Adventures of a Loner: Escolta

It was a spontaneous Saturday when I suddenly decided to go to Escolta and visit the Saturday X Future Market at The Hub, which was making a comeback after almost a year of hiatus (I think). Mommy was trying to convince to just stay at home since I had no one to go with me. “Umuulan tuwing hapon sa Maynila, mabilis bumaha. Dito ka na lang sa bahay.” She was so cute, it almost worked. But I have made up my mind so I kissed her goodbye and went on my way.

The last time I was in Escolta was 2015, if I’m not mistaken. My brother, sister-in-law, and I had a bazaar called Mr. and Mrs. Sis (We still think it was a cute and clever name haha). Little did we know then that it would be the beginning of what would turn out to be FACE OFF KICKS. Anyway.

I was able to buy an otherworldly beautiful book that I only previously heard about. I was screaming deep inside when I saw it.

The whole Griffin and Sabine series just takes the epistolary genre a notch higher. It was such a precious and rewarding experience to open the envelopes and pull out the letters to advance the novel’s story. The ending just made me stay up way past midnight last night because it’s so frustrating not to know what happens next. I hope I can still come across these books in my next book shopping sprees.
After going around the Market, I decided to check out the Firsr United Bldg. beside and was giddily surprised to see a signage saying on the 5th floor was The Library of Unread Books. My heart did a somersault!

The Library was filled with donated books that, for some reason, have been left unread by their original owners. Readers can stay in the library for free and for as long as they like and they even offer free printing services and free coffee and snacks.

The books were deliberately arranged at random to keep the element of surprise. It was such a lovely place! I found the book I wanted to curl up with and chose a quiet little corner (it was a take-off-your-shoes, sit-on-the-floor setting), and spent half an hour soaking up the magic of Rilke. My heart was full.

I couldn’t stay too long because I still had some things to tick off my imaginary checklist. I went out of the building but not without taking a cliche shot of the staircase. I like it though!

Since I’m from the school of thought that all great days involve caffeine, I had an iced long black at The Den, the coffee shop inside The Hub. It brought back memories of my favorite coffee shop in Chiang Mai which was Akha Ama Coffee.

Fueled and awoken by caffeine, I set out on a walkathon from Escolta to Ongpin in my quest for authentic Chinese food. I did not have GPS or a concrete knowledge of the restaurant’s address. I just went where my feet would take me and eventually (and after asking for directions only once haha), I found myself among Chinoys inside Wai Ying. As usual, I ordered wanton mami, hakaw, and their delicious milk tea. 

Yum!! In my defense, I walked and walked so my hunger was justified. Haha.
To end the day, I decided to visit my beloved alma mater. It was another walkathon but I’m lucky it did not rain (contrary to what Mommy said haha) and it made my journey a lot easier and hassle-free.

Full disclosure: I’m always scared to walk alone in the streets of Manila because the people all look so tough and the threats of danger seem to be everywhere. I overcame this fear by acting all tough myself, walking briskly, and even frowning here and there just to channel my inner Tough Street Girl. And it worked! No one bothered me and I was safe and sound the whole time. Proud moment, ladies and gentlemen.

When I got there, La Salle still felt like home and brought back many warm and happy memories. If I could hug my college self, I would.

The Ampitheater! I used to pass by here everyday on my way to my classrooms. Lots of lively chatter and student vibes.

Still my favorite building in the campus. So serene and scenic.

The future indeed begins here.

My classmate once said, “You can take the boy out of Ateneo, but you can’t take Ateneo out of the boy.” I think it’s also true for La Salle and girls. 😊

And that’s it for the 2017 pilot episode (?) of my Adventures of a Loner! Till the next one!

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