[UPDATE (26-March-2014): The shop is no longer in Tagaytay. Please scroll down for the new location.]
Let me tell you a story. Her beauty has struck me as feisty and enigmatic. Back in my first or second year in college, when I didn’t know if I’d adjust well to the liberal (almost radical?) style of UP education, I found a new friend seated in one corner of our UPSCA* tambayan, happily puffing away at her cigarette (don’t worry, she has, fortunately, given up on that habit a long time ago).
In what I would probably describe as a fateful event, our deep friendship began. There were no formal introductions. It was as if we have been friends for the longest time already. I have somehow forgotten that we do not come from the same batch (I will not divulge our ages…wink!) because she did not make me feel so juvenile with my remarks. In my young mind back then, she was the epitome of an accomplished woman–finishing her UP education while already building (and managing!) a family with two young daughters. How did she survive the exams, term papers, habla espanol, late-night outs, UPSCA activities, etc. while boldly and happily carrying her role as a wife and mother is beyond me.
And now this woman, called as a “Black Rose” in her elementary (or high school?) school days by one of her teachers, opens a quaint and cozy shop in Tagaytay.** JR and I were among those invited in the shop’s opening last October 30. It was a particularly busy weekend for me and JR because we were then printing our course modules (we are both back in school–he in his culinary studies, me in my MBA Renewables coursework) but we felt we wouldn’t want to miss this for anything in this world!
What does the Black Rose sell? For one, the shop sells beautiful notebooks and planners, books, bags, scarves and shawls, costume jewelries, school supplies, home and kitchen accessories (they have beautiful spoon and fork sets embellished with stones!), spices, and other art pieces. It is actually a one-stop-shop for those looking for gifts to their loved ones. I particularly liked a planner because it is handy enough and good for five years! What I really do not like about those being sold in bookstores is that you need to throw them away just after one year of use. The one that I got from the shop has no date entries so you can begin the planner at any time of the year and when I counted the (generic) calendar pages, they’d be good for 5 years! So the planner can be your handy companion in the long haul. I missed the first one that I liked so I ended up buying the ‘Paris, France’ version with a photo of Moulin Rouge on the cover. (Yes, someone else snatched the first one I liked in just a matter of minutes so dear readers, if you saw something that you liked at the Black Rose, get it right away as another person will surely want it in the next hour or so!) Here is a photo of my planner. I liked it, too, even if it was just my second choice because I consider it serendipitous that it has a picture of an old wind mill! Remember, I have just began my coursework in renewable energies. (Wink!)
The other find that I was not able to resist (the hubby certainly did not complain because it was a 2nd-hand item and did not cost him our weekly allowance, haha) is a nice pink-and-cream bag, with an old-fashioned look because of the way the straps were designed. See here? I think it is even big enough for a laptop. The bag is made of local materials, too, so it shouts, proudly Philippine-made.
There is another reason why you should also swing by Tagaytay. The Black Rose shop is located at the lower ground floor of the unit occupied by Papa Prito (yes, it’s quite an interesting name!), the newest food joint in Tagaytay, where you can find the best fried dishes that go with the Pinoys’ favorite staple, sinangag (fried rice). Hubby and I did not eat there because we were still full when we left Tagaytay so we decided to order take-out. It turned out to be a good decision because we enjoyed the tapa (Taal-style) with sinangag immensely. It was marinated in their own secret sauces and fried in just the right texture (not rubbery!). You can enjoy it through their sinangag-to-sawa meals, at only P95.00. In the menu are offerings with interesting names such as Wow Sabaw, Papalicious, Arroz Tuyo, Kalibre 45 meals, and other all-time favorites like pancit, liempo, sisig, and goto. And don’t forget, with the very reasonable prices, you also get to enjoy the view of the world-famous Taal Volcano! The restaurant (and the shop) are fortunately situated by the Taal ridge, just by the rotunda (almost across Mang Inasal). For those who have to keep a budget while enjoying a Tagaytay weekend, this is certainly a good option: you enjoy the perfect view of the volcano and you get to satisfy your gustatory cravings, too.
The Tagaytay landscape is certainly evolving through the years. New surprises happen every day and this time, it has embraced a Black Rose warmly, mesmerized by its enigmatic beauty. Visit the Black Rose shop and be equally smitten!
*UP Student Catholic Action.
**UPDATE (26/Mar/2014): The Black Rose has recently joined the Evia Trunk Sale in Daang Hari, Las Pinas. See her there on Saturdays and Sundays, from 4:00 to 10:00 pm. Cp # +63 920 9209628.
This is not a paid blog.