Because we need another brand of expensive drinks, Jamba Juice is here in Manila. After Hermes and the soon-to-open clothing stores of Uniqlo and Cotton On, it makes me wonder if we are still indeed third world. This thought was constantly in my mind as I was lining up for my own P100++ worth of fruity concoction at The Fort the other day. Partly curious and partly because I'm a sucker, I didn't mind the line and hoped that I'd get my money's worth sipping on 'Banana Berry' which came with a free 'Energy Boost'.
To be fair, it was a hot Saturday afternoon and there's nothing like a pricey, "healthy" fruit smoothie for a refreshment. I tried to convince myself.
When I finally got my order, I was delightedly surprised to see that their 'Medium' is the size of a Starbucks 'Venti'. Not bad. But when it came to the drink itself, well, let's just say that I'll stay with Fruit Magic, thank you very much.
We were in Mercato having a hard time deciding what to get when I got a text message informing me that I was one of the Volcom raffle winners. Since thee was a cut-off time for the claiming of prizes and I only had a few minutes left, I abandoned good food and my good friends for a bit and marched to R.O.X. where the brand representative was waiting.
Earlier that day, I had come to the store (and several others) to look for board shorts. This girl girl then approached me and asked me to join their raffle. There weren't any requirements. I just had to fill out the form and answer a few questions so I did it. As luck would have it, a few hours later, I was being asked to choose a pair of Volcom board shorts that I want. I happily obliged. The only bummer is I couldn't take the prize right then and there. I'm supposed to claim it at their office any day soon. But hey, that's not so much hassle for a pair of P3,000+ shorts.
It was only my second time. Unlike most sequels however, it didn't disappoint. Mercato was bustling and as festive as I remembered it to be.
Aside from the variety of tempting eats, what I also love about this spectacle is you wouldn't know which to check out first, the food or the people. I think we can all agree that this fair is not your usual market. There's isaw and fish balls yes, but you know it's not the kind around the kanto once you hear someone say shit like "Oh, there's rice pala o."
Nonetheless, I'd love to come back. The vibe there is just different. It's like a nice block party. People don't mind sitting on the pavements eating their lechon or paella or katsudon al fresco. It's a sight to behold. It's good that they moved the location right next to the artificial soccer field. It provides a great view while eating if you know what I mean. They've also improved the restrooms which are free of charge. Also, starting this February 29, Midnight Mercato will operate during Wednesdays. Great news for those who have work on weekends.
I hope Mercato stays for a long time. I'd love to bring loved ones there when they come home.