Keep writing, gypsy girl…
I NEED to get back to writing. Staying away from it makes me feel messed up and incomplete. </3
A touch of Gayuma to spice things up…
Christmas traffic made it impossible for me to go Christmas shopping. Before I knew it, the day has ended already. I wanted to at least go to somewhere interesting at eleven in the evening, so I dropped by Gayuma ni Maria.
Aside from the gypsy-like ambience and their menu (loaded with puns), they’re also famous for their desserts. The Beats Sex Any Day (see photo) is one of their best-sellers.
What’s New, Peggy Sue?
Stacy’s at Capitol Green Street!
They serve popcorn (with marshmallows!) while you wait for the dishes you ordered.
Dear John pasta —- one of their best-sellers. Yummy (and healthy, too)! :)
Say goodbye to the boring old normal-looking cup of rice.
Banofee Pie + Candy Cane
To top it all off… they gave us a heart-shaped candy cane after we paid the bill. What a lovely way to express their gratitude! ♥
Pictures of My Walden (a follow-up post)
To know more about this wonderful place, visit Van Gogh is Bipolar Facebook Fan Page.
If Thoreau is to Walden, Gypsy Girl is to VGIB
Van Gogh is Bipolar
There is a place in Sikatuna Village, Quezon City that opens when the day is about to end. Hidden beneath the driveway of 154 Maginhawa Street, only those who know of this by word of mouth or through their own discovery can arrive at this place. Unlike other restaurants and cafes, there is no humungous sign plastered on its entrance identifying the cafe’s name. From the outside, it looks like an ordinary apartment with a regular door ornamented with unique decors (e.g. a slipper hanging near the door with the word “open” written on it, etc.). There is no clue whether there are people inside, except for the presence of different kinds of footwear found by the door.
Upon entering this café known as Van Gogh is Bipolar, one will have to remove his/her shoes, like entering a holy ground. The mood changes automatically as soon as one steps inside. Strangely, the place has a calming effect on its guests. Everything is seemingly in disarray, yet at the same time, everything is in harmony with each other.
First of all, the furniture has no uniform look. Tables and chairs of different colors, shapes and sizes are grouped together in order to form numerous dining sets. Some of them look ancient, while some look brand new. There is no uniform look for the tablecloths, placemats and centerpieces for the dining sets either. Tablecloths and placemats could have floral designs, Indian designs, et cetera. Centerpieces could be a vase filled with flowers, or a lamp, or any random thing like a feather. While some dining sets are filled with so many decorations, some are bare. Some dining sets do not have chairs, so some customers would have to sit on the floor while eating. In this café, there are various kinds of teapots guests could use. Like the rest of the objects found here, each teapot is different from the other. Also, the lone huge vintage cabinet standing by the entrance is notable —- it belonged to former President Laurel.
It seems to me that each and every piece of thing in this restaurant has its own character; no two objects are completely alike. Isn’t it how things really are in this world? Everything is so diverse. Plants and animals differ in kind. People differ in race, sex, class and preferences. Science has long ago pointed out that no two human beings are alike, even twins; fingerprints prove that. Even with the presence of plastic surgery and cloning, still, humans cannot be entirely replicated. Who we are does not fully depend on how we look, but also on how we move and think.
Throughout the course of human existence, society has more or less dictated how people should behave, yet time and time again, at some point in their lives, people find themselves marginalized when they deviate from the norm. Here in this café, there is no prejudice. The owner, Jetro, a bipolar, welcomes everyone with open arms and a smiling face. He prepares food for everyone and talks to each person with the same regard. Knowing how it is to be out casted by society, Jetro lets his guests express themselves and purge out their pains on his Red Curse Healing Wall found at one corner of the café. Should guests feel the need to be more in touch with their Supreme Being, there is a universal altar in the café which honors deities of various religions: Christianity, Buddhism, Animism and Islam, to name a few.
Although Van Gogh is Bipolar uplifts the human spirit, it does not spoil its guests. It constantly reminds people that they have to make an effort if they want something. There are no servers here. If the customer wants to order a meal, he or should write his order on a piece of paper, ring the bell by the kitchen window and give it to the receiver. The customer would likewise have to claim his or her meal by the kitchen window once the food is prepared. Guests could freely help themselves with tea, since everything they need —- from tea leaves, teapots, teacups, teaspoons to wild honey —- is laid out on the table just beside the kitchen window. There are guidelines on how to make tea, but guests are very much welcome to choose any kind of tea they want and how they want it to be mixed. Life pretty much works the same way: there are no hard and fast rules on how to live life. Instead we are given guidelines, advices, from the elderly and from the people around us. At the end of the day, it is all up to us to decide on what decisions we make.
The café holds people accountable for their own actions. Having no servers, guests are requested to clean up after their own mess by putting their soiled dishes on the kitchen counter. Regarding payment, guests are requested to put their payments on the cash box located near the teapots. No one guards this box to dissuade people with evil intentions except for a note that says: “Notice to stealers: 1 million blessings and 1 million curses to you. P.S. Dishonest people included.” Simply put, people are liable to their own karma. The world has its way of maintaining balance while forever in a constant flux.
As much as the world is changing, the furniture arrangement in Van Gogh is Bipolar perpetually changes. I have been there for about ten times already; yet every time I go there, something is always different. People come and go, in the same way people enter and exit my life; some leave a mark (like the calling cards, writings, wood carvings on the café’s wall and wood table), while some leave with no clue that they have been here at all. At times when I wonder if my imperfections made them leave me, but when I look at the café’s menu (the dishes are named after brilliant people with bipolar disorder), I realize that I should not dwell on self-pity. Even great individuals like Catherine Zeta-Jones and Abraham Lincoln had to deal with their flaws —- they did not let it stop them from reaching their full potential.
Van Gogh is Bipolar, to me, is a constant reminder of how life works. Indeed, it is imperfect. It contains an entire mesh of seemingly contrasting different things —- the new, the old, the broken, the durable and the lost; yet out of these differences, each and every one complements each other; and in that sense, it is perfect. Although differences in culture and personality may clash, at the end of the day, when the heat has cooled down, this particular café relieves us of our distress, just as the street name where it is located suggests. Here, we can be who we truly are.
Love Letter to the Divine
I have never been the perfect kind, but You have always remained patient with me. No adventure is without danger, yet You let me have them so that I may learn. And yes, many a time I have been hurt and consequently have gotten cold, despite Your perpetual reminder to stay warm. There were instances that I doubted what You said, yet You have always prevailed in proving me wrong.
In every person that I have crossed paths with, You have made Yourself known —- that certain glow you give off is just impossible to miss. Thank You for giving me sunshine even when my spirit is too stubborn to let it in. Your love is so pure that it can wash away any stain in my heart. Without a doubt, You defeat all evils.
In gratitude, may I give the same amount of love and kindness that You’ve given me to every being around me. May Your divine energy flow without end.
I found a gingerbread house in Tagaytay
Memory Lane, Magallanes Drive, Tagaytay.
wonderful ambience + good food + 50s and 60s music