April 7 is always a special day for me, on this day I was born and it just so happens that I have reached the first quarter of my life. Yes I am that old but I still feel sprightly, young and vigorous and can still travel to different places (hahaha). Anyway, I don't usually celebrate my birthday, most celebrations are a stay-at-home affair with a good book, a comfy bed, maybe a movie on the side then dinner with my family. For the past 20 or so years this has been the pattern of my celebration and nothing has really changed that much. Yesterday was a different matter, for the first time in my life, I was surprised with a party wherein people whom I hold near and dear to me came.
In recent years, Kapitolyo has undergone a transformation from the sleepy almost industrial barangay to the present food stop,vibrant and even lively place that it is today. For many who have gone through Kapitolyo, the food choices here are limitless and all cater to a specific palate and cuisine. People who have flocked to this foodie haven have already chosen their favorites: the American, the Thai, the Vietnamese, and a whole mix of fusion and nouveau. Recently, I happened to stumble upon the a somewhat new addition to the food scene here in Kapitolyo, Kanto Style Breakfast is a sequestered and quiet place that serves all-day breakfast.
In the dense jungle that is Manila, there are still some hidden gems that surprise those willing to explore and find out about this sprawling and ancient city. One of these gems, which I happen to have stumbled along is Cafe Noriter along Estrada Street near Taft Avenue. This coffee shop, hidden in plain sight without any remarkable landmark to guide you will somewhat pass you by as you make your way along the streets of Taft. I sure did, since for the longest time that I have been passing that street going to graduate school I've never really noticed it.
There really is no denying the uniqueness of Manila. For all its faults and defects there's just something appealing in the city that surprises its citizens and visitors. Last May, I started my graduate school education at De La Salle University in Taft, in my relatively short stay there (a term and a half, I am in the process of reevaluating the course I enrolled in) I have come to enjoy the places where our class would hang out and also, where Tricia and I got to know each other.
After spending an entire afternoon painting, it was time for us to enjoy a good dinner. So from Capitol Hills we zipped our way to the LRT-3 station in Katipunan, got down at Recto, took the long concourse to Doroteo Jose and finally alighted off at Vito Cruz. Took quite awhile but it was a cheaper alternative to taking a cab and purposely staying away from the madness that is the MRT. Now for what possible reason would we have in going from one end of the metro to the other? Well we wanted to have a taste of bagnet the only place where we know does it right. Plus I was in for a special surprise when I discovered a new (old for many) coffee shop to hang out in.
My name is Alfonso your nerdy history teacher, bookworm and lover of all things cultural and exciting. You can find me in a weekend market, in a bookshop, or eating in Japanese restos during the weekends.