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This New Student-Fave Milk Tea Place In Cebu Is A Must-Visit For Artsy People

Chingkeetea stands out with its use of paper materials and incorporation of Japanese culture.
IMAGE INSTAGRAM/CHINGKEETEA
  • Chingkeetea first opened in Cagayan de Oro after owner Chingkee Te saw the growing trend in Manila. 
  • Debuting their first out-of-Mindanao store in early 2019, Cebu welcomed Chingkeetea with open arms at F. Ramos Street. 

In the growing metropolis that is Cagayan de Oro City (CDO), a woman named Chingkee Te dreamed of bringing the growing trend of milk tea to her beloved hometown. Opening for business right after graduating college in a little shop that could cater to around 50 people, what once was a dream gradually became one of the greatest realities she could ever hope for. Today, this shines brightly under the name Chingkeetea. Currently standing with three branches in their hometown, one in Iligan City, and one in Cebu, the brand’s story lets us dive deeper into what it truly means to dream, to inspire, and to create stories from the passions we possess.

Te was inspired to start Chingkeetea because of her love for art and design. Seeing that the milk tea industry was a growing trend in Metro Manila, she decided to bring it back to CDO and incorporate her desire to display the fruits of her creativity.

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Chingkeetea anchors itself on the central theme, “Every cup is a new story.”  Te emphasizes, “We’ve witnessed so many stories and moments at Chingkeetea, from couples getting engaged, families and friends getting together, to break-ups and reunions. A customer could come in heartbroken on his first visit to Chingkeetea, to passing his board exams on his next. It is more than just a cup of tea for a customer, [it’s also about] the stories that come along with it.”

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Another reason as to why this motto is close to the company’s heart is how it also talks about the stories of their team as a whole, from the store’s core starters down to the employees that handcraft each drink with tender, love, and care. The way the brand has grown so much since its opening in 2012, Te highlights how their team has grown with it. “The different seasons and chapters we’ve been through as a company, as a brand, and what I would like to call our ‘evolution,’” she says. “We are never just black and white, but a myriad of colors.”

Debuting their first out-of-Mindanao store in early 2019, Cebu welcomed Chingkeetea with open arms at F. Ramos Street. As each of their stores follows a certain aesthetic, this pop-up shop stands out with its use of paper materials and incorporation of Japanese culture. “I’ve always been fascinated with Japanese culture, I like their appreciation for wabi sabi (a world view centered on the acceptance of transience and imperfection) and imperfect beauty,” she says. “It’s our first time to open a branch this small, so we were forced to stick to a minimalist design, but with our own touch.”

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The store stands without dine-in tables, only a bench for customers who wait for their orders and a counter where the drinks are served. A large crayon mural accentuates the place as the branch’s defining piece.

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Being their first store out of homebase, one of the greatest challenges they faced was how Cebu had such a diverse market of the same products. Despite this, two things kept them going despite the challenge: faith, and their customers from CDO who have long awaited their opening in Cebu.

During their opening weeks, locals from Cagayan de Oro rushed to their doors for a familiar taste of home. This was mostly how their brand became known in the city, as their suki’s brought friends-of-friends flocking, spreading the news of Chingkeetea’s presence and sharing the cravings to local Cebuanos.

One distinct thing that sets Cebu apart from Chingkeetea’s other branches is the diversity of people that enter their doors. “We believe that every store is unique, not just with the interiors and ambiance, but the people who visit them,” Te stays. Despite being one of their minimalistic branches, the stories Cebuanos bring as they take their cup to-go outweighs the size and simplicity of their store.

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As 2019 nears its close, Te wishes to open more branches within Cebu in the hopes of catering to even more people in the ever-growing city, wanting to hear more stories with every new cup that is brewed to each one’s preference. For now, you may drop by their store at F. Ramos Street, fronting Cebu Institute of Medicine for your own dose and a story for the road. A personal recommendation would be Black Sugar or Wintermelon Milk Tea with Pearls, or Kiwi Fruit Tea with Popping Boba if you want something refreshing and light. Oh, did we mention you can take your cup of goodness home for P100 or less?

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About the author
Gillian Sun
Candymag.com Correspondent
A millennium-born Bisaya belle who dreams of becoming a respected radiologist. Born and raised in Cagayan de Oro, she aims to inspire girls to never underestimate what one is capable of, because greatness comes when we believe in ourselves.
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Serene Fae A day ago

"The paradoxical idea of attaining a happier life and how to withstand these beliefs."

The Revolting Truth About Happiness by Theserenefae

If people ask you about your vision of a happier life we automatically envision ourselves having more money, true love, a better job, Instagram-worthy vacations, etc. But let me break this to you this, According to Dr. Laurie Santos, Professor of Psychology at Yale University and the voice behind The Happiness Lab podcast, "Most of the goals we think would make us happy do not really make us happy." And why is that? Simple, being happy is all in our minds. The human mind ploys us with these lenses on how we envision ourselves and our lives to be happy. The perception of "having" or "gaining" is the exact opposite of what will truly make our lives better. So how can we really be "happy"?

• Seek happiness inside you. This is a quintessential reason for our vision of happiness: misconceptions about having a lot of money would make me happy; owning this and that would make me happy; entering a relationship would make me happy. This is not the case, if you want to be truly happy with your relationship, you have to be already happy on your own. If you want satisfaction from others, you have to be satisfied with yourself. And so on.

• Fill that hole righteously We all have that tiny hole inside our hearts, tampering it with temporary band-aids. Fill this hole with purpose. Have you ever heard about The Three "M's"— Master, Mission, and Mate? Define who will be your Master, is it God? If that's so, your Mission could be following his words and will. Mate would be the last for they will be the best companion to fulfill your mission. Now hear me out, it is important to do this accordingly. We often times jumble it or invert it which can lead to failures.

• Give gifts to others. The wonderful grace in giving. There’s nothing like the rush of pure joy when you get a chance to give. However, this may not be something that we're used to. But apparently, openhandedness is our soul's true shape. As Eugene Peterson put it, "Giving is what we do best. It is the air into which we were born." This doesn't necessarily mean we have to give away our stuff but we can also present love, kindness, gratefulness, etc. in our own simplest ways to anyone such as giving time, encouragement, helping hand, or even forgiveness. Try giving and you'll receive inconceivable gifts in return.

• Savor moments. Savoring deeply intensifies our positive emotions while doing something that we love the most by simply stepping outside of the experience to review and appreciate the moment. You can practice this by having a delicious meal, reading a good book, or any activity that you enjoy and love. It can also be enhanced by sharing these experiences with others, appreciating such amazing moments, or staying present the entire time.

• Choose to Love Deeper Today's society relentlessly pressures all of us to have this "perfect" lifestyle such as pursuing careers that drain you, finding value through virtual world and purchases, letting achievements become your whole identity, and yet after all that you still feel empty and failure inside. Consumption is just skin deep—a shallow perception of happiness. Deep life brings the best out of us and others. It is about nourishing what you already have, focusing on the relationships than material wealth, becoming vulnerable at times, and being self-aware.

• Understand that Sufferings and Pain are part of Human Being. Always remember that loneliness and sufferings are inevitable. That is completely how life goes. You may be happy for a moment or a month but sooner or later great tribulation will start to kick in. Combat despair with graciousness. Count all the blessings that you have (and will have in near future, claim it!) by writing it down on a piece of paper or typing on your phone. Viola! an instant boost for happiness. We all know the fact that this superficial happiness won't work, but why do I keep on wanting? I already have all this wisdom about how to be happy for ages, but why can't I apply it to my own life?

First, you have to understand that simply knowing doesn't change your behavior. Care to realize that all the tips that I have mentioned are all verbs? Because at the end of the day, it is all about how you choose to be happy and initiate actions towards success. Know, reflect, visualize, believe, and do something about it. All of these are Actions! This is the secret of all the happiest and most influential people in the world—actions. Furthermore, do know that some of these tips do not work instantly most of the time. It requires a lot of time, motivation, consistency, and effort. I do know it's easier said than done. Take each of them slowly, one step at a time.

If it wasn’t for pain, I wouldn’t be alive. It may sound contradictory, but it’s true. Pain reminds me that I can feel, along with other emotions. Pain reminds me that I can heal, just like how I did in the past. Pain reminds me that I am strong and I can do better. It reminds me that life can be bitter, and it is up to us to make it a little sweeter (or saltier, depending on what the person wants).

With this epiphany, I take pain in a positive light. It’s normal that it can break me and make me want to stay in bed all day, but having someone or something remind me that there is hope is enough. It’s normal that I cry my heart out, but it’s important to remember that there’s a calm after the storm. If it wasn’t for pain, I wouldn’t be who I am now. It has shaped me and how I look at things. It has changed the way I approach circumstances that can challenge me and my beliefs.

Pain, back then, made me cower in the dark. Pain used to be my biggest fear, and I used to do my best to avoid pain. However, I realized that avoiding pain is like avoiding life. Because of how I wanted to protect myself, I closed myself off to people and opportunities. I used to tell myself that “this will end badly”, or “this is going to hurt in the end”. I always focused on how much pain I might endure in the end that I forgot to enjoy the process.

It’s inevitable, you see? Endings, most of the time, may hurt. It’s natural for us to grow attached to someone or something, and their disappearance might bring us a lot of pain. However, one should always remember that the pain is a reminder of how close you became, how many memories you had. If it wasn’t for pain, life would be pointless. If it wasn’t for pain, we would be nothing.

margaux marie A day ago
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