Starbucks U.N.

It was the summer of 2008 when I first set foot in this place which is located just almost near the north end of Roxas Boulevard in Manila. Since then, it has been my third home. My refuge. My haven.

It is still clear in my mind the very first time I went here. It was a scorching hot weekday and a venti frappuccino was really a great refreshment. I was with my ‘superfriend’, a high school friend whom I never got to hang out with anymore since college started. I fell in love with the place right away. Seriously, just after I had my first sip in a comfortable couch in that two-floor shop, I knew that this place would be a home for me.

And I was right. College started and this coffee house with all its friendly baristas and jazzy music has been a haven for me and for some of my friends. We had spent hours here working on Algebra and Statistics problems, English and History papers, Econometrics models and a lot other school shitloads. It has also been a place where we celebrate and just chill whenever school permits us to, a destination after school.

But above all those, this place has been my refuge – like my evacuation area whenever I’ve been devastated by a great typhoon or like a concert hall every time I want to reward myself for a job well done. It has been a place to crash for me. Well, almost.

Now that I got to think of that three years of good and bad memories I had in this humble place, I can’t help but be nostalgic about how it has witnessed my transformation as a man. I remember all those people I shared a table and a cup of coffee with. Some of them are still here but most are gone. It’s a lot to take. I look in every spot here – couches, tables, corners – and I still clearly remember some unforgettable moments with those people who had been here with me.

Now, I’m about to finish college. And I am still here. Somebody told me that I need a new environment because of the present situations in my life. But no matter what happens, I will still be coming back here. I don’t care if I’ll be sitting all by myself or with somebody new. It’s a part of me. This is my home. My refuge. My haven.

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