It’s something for the books and we look forward to seeing everyone in the succeeding runs of KBC! For those who missed out on this play, it will be BEST to experience it first hand. It’s rare you find a play in a cafe, right? :p

Here are the details:

Kapeng Barako Club: Samahan ng mga Bitter is presented by Third Cup Café and CornWorld.

In cooperation with Enjoy Comfort Concoction, Shop Iya Misa, Crevin Media, EAT Great Food, Infinitea Katipunan, Blushing Cupcakes, Bravo Advertising, Mr. Sherwin Hermogenes and Mr. Arjohn Lascano.

Special thanks to DZXL 558, Seiri Magazine, Wazzup Pilipinas, DZUP 1602, Pieces of Liz, I am Dekaphobe, Kamoterunner, Mix of Everything, Thoughtspresso, San Beda Alabang and The Write Type.

  • Seating Capacity – ONLY 40 SEATS AVAILABLE! (P500/ticket with 1 free drink)
  • Reservations – (Mobile – +63 908 432 8837 ; Email – samahanngmgabitter@gmail.com & artsandcultureasia.ph@gmail.com)
  • Online
    • Facebook, Youtube and Instagram (/SamahanNgMgaBitter)
    • Twitter (@BitterCorp)

Life is (indeed) a beach

Manila, Philippines

Ever been to a good beach? Try Boracay, one of the most famous beaches in the Philippines. Although some would say that the long beach is slowly deteriorating, it’s still a nice, cozy place to go to.

Spending: P23,000 rough total
– P13,000 – Airfare cost during peak season from (and back to) Manila, which is expensive. So, best if you book at least 3 months before your trip.
– P750 – 2.5 nights of parking (if you have a car) in Terminal 3
– P200 – 1-time terminal fee
– P260 – boat ride fee from (and back) to the airport
– P200 – tricycle fee from (and back) to the port
– P5,000 – 2-night stay at Hey Jude Hotel
– P3,000 – food, drinks and a little shopping for 3 days

Eating Favorites:
– Coconut / Buko Shake
– Fresh Sea Food (purchase during dinner time only)
– Jonah’s Army Navy Sandwich
– Hey Jude’s Longganisa Breakfast
– Sun Asian Kitchen’s Laksa

– It is really more fun in the Philippines. Shout out to the locals!
– Juggling work and vacation is workable.
– Travel light if you’re spending just 3 days and 2 nights.
– Live and love life!

Continue reading

All In The Clouds

Manila, Philippines

Have you tried staging a planning session that didn’t entail long drives and would give a breather from the metropolis?

Recently, I went up with the great people from ACASIA to Cloud 9, a cozy hotel at Antipolo Philippines. We went there to brainstorm and consolidate our fantastic ideas for 2014. Once we got there, the 1.5-hour drive from Quezon City was worth it! We weren’t able to use all the facilities but what caught our attention was the picturesque view of Metro Manila, Laguna de Bay, Mountains of Sierra Madre and Rizal Province.


Here’s what the hotel had to offer:

  • The Ateroid
  • The Sky Garden
  • The Venus Hall
  • The Meteor Garden
  • The Galaxy Hall
  • The Seventh Heaven
  • The Celestial Hall
  • The Veranda Garden
  • The Kelly Heights Garden
  • The Meditation Chapel
  • The Nirvana Garden




  1. Have patience for long drives.
  2. Enjoy every minute of planning sessions.


Photo Credits:

  • n/a

Writer Info:

Awe Messages

A Master of Basics, Enthusiast of Simplicity, God’s Servant, Sports Fan, MMA Junkie, Coffee Addict and a Proud Filipino.
He studied in Ateneo De Manila and in the University of Santo Tomas. His marketing career began in 2005 and has worked for international creative/ advertising agencies.
He can be sent a personal message anytime via (@AweMessages) Facebook (Awe Mes), Twitter, Google+, Pinterest and Gmail


#antipolo #Best #business #cloud9 #great #mountain #nonprofit #philippines #planning #social #view


Coffee is God’s Gift to Man

coffee 2

Manila, Philippines

What drink perks you up in the morning, when you’re stressed or in the evening? Some people drink milk or create juices. Others, versus drinking, prepare light meals such as milk, cereals with fruits. On the other hand, most of the world’s population would have the ever-reliable coffee. This writer is proudly a heavy coffee drinker.

I am not really particular to what coffee I am taking. It can be your usual 3-in-1s bought in convenience stores or the handcrafted ones you buy in Cafés. When I get the chance to go out, I try to purchase coffee that I haven’t tasted. The good thing about it is that I learn a lot from every purchase.

From the Net

According to Wikipedia, “Coffee is a brewed beverage prepared from the roasted or baked seeds of several species of an evergreen shrub of the genusCoffea. The two most common sources of coffee beans are the highly regarded Coffea arabica, and the “robusta” form of the hardier Coffea canephora. The latter is resistant to the coffee leaf rust (Hemileia vastatrix), but has a more bitter taste. Coffee plants are cultivated in more than 70 countries, primarily in equatorial Latin AmericaSoutheast Asia, and Africa.”

Health Benefits

  1. Reduces the risk of dementia, Parkinson’s disease, Heart Disease, etc.
  2. Prevents Free Radicals, Prostate Cancers and Type 2 Diabetes

Health Risks

  1. Can lead to Iron Deficiency Anemia
  2. Causes Migraines, Anxieties, Arrhythmias and Sleep Disturbances

fact 2

Coffee Facts Videos

  1. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CeTyXKanY_4
  2. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3R0cWUhItsg
  3. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3O82oqC1czM



  1. There’s more to coffee!
  2. Coffee should be appreciated!


Photo Credits:

Writer Info:

Awe Messages

A Master of Basics, Enthusiast of Simplicity, God’s Servant, Sports Fan, MMA Junkie, Coffee Addict and a Proud Filipino.
He studied in Ateneo De Manila and in the University of Santo Tomas. His marketing career began in 2005 and has worked for international creative/ advertising agencies.
He can be sent a personal message anytime via (@AweMessages) Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest and Gmail


#coffee #cafe #Latin #America #Southeast #Asia #Africa #World

Coffee, Café, Latin, America, Southeast Asia, Africa, World


Witnessing Basketball Greatness

Manila, Philippines


Have you ever dreamed of being a basketball superstar – firing a shot from long range, doing ankle-breaking cross overs and flying for a Tomahawk jam? If you are like me, then, welcome to the club! However, there are only a handful of superstars who stand above us mere mortals.


As a basketball fan, I am always amazed with the skills of young basketball players nowadays particularly the ‘Durantula’, Mr. Kevin Durant. 2014 is a stellar year for the 25-year old phenom (yes, he is only 25 years old! My goodness!). Kevin Durant has not even reached his prime and has astonished millions with his elite playmaking. He was recently awarded with the NBA’s MVP Award and the 2014 NBA Scoring Title. In the regular season, there were only two to choose from – KD and LBJ. However, it was Durant’s impeccable scoring and over-all consistency that rewarded him the trophies. James came in second, while Griffin and Noah were 3rd and 4th, respectively.



The Awarding

There are some basketball greats who boast a lot. With KD, what struck me is how simple and sincere he is. And this was validated during his MVP speech:


“Everything in my life, I had to take it,” Durant said. “They’re not going to give it to you out of sympathy. I wouldn’t want it any other way. This was another case, if I wanted to win the MVP, I had to go take it. I felt that this was the year I did that.”


KD the MVP:

  • Point Per Game (PPG) – 32.0
  • Rebounds Per Game (RPG) – 7.4
  • Assists Per Game (APG) – 5.5
  • Only Player to WIN both MVP and Scoring Titles since Allen Iverson in 2001
  • 3rd Player in NBA History to score at least 25 points per game in 41 games


KD the Man:

  • Personality – humble and family-oriented, In an interview with Sports Illustrated, Durant claimed that “global marketing and all that stuff” does not interest him.
  • Off court – humanitarian, donated $1M to the American Red Cross (victims of Moore tornado)



  1. Constantly improve your skills. It doesn’t have to be basketball. 🙂
  2. Success should not lead to arrogance. Stay humble. 
  3. Enjoy watching the NBA especially its great players.




Photo Credits:


Writer Info:

Awe Messages is a Master of Basics, Enthusiast of Simplicity, God’s Servant, Sports Fan, MMA Junkie, Coffee Addict and a Proud Filipino.


He studied in Ateneo De Manila and in the University of Santo Tomas. His marketing career began in 2005 and has worked for international creative/ advertising agencies.


He can be sent a personal message anytime via (@AweMessages) Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest and Gmail



#nba #kevin #durant #lebron #james #blake #griffin #joakim #noah #mvp #best #scoring #title #humble


Corregidor: A Lovely Island in the Philippines

Manila, Philippines

Doing things on the fly can have its advantages and disadvantages. On one hand, the spontaneity gives you an instant reboot from your usual, daily routine and a chance to experience new things. Unfortunately, it also does not give you the assurance of sticking to a budget.


  • Location – Corregidor Island, Bataan, Philippines
  • Travel time from Manila – 4 hours ; Travel area – 180 km
  • Transportation option – land travel using a car
  • Projected budget – P8,000++ ; Actual budget spent – P10,000++
  • Satisfaction Rating10/10

The Booking
On May 2, through Metro Deal, an online merchant, I booked a 1-day road trip with Dai (my girlfriend) to Corregidor Island with a quick stop at Camaya Sands Resort and Leisure (Sitio Wain, Barangay Biaan, Mariveles). Both are located in Bataan, Philippines. The decision turned out to be awesome! For just P5,600 (for two), we were able to use the resort’s facilities, had a satisfactory buffet lunch and go around Corregidor Island. Oh, and the rest of the budget went to gas, toll and food. :p

May 3, 2014
Anticipating a long drive to Bataan, I rested early the night before the trip. I woke up at 5am and Dai and I left Manila at 7am. Since I had my car, we used the (almost) reliable WAZE App to guide us through our journey. Just in case, below is a point-by-point road guide.


  • From Quezon City take a Right to the North Luzon Expressway aka NLEX
  • Proceed to SCTEX Exit
  • Proceed to Clark Exit
  • Continue to Bataan Provincial Highway
  • Continue to National Road
  • Continue to Mindanao Avenue
  • Continue to Roman Boulevard
  • Continue to Concepcion Street
  • Turn left to Lakandula Street
  • Continue to General Ricarte Street
  • Turn right to Mariveles National Road leading to Camaya

After 4 hours, we finally arrived at the resort. Dai and I were immediately blown away by the picturesque surroundings especially the view of the mountains and the sea. Unfortunately, most of our resort photos are in her phone :/ But you’ll see other pictures in this blog.



Corregidor Island
We got our money’s worth! From Camaya, we rode a Sun Cruises Ferry and it only took us only 30 minutes to get to the island. The ferry was cozy, spacious (good thing we were less than 10 inside!) and fast!

Upon arrival, we were greeted by Edwin, our tour guide. If ever you get to Corregidor, request for him. He’s been with his job for 16 years! Every place we went to, it seemed like it was his first time at work. He was very nice and enthusiastic in explaining the monuments and ruins.

According to Edwin, Corregidor aka Fort Mills, played an important part in the Philippines’ history – protecting the country from invaders such as the Japanese from World War II. The tadpole-shaped island is divided into the TOPSIDE, MIDDLESIDE, BOTTOMSIDE and TAILSIDE. Here are some of the other sites to see.

  • Battery Way
  • Pacific War Memorial
  • Filipino Heroes Memorial
  • Corregidor Lighthouse
  • Malinta Tunnel – this is the last stop before leaving. Do not leave the island not until you go inside the tunnel! It’s a terrifying yet exciting journey!

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Heading back home
Touring the island took us 1.5-2 hours and when we got back to the beach, we were exhausted. Instead of driving again to Manila, we decided to stay in a decent inn, Dudice Traveller’s Inn. Located in Roman Boulevard, I highly recommend Dudice. For only P800, you get to stay in a very clean room for 12 hours – enough time to sleep and energize before leaving for Manila.



  1. Enjoy our time with your partner! 🙂
  2. More fun in the Philippines. This whole experience made me love the Philippines more. Corregidor is just one of the country’s thousands of islands! If you were to visit each island (over 7,000 of them) each month, it will take more than a lifetime to go to them. So, you / we better start now!
  3. Make sure to bring extra money. I projected to spend only P8,000 for two but ended up spending a little over P10,000.

AweMessages is a Master of basics | Enthusiast of simplicity | Servant | Sports Fan | MMA Junkie | Coffee Addict | Proud Filipino. He can be reached at awemessages@gmail.com.

#philippines #bataan #camaya corregidorisland #tour #beach #food #road #trip #metrodeal #vacation