Dining and Working at Chelsea Grand Cafe
November 30 in the Philippines is Andres Bonifacio Day. On that day, friends who worked full time can finally hang. Kari and I are both freelancers, so going out on a holiday was no problem for both of us. However, Arrah works 9 to 5 . We were supposed to celebrate on the Saturday before her birthday which was the 26th. She had a prior commitment on the 25th, so we went through with the 30th. We had two goals that day: 1) finish the Breakout room Number 1 Fan, and 2) celebrate Arrah's 24th by dining at Chelsea Grand Café.
Every hangout often starts with the question, "Saan tayo kakain?" ("Where are we going to eat?") The Breakout branch we went to was located on the second floor of Serendra, Bonifacio Global City (BGC). Chelsea was right at the ground floor. Kari and Arrah wanted to try it out, and I agreed because I did like the food and coffee I got from this café. I wanted to wear something a little fancier that day, but I wanted to move around so I wore a baseball shirt with khaki shorts.
Chelsea was indeed a very quaint vibrant café that mixed in Filipino and European design. Their food and coffee are definitely delicious. Even better is you can do your work in this pretty place since they have wifi and lots of sockets. But I didn't get to really experience that at first. On my first visit, their wifi was not working at all. I ended up having to use my own crippling data to go online. But they made up for it this time.
As usual, I plan to leave very early so I can do a lot of work. But my smartphone attachment, lazy habits, and lack of understanding Manila travel time prevented all of that from making it happen. Turns out Kari was in the area already at the same time I was there. She already had a Christmas gift for me as early as November! I don't blame her though, we don't know when we'd see each other again so might as well. (We did see each other later on with Arrah and Abbi. Complete in almost two years!) Arrah messaged us, saying she's running late so we went ahead and ordered food good for all of us.
For our food, Kari and I wanted to try their promo special that included pasta, pizza, and (non-alcoholic) drinks. The server told us the promo starts at 3 PM. 3 PM is our reserved time at Breakout, so we just ordered separate items large enough to serve us. We got their version of calamari and 4-cheese pizza, while we ordered our own beverages. Kari got juice while I ordered my coffee beforehand, as I worked on the blog where I spill my feelings for 2017.
The barista noticed I was hustling to take photos of my latte. Like any barista, he was delighted to see customers taking photos of his creation. He approached me and we made chitchat about my first time at Chelsea. I told him it was my second time there. Then for my third time, he claimed his next latte art: a swan. I do appreciate the offer, but a simple Baymax face would make my day entirely.
Arrah arrived later on and we left all the remaining pizza to her. Birthday girl gets the pizza, after all. We chatted with Abbi through a Messenger video call. The chat lasted for almost an hour, so it felt like as if everyone of us was there in the café.
We ended the lengthy chat after we paid our bills and headed to Breakout. Unfortunately, we only increased progress towards solving the game by 60%! Last time we only solved 50% of the room, and now we (I) feel more frustrated than ever because we were so close yet also so far. Kari suggested I ask a friend to book the room under a different name, since I paid online twice already. I asked my cousin from the US (who's coming home for vacation) if he could book the room for me. That way, him, his girlfriend, her cousins, and I would have something fun to do when they get back.
After the escape room, we headed to Starbucks for refreshments. Right nearby was the Zalora popup with a really colorful wall: there was blue, pink, and orange. It's definitely a wall in line with my aesthetic! Each of us took photos with it. Then a group of fashionable guys followed us. They were very prepared, because they had selfie sticks, dSLRs, and tripods–the entire hoopla! The biggest standout was this guy in a black tutu and combat boots, who rocked every pose he could think of.
We went further and took more photos along the way. Pandora had a huge rose gold Christmas tree that matched Kari's skirt. The holiday lights reminded us of Brandon Woelfel's photos so I experimented with taking raw photos I edited later. As we walked, a park right near a building along Bonifacio High Street reminded me of Tokyo's own Yoyogi Park. There were barely any people in sight, so it was our cue to use it as our next photo backdrop.
The day ended with us returning to Serendra and going off to our own destinations. I went home with tons of pictures and video clips due for a blog and vlog, because that day I realized I wanted to expand more from my content so I'm crossing over to YouTube as well. My channel now has art, but I still have yet to post a video. Until then, stay tuned!