Saturday Night. It was raining hard, the streets are dark and we are so lost in the middle of Tacloban City. Leo, a fellow CPA who volunteered for LNU last year after the storm, and I just had our early dinner at Andoks Downtown Tacloban. Our pedicab driver also got us lost when we said to him we want to go to Jolibee near Bethany Hospital. He dropped us at Andoks Downtown, a few hundred meters from Jollibee Downtown (which is still not operational) and a few kilometers at the opposite direction from Jollibee near Bethany. We were not mad, we were hungry. So we ate at Andoks. Leo is a good friend of mine. He is three years my junior at the business school we came from. I think he worships and idolize me, which I’m not comfortable with all those adjectives and glorifying stories about me and whatever. Leo used to work in my work place, until LNU pirated him off. Now he’s earning bigger money than I do.
That’s the same place I brought Armie and Lloyd and later Michael Jackson, for a TOES group meeting that Unity Run 2 weekend a month ago. We had a great time that rainy weekend. It was a great meeting for our last ditch effort to finalize whatever the free running event needed. Armie was unbelievable listening and blending into the group, doing her contribution for the meeting and doing her journalistic stuffs right after. The TOES loved her instantly. And I’m still having trouble working out the finances for the group, until now. Andoks is a special place.
Right after we ate, we wanted to just walk back to his dorm which I’m staying at since I have a flight the next day and set up a meeting with beneficiaries of a TOES co-hosted project. But it rained and suddenly we wandered into a dark intersection of downtown Tacloban. Then we saw a coffee shop. We were slightly wet so we decided to check it out.
The place is called Libro: Books and Coffee. I think the name suggest what we were up to. Hot coffee, wifi and… books? It seemed odd visiting a cafe with books nowadays. Usually it’s just coffee, pastries and wifi. But hey I love books and I’m lovin’ every inch of it. The place turned out to quite good! Love the interior designs and the relaxing yet sincere mood of the place. It was simple and unpretentious cafe. Books were everywhere in the cabinets, at the table and most of them are for sale at bargain price! Bargain as in really cheap price. Now the coffees, one thing I know is that it sells them at a much lower price than Cafe Lucia (I’m totally missin’ that place) and Jose Karlo. I cant be sure of the quality since I only ordered a hot mocha drink, and it was great! And I have to remind myself that this place was not spared by Yolanda. This shop too was destroyed by the storm but thanks God they’re back!
At first I only wanted to hang out with Leo while waiting for the rain to stop. I just want to catch up with him and how he’s been doing there in Tacloban in the past three months (I practically dragged this boy to live in this city). Life is good as long as there is a job that pays well. Work is tough and hectic with all the insurance claims LNU has to process. Lucky university. But then Leo started to get interested in a particular management book than our conversation, so I forced myself to look into the book titles. Then I realized man, these are good books. Most of them are handed over and probably owned by the owner. Whoever it is he know what his reading, with class. I thought they were there for display until I saw some price tags at the back.
So I ended up buying two books; one for myself an award-winning book titled Hatchet (which I’m not likely to read given my busy schedule) and one for Armie whom I never really given my gratitude for selflessly supporting the Unity Run 2 (that headlamp she ambushed from me during AWUM doesn’t count btw). The young lady has to travel from Cebu and took a four-day leave because I asked her to come and help us out in our cause. That means a great deal to me. Beside she’s practically the only friend I know who currently has time to read (read: Instagram posts). The book is a Bridget Jone’s Diary sequel (I love the movies!!!), so I can only hope she will love it and read it someday. But it’s really more than just a title why I bought it. I want to give her something more tangible something that actually survived Yolanda, something that came from Tacloban as a souvenir. It was that book. Thank you for coming hotshot.
Libro: Books & Coffee
Bookstore and Coffee Shop
Sto. Niño St (at P. Gomez St), 6500 Tacloban City, Leyte