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Happy Hours at Troika

September 16, 2018

The blog author at Troika. 

Shot by Ben Manzanades.

Shot with Canon M6 + 7artisans 35mm f/1.2 lens. ISO125, 1/125 sec., f/1.2.

 

16th day of September 2018. 

 

This is a special blog for this is the first time that I'm having a guest writer in the blog. Continuing the feature blog series is one of my college buddies - Ben Manzanades.  He's not a fellow Ilocano, but a friend from Southern Luzon, in the coconut country of the Bicol Region (Daraga, Albay). 

 

I think it's time to expand the barkada hangout radius to the vast selection of establishments in Manila, most especially to those that are in close proximity to us all. 2 nights ago, instead of staying at the mosquito-infested street of Earnshaw to wait for the Samgyupsalamat line to ease up (we were 9th in line), we decided to go across the street to an art-inspired hangout place called Troika. And luckily, I brought my camera with me. And more luckily, happy hour was still on.

 

- Wayne

 

The guest author - Joseph Benedict Manzanades

Shot with Canon M6 + 7artisans 35mm f/1.2 lens. ISO125, 1/125 sec., f/1.2.

 

GUEST WRITER: JOSEPH BENEDICT MANZANADES

 

It’s Friday and school is suspended due to a typhoon, but we never did really feel its wrath [not until Saturday morning]. 

 

What do you do all day?

Nothing… Eventually night comes, me and my friends hit Samgyupsalamat, one of our favourite k-bbq joints here in Manila.

 

The long queue at Samgyupsalamat Earnshaw.

Shot with Canon M6 + 7artisans 35mm f/1.2 lens. ISO1250, 1/80 sec., f/1.2.

 

The long queue at Samgyupsalamat Earnshaw.

Shot with Canon M6 + 7artisans 35mm f/1.2 lens. ISO1250, 1/80 sec., f/1.2.

 

We get there and we’re 9th on the list, usually we wait it out and we get frustrated 'cause it takes a forever to get in, we even play UNO if we have the cards, but it was cold and drizzling so we decided to get a few beers guzzled down at a small pub just right across the street.

 

Troika entrance.

Shot with Canon M6 + 7artisans 35mm f/1.2 lens. ISO500, 1/80 sec., f/1.2.

 

Troika's door.

Shot with Canon M6 + 7artisans 35mm f/1.2 lens. ISO500, 1/80 sec., f/1.2.

 

The place is called Troika, a pub and an art gallery, which is located at Extremadura St., Sampaloc, Manila. I have been there a couple of times but never really tried to write about it until now. It’s a cozy little place that serves ice cold beer, cocktails and food. It’s perfect for a quick night out with your friends and get your buzz on.

 

Art all over the pub. 

Shot with Canon M6 + 7artisans 35mm f/1.2 lens. ISO1600, 1/100 sec., f/1.2.

 

Happy hour was still on when we dropped by!

Shot with Canon M6 + 7artisans 35mm f/1.2 lens. ISO1600, 1/160 sec., f/1.2.

 

Their promo board.

Shot with Canon M6 + 7artisans 35mm f/1.2 lens. ISO1600, 1/100 sec., f/1.2.

 

Partying and clubbing were never really my fancy, what I’m after is a chill drinking session with my chaps, listening to good music. So when I found this place, I was truly happy. It was near enough to walk and to have cheap drinks in, what more could you ask for?

 

An ol' Polaroid analog camera on display. 

Shot with Canon M6 + 7artisans 35mm f/1.2 lens. ISO1600, 1/160 sec., f/1.2.

 

I'm a big London red telephone booth fan. 

Shot with Canon M6 + 7artisans 35mm f/1.2 lens. ISO1600, 1/160 sec., f/1.2.

 

Every little detail about the place is great, from it’s bottle cap-paved countertop to it’s all year round Christmas lights. Its wide collection of oil paintings are out of this world, I think they painted those themselves, donated by local artists, or maybe the customers because you can pay and paint - they’ll give you a canvas and some paint and just doodle on! The paintings are a blend of expressionism, abstract, symbolism and realism, which is a great conversation starter if you’d ever meet someone there and have a good talk. I myself would likely engage in a conversation of analysing and knowing what this particular painting’s about.

 

The overhead artworks painted by various artists. 

Shot with Canon M6 + 7artisans 35mm f/1.2 lens. ISO1600, 1/80 sec., f/1.2.

 

One of the staff posing for an unexpected portrait.

Shot with Canon M6 + 7artisans 35mm f/1.2 lens. ISO1600, 1/100 sec., f/1.2.

 

Tansans or bottlecaps arranged so as to give glamour to the counters.

Shot with Canon M6 + 7artisans 35mm f/1.2 lens. ISO500, 1/200 sec., f/1.2.

 

What I love about the place the most is that they play great music! Usually your local bars would play the latest or anything from the Top 20 on the billboard, but Troika plays your favourite old songs. They’d play OPM classics, hard rock or even indie. When we came in, they were playing Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen and immediately I was singing to it (so was everybody else) then they played Country Roads by John Denver (you’ll love this song if you’ve watched Kingsman 2) and everyone sang as well. You don’t get to stumble upon places like this very often. My point is: if you’re ever looking for a place to chill, this is it.

 

The stallion.

Shot by Ben Manzanades.

Shot with Canon M6 + 7artisans 35mm f/1.2 lens. ISO500, 1/80 sec., f/1.2.

 

The buy one, take one Stallion was highlight of the night.

Shot with Canon M6 + 7artisans 35mm f/1.2 lens. ISO1600, 1/40 sec., f/1.2.

 

Some nights, someone brings a guitar or such and plays a few set of songs for everyone, heck you can even bring one and play yourself! It’s a free world isn’t it? If you’re up for it, but if you’re drunk enough, i bet you will.

 

- Ben

 

Finally after an hour or two - Samgyupsal!

Shot with Canon M6 + 7artisans 35mm f/1.2 lens. ISO1600, 1/125 sec., f/1.2.

 

Happy birthday to one of my college buddies - Ceejay Orencia!

Shot with Canon M6 + 7artisans 35mm f/1.2 lens. ISO1600, 1/125 sec., f/1.2.

 

At Troika, Ben and I just ordered 2 beers each then a little pica pica (pizza fries, which were very good) for we were just waiting for the Samgyupsal line to ease up. Finally after about an hour or two, we went back, just in time for our names to be called. We were joined by Ceejay and Dele (forgot to take a pic of him for this blog) at Samgyupsalamat. It was his treat for his birthday btw. Happy Birthday lakay!

 

The manager (I didn't get his name) and the author in matching yellow pastel shorts.

Shot with an iPhone 6 back camera.

 

The next visit at Troika will be a longer stay and will surely be better one (and we'll be ordering more food). I love the music, I love the art, I love the beer. Hopefully they will serve me my favorite - San Mig Pale, next time.

 

Would I recommend it? Abso-freaking-lutely. Thank you Troika for making our wait worthwhile (as well as letting me take pictures)!

 

- Wayne

 

Troika

823 Extremadura St., Brgy. 460 Zone 45, Sampaloc, Manila 1008

Their Facebook Page: Troika Art Gallery

 

 

 

 

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