An Ocassional Office

Since the day I said goodbye to the corporate world, I’ve done so many things with my life that I never thought I could start, let alone finish. It’s great! Some days, working home-based is a breeze especially when you get to wake up later than usual. But sometimes it gets too quiet and lonely staring at my laptop all day without anyone to talk to.

That’s when it’s time to work outside.

Being a non-coffee person (coffee does weird things to me), I like going to places that serve more than just coffee. Thank God for Milk tea and dessert shops, otherwise it would be difficult for me to find a suitable place to work. It took me awhile, but here are some I’ve tried and can recommend based on my personal experiences.

The Pantry

A quiet little shop tucked in The Gallery, Mabolo. To me, this almost feels like home.

Pros:

  • Delicious snacks.
  • Reliable and fast internet.
  • Few people.
  • Friendly staff.
  • Good music (if you’re into bossa nova).
  • Great location.

Cons:

  • Plugging costs 50/hour (even if you order food)
  • The food is good so you may lose a bit of your income pigging out.

Tips: They can customize snacks for you, if you grow tired of their menu. Simply ask the lady in the shop if they have what you’re craving for. Also, only plug your laptop when the battery is less then 15%.

Tea Religion

Tucked in a busy street in Mabolo lies a modern tea shop. You can’t miss it. It’s settled in a brightly-colored building right next to The Gallery in Mabolo.

Pros:

  • Reliable and fast internet. The fastest I got so far was about 1.69MB per second.
  • Very few people.
  • Plugging is convenient and free!
  • Natural light is really good. Watching the cars pass by is kind of relaxing as long as you stay behind the glass and you aren’t inhaling the smoke.
  • Great location.

Cons:

  • Don’t work at around 4:00PM or you will be greeted by the harsh glare of the sun.
  • Not a lot of snack choices in the menu.
  • Often they have loud music that could disrupt your thinking (depends on your level of tolerance though).

Tips: If you get a little hungry, order the mushroom dumplings. It’s very affordable and fills the tummy. If it’s not cloudy outside, better prepare for the sun to blind you at 4pm.

La Marea (Crossroads, Banilad)

Heard about their famous warm brownie cup? If you have, I need not say anything more.

Pros:

  • Location is ok.
  • Reliable internet, though a little slower than the other shops. I ran it on speedtest.com and I got about 0.9MB per second as an average.
  • Spacious, there’s a second floor.
  • There are alcoholic drinks for people who want to work and get intoxicated at the same time.

Cons:

  • Plugging costs P50/30 minutes (even if you buy food tsk tsk).
  • A little noisy since there’s usually a lot of people.
  • Staff there is not too friendly.

Tip: If you’re there at lunchtime, order their beef lasagna.

Tablea (JY Square, Lahug)

Perfect for rainy/cold days. Tablea reminds me so much of being a kid and enjoying a cup of warm chocolate while watching TV all day.

Pros:

  • Great Location.
  • Internet is very fast. Last speed test went to about 3MB per second!!
  • Delicious choices on the menu.
  • Few people.

Cons:

  • Internet is not too reliable. On my last visit, they had to restart the router 4-5 times.
  • Outlets are only found near uncomfortable chairs, although there is one found near a couch.

Tip: Just purchase at least 100pesos worth of their products to use the internet.

Fudge

A little slice of heaven in Banilad. If you plan on working all day, arm yourself with a pocket full of cash. Their menu will continue to tempt you throughout your stay.

Pros:

  • Delicious choices in the menu.
  • Internet is fast & reliable. My last speed test went to about 1.37MB per second.
  • Free internet.

Cons:

  • Crowded.
  • Noisy.
  • A bit far for people living in the South.
  • Limited Parking Space.

Tip: There are a lot of people coming in at lunch time towards the afternoon so you better go there earlier to find a table near an outlet.

These are just few of the places I’ve tried. I’m sure there are tons more out there.

How about you? Where do you work?

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