By the River Drive I found my Dear Joe

By the River Drive I found my Dear Joe

/ 03:00 PM August 27, 2022

Written By: Amy R. Remo

Curiosity brought me to a road less traveled, an inconspicuous byway that led me to this beautiful verdant, grassy meadow which I never imagined could still exist in the metro.

I was just on a hunt for a good brew that stormy Tuesday, having had my fill of a hearty lunch in the South. Deciding to drive around for a while, I passed by this narrow familiar road and wondered, for the nth time, where it led. Seeing a few cars plying that route, I followed—because, why not? And good thing I did.

Island café

About 15 minutes into the twists and curves of this bending path, I finally saw a Coffee Project, a stand-alone café by its lonesome, in the midst of a field on one side of a river. I found out I was driving along River Drive.

This one is called Coffee Project Island—the “island” being an allusion to the idea that it’s right beside a body of water. Although it’s as cozy and warm as any Coffee Project store can get, it offers a tad different kind of vibe to give it more of an island feel. The font of the Coffee Project signage by the counter is more playful and more striking with just the right shade of orange. This two-story café itself is much brighter too, plenty of light streaming in through its tall windows, while the whimsical details and fresh flowers lend a lively, natural feel to the place.

Coffee Project Island

Coffee Project Island offers a different vibe.

Coffee Project Island

You’ll enjoy the bright, airy space at Coffee Project Island.

There’s still your favorite coffee creations and concoctions, which you can pair with savory pastries and desserts. Chocolate lovers can try the mouthwatering KitKat series while those wanting something heavier can choose from its delish selection of savory meals and healthy, guilt-free fares.

A Mexican fare

But my quest for a good cup of Joe didn’t end here. I was raring to drive some more. A little further down the same road, I ended up in Las Piñas City and stumbled upon two stops just a few meters apart—Sombrero Café & Bar, and Dear Joe Coffee & Juice. I went for Sombrero Island first.

Sombrero, I figured, offers authentic Mexican fare. And I was right! Tacos, quesadillas, chimichangas, fajitas—yes, they’ve got the whole enchilada. But I just have to admire its exceptionally extensive selection of wines, whiskeys, rum, gins, vodkas, tequilas, beers and cocktails—name your poison and they probably have it.

Sombrero Island

Enjoy authentic Mexican fare at Sombrero Island.

The walls festooned with tasteful murals, artworks and neon lights caught my eye as I trooped to the second floor, an open area, where I nursed my favorite cocktail while I gaze out to the damp green field with its scattering of lush trees. Who knew I’d still find in the metro a spot as serene and beautiful as this, despite the pouring rain and occasional gusts of winds that make you want to curl up in bed.

Sombrero Island

Sombrero Island

Finding your ‘Joe’

I didn’t realize it, but I saved the best for last.

My quest for that dear cup of joe finally ended here, in a café uncannily named “Dear Joe”. It looks like your typical coffee shop, yes, but it begs, beckons and appeals to your inner romantic, that idealist, quixotic side you’ve probably long forgotten amid all the hustle, hype and restlessness of living your life.

Dear Joe

Dear Joe may look like your typical coffee shop but it’s so much more than that.

Dear Joe—the first letter writing café in the Philippines, I was told—is a nod to finding, or perhaps appreciating, your Joe.

And no, we’re not talking about romantic love alone. Joe is someone with whom you can share your most wonderful moments; someone who makes you smile brighter, laugh louder and live better; someone you can call at 4 a.m. and will answer; someone with whom you can sing off key and not be judged; someone who will serve you with that plate of truth with a cup full of love.

Paying homage to the lost art of letter writing in the midst of an increasingly digital world, Dear Joe allows you to pause and take a moment to pen a sweet, poignant note for a cherished friend you haven’t seen in a while, a dear family member you miss, a long lost love, a special someone you have yet to meet, or heck, even to your future self.

Dear Joe

Drop those heartfelt letters in the mailbox provided.

It’s therapeutic at best. Writing letters, after all, is an art in itself, a thoughtful expression of affection that allows you to give your recipient something priceless in today’s era of instant and hurried messages—your time. More importantly, it inspires you to reflect, look back, have a greater sense of self, rethink priorities, and discover how you can move forward.

I easily felt inspired to write a letter. Quotes and passages splashed on the walls easily brought to mind the beautiful poetry of Pablo Neruda and Christina Rossetti. One was even something as simple as this: “I’ll be looking for you, every moment, every single moment, and when we do find each other again, we’ll cling together so tight that nothing will ever tear us apart.”

Dear Joe

Heartfelt passages on the walls create a perfect ambience.

Creating that perfect ambience were the tall imposing windows that open to beautiful vistas of lush greens while allowing the cool breeze to rush in. Add to that a steaming (or cold, if you want) brew and a great selection of yummy pastries at Dear Joe, and the mood is all set. Once you’re done, just seal it with a wax and drop it off in the mailbox. You can include an address by the way. And who knows, your letter might just find its way to your future Joe.

As for me, well, I found my ‘Joe’ 17 years ago. I hope you find yours too.



TAGS: BrandRoom, coffee shop, Crown Asia, property

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