Feature: Find Your Seoul.

Photography by Marika Callangan

So I wanted to do something a little bit different than my usual outfit posts for this week. It's been a long, long while since I've actually used my good ol' SLR and just shoot something. And honestly, it felt great being behind the lens for a change.

Towards the end of February, signs of a new establishment around where I used to live piqued my interest and I decided to have a look when it first had its soft opening. Standby as I gush in elation: None of you will believe that wonder that graced my eyes the moment I stepped into this really quirky, modern-designed, Korean-inspired coffee shop named, Cafe de Seoul, located on the second floor of One Archers Building, Taft Avenue, Manila. Entering the place was like being transformed into another world completely. For a second, I felt like I was back in Tokyo, entering a cafe similar to that of Cafe de Seoul (I know, Tokyo and Seoul, but still.. you get my point) and then I look out of the windows and well, it's still Taft.  Because while Taft Ave houses one of the top universities here in the Philippines, the streets beyond the institution are just surrounded grime and chaos. So entering this extremely bright-lit, modern interior was just a relief and breath of goodness to people like me who are so used to walking around that sort of bedlam on a daily basis without tripping or placing any damper on our outfits. 

Cafe de Seoul is a newly opened coffee shop that embodies the heart of Korean culture and soul, modernity and urbanity in its design, branding and interior and provides quality beverages and desserts to appeal to all coffee-tastes and the not-so experimental - especially when it comes to coffee and sweets in general. 

I'm not really sure about most people, but I spend a lot of time just finding the coffee shop meant for me. I remember walking around the heart of Tokyo just searching for the coffee shop. While I've entered several kinds of cafes all with different themes and scenarios going on, I just felt I still haven't found it. You know, that one coffee shop that has everything going on and can relax and calm you the single moment you enter it. I'm not sure how to explain it but I know people search for particular places like that which give them that sort of feeling. By the, I mean, the place is supposed to have your right dose of drinks and pastries, Wifi (a most important factor for me), the right interior with the right lighting and just that overall gratifying vibe to inner systems. With the common coffee shops, I feel like they're either too commercialized or there's too many people or the lighting is too dim or the Wifi is close to impossible or nonexistent... so much and the more when it comes to me and my history of coffee shops. 

I know, I'm a down right primadonna when it comes to coffee shops. I get easily ticked off when one thing isn't right and then, everything falls apart. And I get even more ticked that I have to pay so much for a place that gives me so much annoyance because of all the little things that probably don't matter to other people. Still. 

Well, I'm happy to say that I think I've found the coffee shop that just has everything going on. It's just this place that when I enter, all my real world problem just dissipate into thin air, and the place's interior and bright lights allow me to think and design well on a non-stop basis - I love it. 

They've got a wide array of drinks (my most favorite being this curious Hazelnut White Choco Mocha drink that just tastes like heaven for some odd reason - unfortunately, they took it down for some reason as well) from your usual coffee drinks to the more experimental ones with price ranges of PHP 115 - PHP 175 (depending on the drink and size of your choice). They've got an amazing array of teas (my favorite being Honey Yuja) that rejuvenate your senses and contain Vitamin Cs and Es and whathaveyous (PHP 155 - PHP 165). They also have yogurts that have different flavors like Banana, Strawberry, and the like and are enormous in quantity (PHP 175 - PHP 195). They have these lovely Korean desserts like huge-bowled Bing-Soos (PHP 200 - PHP 260) and colorful Korean rice cakes (I'm not a sweets girl so I've no idea how these things taste like but people love them). Last, if you don't want any of things, they've got this curious thing called Mocktails (PHP 145 - PHP 165) and they're like these Korean-inspired mixed juices that are so colorful, yummy and curious-like beverages! They all have Korean-inspired names like Ddalgi Sonagi, and Inside Myeon-dung and Seoul Lady and... honestly, you just have to visit to check those drinks out! I will most likely take a photo of each colorful delight and upload it on my Instagram when I can. The rest follows with pastries and a couple of Korean luncheons you can munch on if you feel like you need some rice-intake. 

Aside from their drinks and their bright lit interiors, another tidbit I need to mention is their really quirky tables! Because a certain array of tables have Samsung tablets! It's lovely - so when you're bored, do have a go at the Samsung tablets when you're there. They've got bookshelves which I first thought were filled with books but are actually filled with Korean magazines. They're surprisingly up-to-date so most of my Global articles are inspired by the magazines that I flip through there. 

Gotta love Korea. 


Woo-ha! That is not me.

Specifically, for this featured post, I decided to take things a notch bit different by asking a close friend of mine to be my muse - my attempt of featuring Cafe de Seoul.

Like I mentioned earlier, people search for certain places that make them feel as if they are at ease with the world, even when they're alone. But what transpires in a coffee shop, really? There's conversation and people, there's bonding, there's work, there's a little hustle and bustle here and there; there's peace and then... there's waiting. 

When I don't have an article or design to do, sometimes I sit in a random coffee shop and I just... wait. For what, I'm not really sure. Something. I'm the girl that expects serendipity and wonder to occur in common places like coffee shops or parks, don't kill me. It's an odd thing I do. Too much Korean drama, maybe? But then, I observe people do the same whether I'm in Manila or in Tokyo, people do it - they sit, ponder and wait... for something, for nothing. They all have their own ways of passing the time as they wait for whatever their personal reasons, of course. But it happens and it's a common, quiet thing that transpires for most people. 

As you go through the photos, you'll notice I didn't exactly capture the location at its fullest, but more on the little details that strike anyone who enters the establishment. I suppose, these images should pique your interest enough and you'll just want to visit to see for yourself what I mean. That, or you could wait till another blogger features Cafe de Seoul in how a feature should truly be (a photo of the drinks, the menu, the place in its entirety). Haha. 

For now, welcome to Cafe de Seoul (in cyber form), the place where all my designs take fold, and where a lot of my thinking occurs and a place where my problems literally go away; a place where I think I've found a little soul

Enjoy this photos!

For the sake of an outfit post still, I present to you the owner of INDIE-GO, my boss for almost 3 months now and a dear friend donning the latest from her boutique of cutesy and modern apparel. 

Don't forget to visit the INDIE-GO booth at the Bazaar for All Season at the Elements Tent, Eton Centris, Quezon City from 11 AM to 9 PM. Get a chance to avail discounts up to 70% on all brands!

See you there! 

DRESS (on Evan): INDIE-GO Shoes: INDIE-GO Accessories: INDIE-GO

Last. Of course, I still had to place myself in this article (photo-wise). Anyway, below was my outfit when shooting. Yep. I shoot in wedges (if the shoot is not so stressful or gritty). 

Top: Forever21 Skirt: INDIE-GO Shoes: Primadonna

So what do you think of the new found haven? 

Do share your thoughts with me! 


 yours truly,

1 comment:

  1. lovely pictures and outfit, the snake skin print jacket is so lovely