Our space has always been about the people more than anything; because coffee, cookies and cakes are made to be consumed, and then people get to have a “respite.” Our feed will never be “curated” on Instagram, because the people who come in and pass by are not (or we just don’t know how to make it “look good,” help?), plus we almost never post our customers because privacy–again “respite.”
From the grumpy guy outside who keeps hating our customers–in turn driving them away (what’s wrong with you!), to the nice laundry guy neighbor, the lady who supplies our soap (respite’s one rule, always wash your hands until there’s no more skin), the tall caretaker who’s all smiles and kind to us, the two–“yung mukhang adik” (they’re actually nice people), and the ladies who keeps blocking our stairway making sure nobody comes in (we just let them be), all is well.
And for those who do come in. “Ate I’m not going to buy anything, I don’t have money” (okay, high school students you are excused, have a seat, here’s water, free tea–not always like this though). The regular tambays, they have been promoted as “patrons,” they get discounts for no reason (yes, sometimes they buy things). Our kind neighbors upstairs, who shared their space with us, and buys everything we have. Our loyal customers from our first location (thank you for literally just passing by to say “hello”). Meridian kids, who would talk about how they understand the world works (we miss you). Parents, who bugs their grown up child everyday (come on, “leave those kids alone”). Random unpaid “starving artist,” who got curious with our shop (we have delicious water, sometimes free coffee–we really need sponsors). “Freelancers” who would rant about the “corporate” world, but have never worked for one (we will rant with you). Seminarians who would quote the best scholars, just to show you they “read good stuff” (we like reading too). Evangelicals, Born Agains, and the like, who would try to convert you because that’s what they live for (we listen). Beach bums who got lost in the city (some of the nicest people we met). “Lost souls” (aren’t we all?). And finally paying customers, who make up a portion of our crowd (we hope you are many).
This is who we are, respite–a community.