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But a Funny Thing Happened on the Way… January 6, 2013

Posted by Alex Sawit in Stuff in General.

By Isay Roque

Originally titled “Cyrano Wine Shop” on Starting My Own Think Tank (isawisay.blogspot.com). Re-posted with permission from Isay Roque, January 6, 2013.


It was not a regular Friday night. My friend Ava had just given birth to her second son, Asher, so I rushed to Makati Medical Center as soon as I got back from a company event in Batangas. After the visit, I was supposed to meet up with a friend, but he cancelled at the last minute. So I pretty much had all the time in the world to do nothing.


An oasis in the middle of the desert.


From the hospital, I walked, aimlessly at first. But then it occurred to me, I was already in Makati, so I could just go to this bar in Aguirre St. my friend told me about. Not (just) to drink, but to chat up the manager about possibly shooting a short film there. The place was closed the last time I went with my friend, so we weren’t able to do an ocular. To get there, I retraced our steps from Carlos Palanca St., passing by the familiar places of my indiscriminate drinking.


Oh wow – that sunset!


And at the end of the street I saw this quiet spot called Cyrano Wine Shop. There were five people inside, two of whom were behind the bar. Apparently, I walked in on the business partners – Alex, Joco, and Rick, and the chef slash restaurant manager, Beng. They were discussing as they were sampling the items on the new menu, and they made me try, too. The food was great. Comforting, even. It’s not exactly ideal for dates, but it’s perfect for wine nights with friends.


Ottoman couch, handsome furniture.


It’s been a little over four weeks since I first walked in, and I’ve become quite the regular. I even celebrated my 26th birthday there, in two parts, no less! I’m almost always at Cyrano, and it’s not just because of the wine. For starters, I really like the place. It’s very relaxed and cozy. The wines are arranged in a way that makes Isawisay the OC Person very happy. It’s quiet enough to let people have conversations that do not resemble shouting matches. With each visit, Cyrano feels more and more like a second home.


In vino veritas.


And it’s not because I fell asleep on their ottoman couch wrapped in a throw blanket (more than once) while mildly snoring (only once, and Peter said it was cute snoring! I was really exhausted!). It’s not because there’s almost always ice cream in the fridge, and when there isn’t, we can easily walk over to Rada Mart to buy Melona. And it’s also not because we watch movies, television series, or the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show while sipping wine and munching on liempo or Uncle John’s Fried Chicken.


Chalk wisdom.


In his blog, Alex wrote that Cyrano has friends, not customers. And that’s why the place feels like a second home. A fellow Cyrano friend, AD, tweeted that the place is like Cheers, and she’s right! Practically everyone knows everyone here, and that makes me feel safe. I’m not entirely certain how, but the place manages to weed out bad apples. Egos are checked at the door, so everyone who comes in is warm, welcoming, and easy to get along with. They don’t pass judgment, or if they do, they give you a chance, anyway. If you’re not a total psycho, there is room for you at Cyrano.


A small patch of earth.


In there, it’s easy to walk up to someone, introduce yourself, and start a conversation. It’s one of those places where it’s okay to show up alone, because you’ll always have someone to talk to. I’ve met more people there in a month than I have in four years of going to clubs. People there are actually worth meeting; no one is a waste of your time. And you don’t just meet people at Cyrano. You meet minds. Intelligent, sophisticated, astute minds. Each visit teaches you a thing or two; you walk out a little wiser than when you walked in. You walk out a little happier, too.





1. kptesoro - May 23, 2013

A lovely read Isay!

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