My Signature Item

Daily Prompt: Sherlock Holmes had his pipe. Dorothy had her red shoes. Batman had his Batmobile. If we asked your friends what object they most immediately associate with you, what would they answer?

Simple. A cap. Any cap. Every single day I wear a cap. I have an assortment back at home. I have my black sorta-ripped-but-not-really-ripped Project Pie cap that I wear everyday to work. I have a cap to be paired with every Project Pie work shirt (black, blue, gray, and brown). Most of which I bought from Oxygen. It started with me just wanting a gray cap. I found one and bought it. As I walked past Oxygen, I immediately spotted this cool brown corduroy cap. I was smitten. Naturally, I bought it. What I didn’t expect was seeing this plain black cap that resembled a beret. The sleek simple design made me bought it. I swear, it must have been a hypnotic spell cast upon me.

One of my prized possessions is my black floral snapback cap that I had to travel around the world in less than eighty days to get my hands on it. I crossed the Sahara dessert, mustered up my courage and did a free fall at the Grand Canyon, conquered a fortress built solely of ice, shrank down to the size of pixies to save their damsel in distress, fought valiantly against a steel acid breathing dragon, and poked a palm-sized jellyfish. The jellyfish proved to be the climax of my adventure. Man, that jellyfish can sting.

My plain white cap that I got slash asked from my aunt is already picking up dirt in my room. We bought it at this place with the color Green in its name. My memory of the place is fuzzy. Manila is full of places I haven’t ventured to yet. I can easily get lost in the sea of people at a local mall or a busy street. Poor me and my sense of direction.

If I mention all the backstory of each of my caps, this blog post would be my longest. Even summarized stories prove to be long. My caps will stay in my room until I find a good place slash thing to put them in. I should get a cap rack or cap holder or whatever it’s called to store all of my goodies. Now that would be very useful. Plus, it sounds organized. I like being organized.

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Blessed

Here’s how our opening day for Project Pie Park Square at Makati went down:

Half past the hour of nine in the morning, all of the partners (well, there were a few missing) gathered for the blessing of the store at Project Pie Park Square. Two sets of flowers adorned the entrance of the store, as it is usually before opening. A huge crimson-colored ribbon was tied in the middle. Everyone gathered outside. Gibs and Cito, the head honchos, both held a pair of scissors. Both flashed a huge grin then cut the ribbon together. A round of applause ensued. Cameramen were stationed in different areas to cover the footage of the ribbon-cutting, or, more precisely, the entire event. Project Pie Park Square is now finally open.

Everyone held candles with ribbons strategically placed under white courtesy cups (to avoid wax dripping) and gave thanks to the Lord our God. Each candle lit brightly amid the blinding rays of the sun. The priest, short and bald, commenced the blessing as soon as we entered the store. We prayed, we listened, we gave thanks, and, admittedly, we played with the candles. Couldn’t resist. After which, we followed the priest around the store making one huge line as he splashed holy water everywhere. Us people in the line got wet too. We felt clean and cleansed.
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When it was finally time to open the store, I sat down at one of the tables along with my fellow partners with P.M. shifts. Majority had 2P.M. shifts. I did. And since we were way too early, they rewarded us with free pizzas (again). Perks of working at Project Pie. We also got free drinks. I custom-built my usual pizza but without caramelized onions this time. No particular reason. I just didn’t want it on my pizza. It still turned out scrumptious, although I wasn’t able to finish it. I had a heavy breakfast before arriving. If only I knew that we were getting free pizzas. I would’ve skipped breakfast and finished my entire creation in lieu of just keeping it inside a plastic bag. Honestly, I was tempted to just get a dessert pizza. I make the sweetest dessert pizzas. A sinfully delectable concoction of Nutella, peanut butter, cinnamon frosting, and cinnamon powder. Sugar Overload as I like to refer to it. Every bite bursting with flavor and sweetness. You just can’t resist. I know I can’t.
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Everyone was full. No complaints whatsoever. Still, we had hours to go and time to burn. Majority decided to chill at Glorietta 3. For the nth time, we went to McDo. Only two people ordered though. For about an hour or so, we were immensed in our work-related conversation laughing almost non-stop. Random thoughts and past events. After crashing McDo, we transferred to the ground level of the mall where bystanders were hypnotically hooked to their smartphones. Then we talked some more. There was a lot of talking. Only that time, the topic was previous jobs my partners had. I found out that we had an abundance of baristas or people who worked in coffee shops, people I look up to, sorta. Eventually, we made our way back to the store. It was time.
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I was stationed as the Cashier for the entire week. As existing partners (people who have worked for Project Pie longer than the others), we had only one station for the mean time. The rest of our new partners were being trained to do the line, hone up their skills, and bring out the best in them. We see a lot of potential and unawakened talent. All there is to do is to push them past the breaking point.

Our first day was a success. It was all thanks to everyone working together. Teamwork will always be vital. A huge THANK YOU to everyone who came. And for those who haven’t, Project Pie Park Square is waiting for you. Visit us! Tag some friends! And have a delectably awesome time!

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Project Pie Park Square

Have you heard of Project Pie before? Chances are, you have. But hearing about it and actually trying it out are two separate matters. With over six branches and still expanding in various parts of Manila, the usual it’s-too-far excuse is already rendered useless. Speaking of branches, Project Pie is opening yet another store in the ever bustling city of Makati very very very soon. Specifically, at Park Square.

Project Pie Park Square will usher in a new era of pizza-making. The branch will be sporting new types of equipment and furnitures. Tables are now wood-ified, chairs included. Light bulbs are fewer in number but are now fortified with silver luminary railing-like material. A zigzagged glass exterior adorns the store, giving off the impression of simplicity with an edge. Literally. What’s more, gender-specific restrooms. No more waiting for the person before you to finish and guessing whether that person is male or female. Plus, a lounge for people to wait at before using the restrooms should both be occupied. All in all, a handful of firsts for Project Pie. The managers have even gone so far as calling it Project Pie Version 2.0. Awesomesauce!

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If everything goes as planned, this new store should open its doors to the busy people of Makati this week. Yes. That soon. An upcoming dry run should also occur this Tuesday with two shifts: lunch (12NN-2PM) and dinner (4PM-7PM). Tickets are distributed to the pioneer team of the store, each having four tickets. One ticket entitles the lucky holder with a complimentary build-your-own pizza and a drink. Sounds pizzerific, right? Well, what are you waiting for? Don’t wait for a new branch to open near you. By then, you’ll be busy counting how many strands of gray hair you have. Plot your visit to a Project Pie near you. Bring some friends! Embark on an adventure to become the best pizzaiolo in town. Remember, being awesome starts with you.

To Greater Heights

As I gazed into the setting sun from Block 28, it dawned on me that I would no longer be able to indulge in the simple pleasures of observing this vista on a daily basis. The beauty of the setting sun that ends a perfect day; the constant pollution of noise and air; individuals making their way to work; the circle of friends I made at Project Pie Block 28; the bonds we shared share; the ups and downs. Memories, in general. We have built a solid foundation that it saddens me to leave them behind. To leave behind a scar.

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© Kamille M.

Today was my last day of work at Project Pie’s Block 28 branch. The countdown has ended. This dreaded day has finally arrived. Our supposed last day kept changing that we let our guard down. Prolonging the agony only made it worse. Informing us that we had a week left struck us like a lightning bolt – unexpected, then all at once. If only healing potions existed. I’d drink a full flask to recover. Where are alchemists when you need them?

Overwhelmed with a slew of emotions, I managed to get through the day without breaking down. I almost felt the prick of the tears as everyone kept hugging me and telling me that they’ll miss me and that I should visit them and that I should do my best at Park Square (Project Pie’s Makati Branch) and that they assured me that they’ll take care of anyone who bullies me. Each partner (we call each other partners) had a different goodbye message that they conveyed, whether it was verbal or physical. It actually took a few hours after I clocked out before everything totally sinked in. I felt it. I felt pain.

Pain demands to be felt. – John Green

I didn’t want this day to end. My shift felt like a bicycle ride down a hill: the more I tried to stop, the more likely I was to get hurt; just go with the flow.

Give me a few seconds to be cliché and really cheesy but I’ll miss my Block 28 family BIG TIME! Being with them for almost six months, I find it extremely difficult to deviate from my daily routine. For six days a week, I get to be with them, have fun, go all-out, plan crazy shenanigans like it’s the last day of school, dine at places I’ve never been to, stuff myself with food in a glorified manner, battle evil, and save the world. With my move to Park Square very imminent, I have to brace myself for a rollercoaster ride of epic proportions.

I’m on a rollercoaster that only goes up. – John Green

New partners, new friends to make, a different environment to adapt to, an expanded list of food establishments to hunt, various routes that I have to familiarize myself with, a couple of partners to train, and a few stations that I need to perfect. Sounds like a lot of work. Definitely something I look forward to.

See you soon, Park Square!

The Next Assignment

Tread carefully, dear reader. The contents of this blog post that you have stumbled upon contains highly classified information regarding the twist in the story of three unlikely heroes in this war-torn barren land dubbed as Earth.

Our three protagonists, namely: TJ, Diane, and yours truly, have found refuge in this not-so-secluded abode under the alias of Project Pie Alabang. For almost half a year, we were nurtured to be the best pizzaiolos in the whole world. Pampered and loved, we have grown to reciprocate the feelings. But just as a lion has to leave its pride to hunt for food, the three of us have to leave the place we have grown to love to quench our thirst for knowledge. Our next assignment: Project Pie Park Square.

Our [supposed] date for moving was sometime during the last week of May. That didn’t happen. It was then moved to the first few days of June, which, you have probably guessed, poofed into thin air. The date has always been uncertain and moved. This is why I was caught off guard when news broke out today that we only had a week left here. In barely seven days, our names would no longer appear in the daily schedule. In seven fast-moving (please slow down) days, the three of us will plunge into a new environment, hopefully ready to adapt and tackle the newly built establishment with heads held high and invaluable hands-on experience as one of our weapons in our arsenal.

To be continued… in Park Square. Awww. I can’t bear the thought of leaving behind my awesome partners. I. Just. Can’t. Gah! It’s definitely a whole lot harder to leave people than to say goodbye to people who leave. I want to think of this as a beginning of a new chapter in my action-packed adventure-filled adrenaline-pumped story chronicled in electronic form.

Just keep moving forward.

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All Time Low

For the entire five months that I have worked at Project Pie, I was caught off guard by the fact that there were still a few firsts that could happen, particularly last night when we had to close the store with just three partners and two managers. Before that, the record was four partners. An all time low if you ask me.

Initially, there were supposed to be five partners, namely: Migs, Ben, Celine, Kaye, and yours truly. Managers: Raine and Tahani. Migs got suspended for a couple of days. Not sure if his suspension ended the day before yesterday or he just didn’t feel like coming to work yesterday. I’d go with the latter. As for Ben, he got sent home for sassing a guest. No further details. Mainly because I didn’t ask for it. It was between them. That left me with Celine and Kaye, the ostensible blood-related duo slash sister-in-laws without prima facie evidence.

Kaye finished her Daily Cashier’s Report with the help of Tahani. I finished the Daily Inventory. And all three of us cleaned the line, with a push-brush-squeegee-mop combo that left the store squeeky-clean. We had the help of Kuya Cres, Ate Tess, and Kuya Edwin slash Vampire Kuya Edward. We pre-closed early which was a huge help.

For working so hard, a reward was definitely at hand. Our choice: I Love Pares.

I Love Pares (I ♥ Pares) is this little 24-hour diner located near Pilar in front of Jollibee that specializes in beef, particulary braised beef or Beef Pares (literally beef “pair” [beef paired with soup]). Another branch is located at BF Parañaque which I am also familiar with and have dined in before. This branch was relatively new, with little construction still ongoing but already open. Ianne (Celine’s boyfriend, Kaye’s big brother, and Raine’s new self-proclaimed babe) was kind enough to drive us there and ate with us.

I half expected that everyone was gonna get the same thing: Beef Pares. Stuff like this happen a lot. To my dismay, sorta, we all ordered different items. I, obviously, picked Beef Pares with extra garlic rice and a side order of sunny-side up egg.

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Our time together never fell short of laughter and awkard silences. Mostly laughter. One of the many things I’ll surely miss. But that is a different story.

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P.S. My Domo-kun shirt has starred in a lot of my pics lately. ☆

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Yabu

I noticed that my creative juice is draining. When I start my blog, I usually go for the usual slash lazy Last night, Yesterday, Today. How boring is that? Quite. And it is for that reason that I tried deviating a bit on this one.

I have been meaning to try dining at Yabu House of Katsu, or Yabu as we cool kids call it. Word on the street is you get your money’s worth. Unlimited sides won me over – unlimited rice, cabbage, soup, fruits. Need I mention that the servings are very generous. With this mindset, Celine, Kaye, Raine, and I ventured to Alabang Town Center.

Spending a lot on a day before pay day sounds suicidal. But when it comes to food, I hardly ever turn down an offer. Especially when the offer is really enticing. And so we got ourselves a table at Yabu. Our table was situated near this wall with a giant mirror adjacent to the entrance. Perfect for the ever so vain people and the like. Not that we were vain. Okay, I guess some of us were.

Yabu had a pretty polished menu. The variety seemed endless, to the point where I wanted to order a little of everything. They should have a sampler or something. I shrugged the thought. I ordered the Rosu Katsu Curry. There were three degrees of spiciness. I chose the second slash middle one – HOT. Curry has always fascinated me. It’s one of the many Japanese dishes that was easy and fast to prepare but, at the same time, can be modified to cater to the taste buds of aristocrats. There was no way I was gonna let the chance to try it slip away.

Our orders came up faster than I expected. Was it really that easy to prepare?

My curry was downright delicious! The spices of the curry blended well with the salty and crunchy pork tenderloin. Paired with soup and Goma(dressing)-drenched cabbage, it was a feast for royalty. An awkward silence ensued between our bites. Everyone was hungry to some degree. We were still able to insert quick conversations and nonsensical banter in between which made us burst into laughter. Being sophisticated and showcasing proper table etiquette was just too arduous of a task. We were just four simple ingenuous individuals. No lies. No secrets. And sadly, no money. Until the next day only though.
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Our Yabu experience was great. Actually, great would be an understatement. It was grand. Yup. Our Yabu experience was grand. A second visit is at hand.

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P.S. I took, approximately, a million photos during that night. The usual.