Saturday, February 22, 2014

Coffee sourced from East of Metro Manila spiced with positive vibes

As Metro Manila motorists were bracing themselves for a heavy Friday traffic, I planned on revisiting a relaxing carefree traverse of the Antipolo Mayamot to Tanay returning back via Tanay-Sampaloc Road in half a day. Agenda was business with leisure. Keeping us alert for the over 120 km trip was coffee at the starting point in Sumulong Highway and midway at the Tanay-Sampaloc intersection.

Meeting place was at McDonald's  at the Sumulong Highway beside Our Lady of Fatima University. While waiting, I conducted an impromptu session on the 4Ds of Appreciative Inquiry to a group of freshman killing time at the fast food chain who joined us at the long table impromptu. In between sips of coffee and narration which they listened to attentively, the students in their late teens shared in the short 30 minute session their discovery of their past accomplishments, the dream they still have to fulfill, the design to make the dream happen and destiny and will to achieve them. Session ended with an open-ended query on when the next session will be which was left temporarily unanswered.

Tables and chairs made of solid mahogany
Four hours later, take-off point for the return was at the Gathering Place at the intersection of Sampaloc and Tanay, getting known as the alternative source of Arabica, Baraco and Liberica coffee as the soil, topography and cool climate of the elevated barangay are suitable for coffee plantation. That single cup was enough to perk us up for the cold air and the long and winding drive back to the city mid-afternoon.

A 250 gram pack priced from P175 to P225
Business was successfully transacted beyond expectation. And the incidents that happened in between added depth to the trip. I attribute it to the mountains of Sierra Madre, water system (Daranak Falls) and the still preserved nature of Eastern Rizal (Mt. Baras, site of pine plantation of the Manila Seedlings Bank). Nature imbibes good vibes, a welcome break from the congestion and suffocation at the urban center. The ride, the session with freshmen, reception received from the warm and accommodating residents of Tanay, the company and coffee made the revisiting traverse not just fulfilling but a notable one.

Join us for the next ride and the coffee break as surely it will add more spice to the conversation.

Travelogue article written 2004.

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