My Hiding Place

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A laid back, not-your-usual kind of cafe.  If you’re a fast-paced highly engaged individual, this place is not for you. Orders take time as Van Gogh prepares the dishes with utmost passion. You bus your own table. You ring the bell by  the kitchen window if you need something else. You write your orders and tally your own bill on a piece of paper. Just a few of Van Gogh’s house rules –  breaking it won’t land you in jail, but do so at your own risk. 😛

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Organic teas are served based on your mood preference, on a teapot of your choice. Banana, Avocado, Mango, Spanish plum, Mint, Ginger, Guyabano flavors. All these are natural remedies for your weary senses.

van goghMismatched pieces of furniture are a perfect visual delight. Works of art adorn the walls creating an impression of unrivaled craftsmanship.

And there’s my favorite curse wall – painted in red, I call it the freedom wall because you can write and vent and curse all you want. Release your anger, frustrations, what-have-yous. A perfect emotional punching bag for those who are having a bad hair day.

Every visit is a feast to my taste buds. The owner  is patient and accommodating enough to explain how each food on the menu helps produce certain hormones on your body that could help you beat stress, anxiety and a whole lot more.  PA210172 This particular dish beats depression – Larry Flynt’s Cabbage Experience. Freshly boiled cabbage, dried fish, salted eggs together with fresh fruits of the day complemented by a special sauce turn into an ultimate fusion of flavors I never thought would taste good together.

We seek refuge here for a quick respite from the toxic corporate world. But intentions of a short stay are almost always extended to long hours of conversations over a cup of tea, or rather “cups of tea” 🙂 At times,  we relish moments of just sitting there, in tranquil solitude, in the presence of dear friends who are equally immersed in their own private thoughts, unwary of everything else outside.

It is also the best place to cap a tiring day. Conversations with Van Gogh (the owner) are also as splendid – from his travel adventures to insights about how his bipolar brain works. Devoid of traditional business goals, he set-up the cafe not to gain profit, but to fulfill his passion of  providing food that leaves you happy and in good spirits. He is also generous to give complimentary food on some days. He creates the place where disorder becomes an orderly thing.

I wish for the place to stay the way it is. A quaint, unconventional haven for those who lust for something unusually pleasant. A place not so crowded, far and safe from the claws of commercial greed.

Ok – so here’s the place I’m so raving about :

Van Gogh is Bipolar Living Space/Art Gallery Cafe – 154 Maginhawa st., Sikatuna Village (inner courtyard)

Open from 5pm onwards, open for lunch on Saturdays and Sundays.  Closed on Tuesdays.

Search Facebook for its official page.

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Paris On My Mind

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“Does the moonlight shine on Paris
After the sun goes down
If the London Bridge is falling
Will anybody hear a sound
If you follow the sunset will it ever end
Does the moonlight shine on Paris…..”

It’s been a year since I set foot on this enchanting city. Its breathtaking views, the lights so resplendent at night, magnificent landmarks with astounding stories to tell… All of them kept on playing back as I look back and reminisce snippets of a European holiday.

Such a grand picturesque – The Eiffel Tower, Monalisa and The Louvre, Quasimodo and Notredame, Nicole Kidman and Moulin Rouge…..afternoon coffee at a french cafe, dining al fresco with an endless swig of red wine. Those were seemingly perfect days, spent in an almost perfect place.

I’ll go back to this city. Someday. Probably with someone who’ll finally bring out the romantic feeling the whole world is raving about.

Sigh. I hate it when the holidays fall on a weekday.