Books and Brews Cafe

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Name: Books and Brews Cafe
Address: Mango Square Mall, Juana Osmeña St., Camputhaw, Cebu City, 6000 Cebu
Type: Cofffe Shop
Opened: May 8, 2017
Price range: PHP48+
Amenities: Sofas, books, WiFi

A pretty quaint and quiet place, with bookshelves that encourage customers to read, Books and Brews Cafe is a really nice blend of a place between brews of all sorts, some choice baked goods (classic brownies and chocolate cookies, both of which are deliciously satisfying to one’s sweet tooth), and books.

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Very aesthetically pleasing, with an introvert-friendly ambiance, it’s definitely a place I predict will prove to be popular amongst the local Cebuanos and tourists who drop by Cebu.

With a pretty good WiFi speed, it’s quite a work-friendly place. The tables also allow space for 4 people and is large enough to hold at least 3 laptops, if group work is in mind. There are also a number of wall sockets for charging if ever you do need to do so.

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Located in Mango Square Mall, it’s easily accessible from most parts of Cebu City.

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A great place to check out? Definitely!

 

Thai Sojourn at Marco Polo Plaza Cebu

On my second day of internship, I was sent to a Thai food event at Marco Polo Plaza Cebu. Food again. And this time, I was surrounded by bloggers. Or rather, the table I was at was where bloggers sat, while traditional media sat at the other long table nearby. And the event was one heck of a foodie paradise.

Which leads me to my question that I asked myself constantly today, while sitting with these people, eating Thai food and listening to their conversations (as they were all friends with one another, talking of inside jokes and things I had no idea about; i.e. travelling in and around Southeast Asia and the world).

Is this the life of a blogger in Cebu? Or any other media/press personnel? All the time? Is it? Events and free food and gift bags? Because, yes, I got another gift bag today, and this time, it was from Marco Polo.

Anyhow, as events go, I rather enjoyed myself, looking forward to the food being served, while also being absolutely nervous and anxious about the whole thing, having this sense of being out of place and not belonging. Because truth be told, I was doubting my capabilities, feeling like a completely huge liar and a poser.

But really, the food was amazing and absolutely fresh. Quality ingredients were definitely used to make the dishes and the flavours were all a great blend, perfectly balancing things out. Definitely great Thai food offered.

Anyhow, next week will bring a whole new level of challenges. Let’s see how it goes then.

First day of my summer internship – Chinese food at Master Po Cebu

Amazing how I got this internship really. I’m blessed with something that’s so challenging in terms of tasks to do, yet also really fun at the same time. The blend of the different sorts of outputs, all to be done at my own time (so long as I hand them in by the deadline) is just the right sort for a quiet introvert like me.

Anyhow, for the first ever event I had to cover, it’s safe to say that it was not as nerve wracking as the setting I’m at right now (second day of internship – Marco Polo Plaza Cebu). But at the time, I was indeed frightened that I’d do something wrong.

It was the launching of 9 new dishes for Master Po Cebu, and it was in line with their partnership with a local ASD centre for children (The Kids Gym Therapy Center). Ms Jan Joan Yu-Soa’s son suffers from the aforementioned disorder and this showed her exactly how difficult it is for those who suffer under ASD; the discrimination, the bullying, and the mean comments. It was all painful for her, most especially since there were also moms at the school her son is enrolled to that told their children not to play with her son, because “naay something“. And because of her experience, she wanted to provide the children of the centre with a safe place for them to learn and develop skills they’d need, so each day, some of the kids would come over to help out with the dishes and mopping of the floor. In fact, three kids from the centre, including her son, were there to help out at the press release of the dishes.

The food, when it came out, looked scrumptious. And since it was Chinese food, it was like I was brought back to my childhood, most especially with the glutinous rice (not many of the others liked it though, but then again, I enjoyed the dish due to how much I missed that sort of food).

I also met some other press people from other news agencies (Freeman, etc.) and a few of them befriended me, which was really nice of them, because everyone already seemed to know one another at the place and I really felt out of place. At least I left feeling less alone.
At the end of the whole thing, after all the games and feeding, they gave us a bamboo straw, an environmental alternative to plastic straws. It can be reused many times and could last up to 2 years if taken care of. I’ll not be using it though, because it’s been packaged too nicely. So it’ll just lay there…a memento of my first day of internship at InnoPub Media, doing events for MyCebu.ph…

I feel like I’ll definitely be gaining weight from this internship if food is all I’ll be doing…but I’m definitely not complaining.

Musicology 007

Are we truly ever free? And when we choose to actively disengage from everything society dictates, are we not still trapped, but in a different way? Isolation from everything?

Those are just a snippet of the questions that ran through my mind when I heard this song.  And true, these questions have always been in me, but they resurfaced yet again, thanks to Katy Perry’s “Chained To The Rhythm”, featuring Skip Marley. So here’s to some pondering.

“Are we crazy / Living our lives through a lens”

This most likely pertains to living through the camera and through digital devices, which is quite common now in this generation. What I mean is that for every single little moment, sometimes we don’t get to savour them anymore in an organic manner due to constantly documenting them, filling up one’s newsfeed with selfies and pictures and giving off this image of a life that is so picturesque. Is it a forged perception of our personal lives or is it actual reality?

It’s like we’re our own paparazzi really…Is it a form of self-worship and obsession in maintaining an image by placing oneself in the limelight of a social media platform? Or it could be that we’re just sharing our lives with those who matter to us with no ulterior motives. It is our right and we have the freedom to do so, after all, but does it not come to a point wherein it seems almost like a trap in its own shape and form?

Social media has become such a huge influencer that I just have to quote yet another song here.

“Wrong information always shown by the media / Negative images is the main criteria / Infecting the young minds faster than bacteria / Kids wanna act like what they see in the cinema” (“Where Is The Love?” by Black Eyed Peas)

Information overload. Difficulty in triangulating sources. Fake news. Amorality. Degradation of values. Sex successfully selling. Propagation of the sexual objectification of men, women, and children. Rampant pornographic visuals, cyber-sex and human trafficking…

“Dance, dance, dance to the distortion”

The power media has is scary. While it can inspire, it can also hurt. And that hurt can be so deeply entrenched in society, we can become blind to media’s intoxicating effects, carrying down into history.

Many times I hear of people wanting to remove themselves from societal influences, but can we really say we successfully have done so and aren’t affected by the dictates of what we should all look like? How we should act? Doesn’t the fashion industry control our perception of beauty, what makeup to buy, and what clothes to wear (I will NOT go into consumerism right now)? Don’t magazines and articles and TV shows and music dictate how we should run our lives and relationships?

I could continue on with this point really, citing and adding more onto my EE during IB, wherein I delved deep into fashion magazines via linguistic analysis, but I truly need to study right now…

“Yo’, whatever happened to the values of humanity / Whatever happened to the fairness and equality / Instead of spreading love we’re spreading animosity / Lack of understanding, leading us away from unity” (still “Where Is The Love?” by Black Eyed Peas)

I don’t really intend to put any finality in this directionless post with some huge point, as these were just questions and thoughts floating around in my head that urged me to put them down into words since I need to really study for an upcoming exam (but these said questions and thoughts wouldn’t leave me alone to concentrate on studying), but I do choose to finish this off in an open-ended, inconclusive manner. These are, after all, incomplete thoughts and questions with so many answers, that I doubt I’ve covered everything that needs to be covered here.

How much influence does the media have on you and me? Have your values altered over time because of what it tells you to focus on and what it says is right and wrong? Are you and I hypocrites? How deeply enslaved are we by the system?

Social media and the media truly have made the world smaller, which is truly its strength, I’ll give it that. But at what cost?

Anyhow, “We’re all chained to the rhythm” (unless you disagree).

“So put your rose-colored glasses on / And party on”

P.S. Props to Katy Perry’s new song (that features Skip Marley), as well as to Black Eyed Peas’ classic song

 

Yours truly,

RaMarAl, an overanalysing Mass Communication student