#KabiseraNYC: The not-so-new-kid in Lower East Side

Situated at the Lower East Side (LES) of Manhattan, Kabisera Café is one of the most trendy cafes along Allen Street. It opened its doors in December of 2017 and it recently moved to a newer and bigger space (just right beside its previous spot which is now Angela’s Ice Cream & Desserts).
 
Kabisera still takes pride in its specialty coffees and other Kabisera-curated favorites such as: Iced Espresso Oat Latte, Almond Chaitado, Affogato, Ube Latte, Matchube (Matcha cum Ube), Golden Latte (Turmeric infused beverage), White Spice Mocha, Vitalitea and many more.
 
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It has become the go-to place by Lower East siders and tourists alike, either to hang out, dine or grab a to-go cuppa. “Our regulars know their coffee and we’re happy to slush their favorite beverage to jumpstart their day. It just feels great to become a part of their daily routine.”, shared Carla Mongado, Actor/Singer and part-time Barista at Kabisera.

The Menu

This Filipino-inspired cafe has pioneered in introducing the Purple Rice Bowl (Tofu bowl), Pork Longganisa Quesadilla and Chicken Adobo Panini in New York City. Their menu includes interesting fusion of contemporary and traditional Pinoy flavors. As for desserts, they have pastries like Lemon squares, Smores brownie, Pecan pie, Maja Blanca, Bibingka, Cassava cake and Ube ice cream which perfectly complement their food menu. Kabisera also features seasonal desserts such as Halo-halo, Frozen Brazo de Mercedes and Palitaw.


 
The Kamayan

Kabisera is also known for its successful Kamayan lunch and dinner parties. Kamayan is the Filipino traditional way of eating sans the knife and fork. The dishes are served on top of a banana leaf and it’s meant to be shared and enjoyed as a family or as a group. You may contact Kabisera for their available Kamayan packages or if you want to customize the menu and style for your feast.

 
For huge groups who need space for closed-door soirees, the place easily transforms from a cafe into an event venue with a seating capacity of 20 to 30 persons and a maximum room of 35 pax. Meetings and parties may be booked at least two or three days before the event schedule.

The Beans

Kabisera has teamed up with a roastery in Brooklyn to customize three coffee bean varieties: Kaulayaw, Silakbo and Dalisay. Kaulayaw is the balanced and smooth variety which they use for their espresso-based drinks. Silakbo is strong and full-bodied which make for their iced coffee, drip coffee and cold brew. The Dalisay roast is the fruity and sweet variety. Kabisera’s coffee beans come from Central and South America with its roastery in Brooklyn, New York.

The Heads of the Table

The term Kabisera means the head of the table. Hence, let’s introduce you to its heads of the table–the hospitable couple Augee and Joey. Augee aka Dj Chinita is the big wheel when it comes to the coffee, food and banquet departments while Joey takes care most of the purchasing and the physical attributes of the cafe. Together they formed an awesome lot of personable baristas and kitchen crew to take care of their customers.
 
When asked about what made them decide to open a Filipino cafe in Manhattan, Augee Francisco, owner of  Kabisera said, “I want Pinoy flavors to have a representation in the New York City’s food scene–in such a way that’s casual yet inventive and high quality yet affordable.”
 
 
Kabisera for Everyone
 
While it’s the first Filipino establishment in LES to introduce the Filipino hospitality to the neighbourhood, it has already gained patrons of diverse culture and ethnicity since it opened. Kabisera continues to embrace and respect everyone’s individuality as it is one with the Women and the LGBTQI community in the struggle for gender equality.
 
“It is a joy to be able to share with everyone who comes to Kabisera, what Filipino hospitality is like. As I always say, we value, respect and take good care of our customers, otherwise, we won’t be living this dream of ours now.”, Francisco added.
 
What they say about Kabisera
 
“I live on the other side of the street and there’s also a cafe near my apartment building but I choose to come to Kabisera because of the good service. They’re all friendly and they treat me like family.” — Nenad, Manager at The Box NYC

“I start my day at Kabisera with my cortado, perfectly prepared by genuinely friendly baristas.”, Hugo, LES Resident.

Visit and follow #KabiseraNYC on social media. For every coffee-based beverage you purchase, you get your loyalty card star-stamped and your fifth drink is free. Ask your barista for your own personalized card.

Kabisera Café
151 Allen St., Manhattan, New York City 10002
Contact: 929 920 8250; kabiserakape@gmail.com
 
Photo credits: Kabisera, Carla Mongado
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Photo of the Day | A Certain Slant of Light

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Subject: Marina Bay Sands
Architect: Moshe Safdie
Location: Marina Bay, Singapore

Yangon In Pictures

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Subject: Yangon on Foot
Location: Yangon, Myanmar

Dragon Boat World Athlete: Pursuing A World Championship Dream – How Important is Social Support for Athletes?

This Q&A was with Dragon Boat World Athlete, Tek Li, National Athlete – Team USA.

Dragon Boat World Athlete Tek Li

DRAGON BOAT WORLD ATHLETE PROFILE

NAME: Terence Li
BIRTHPLACE: San Francisco, California, USA
AGE: 25yo
TRAINING COMMITMENT: Full-time
POSITION: Paddler
PADDLING SIDE: Both, but prefer Right side
HEIGHT: 175cm
WEIGHT: 72kg
STATUS: Never married

MEDAL RECORD:
IDBF World Dragon Boat Racing Championships – SilverU23, 2011, Tampa
IDBF World Dragon Boat Racing Championships – SilverU24, 2015, Welland


Dragon Boat World Athlete, Tek Li, is the eldest of three. His parents both immigrated to the United States from southern China. He is fluent in Cantonese and Mandarin. “I’m kind of a neat freak except when work gets busy”, he shared with us.

Tek started to paddle when he was in his second year of high school in 2005. Standing tall at 5’2” (157cm) and weighing 110lbs (50kg), he joined the Mission High School Dragon Boat Team. Since that time, he’s been paddling and likewise honing his leadership and technical skills in the sport. While he progressed as an experienced paddler he also gained the respect of his peers.

Already on his second year as Membership Director at California Dragon Boat Association (CDBA), a role which requires a substantial amount of time and dedication, he’s become more confident and accomplished in carrying out the task. The CDBA has over 1,000 members and is under the Pacific Dragon Boat Association of the West Coast (PDBA USA).

As a seasoned paddler, he was able to help reboot Stanford University’s Dragon Boat Team and then he eventually landed himself a place on his current team, the San Francisco Dragon Warriors. To date, it’s been 11 fun years of dragon boating for him.

Dragon Boat World Athlete Tek Li


Q: Hi Tek, first of all, thank you for providing us with this interview. It’s really a pleasure to be interviewing you. How did you feel at first, when we approached you for this feature?

A: Thanks for the opportunity. I was really surprised that you asked me, I feel like a celebrity. I Just shope that what I’ll share can be inspiring, thought-provoking, or just simply entertaining for your readers.

Q: We want to know how does it ‘really’ feel like to be paddling for one’s country?

A: To me, representing the country is a big deal. Honestly, it’s really scary because I never feel like I’m good enough. When I’m out there during the competition, I suppress that voice of doubt, keeping calm nerves and trying to perform my best. There’s just a lot of pressure.

Q: When your team lands a World Championships podium finish and you’re standing there, elated and victorious with your team mates, what goes on in your head?

A: It’s really a tearjerking moment, to see the training that we’ve put in turn into something. The fact that dragon boating is a team sport makes it all the more special. I am just one piece of the puzzle, but together we did it. When I’m up there, I’m grateful for my teammates for all the team efforts.

Dragon Boat World Athlete Tek Li

Q: Let us move along to something less emotional. 🙂 We understand that trainings, especially in preparation for Worlds, take months and months to prepare and are extremely physically demanding, how do you condition yourself to achieving that long-range goal?

A: It takes a huge amount of dedication, work, and determination to get to and maintain an elite level of fitness. In order to condition myself, I really need someone else to push me. I stay active and train with a home team to get pushed. As disciplined as I want to believe that I am, having a coach and teammates pushing alongside me get me the best results. In addition to being physically fit, there’s a huge mental aspect to conditioning, too. I look for coaches and teammates who would (within reason) challenge me to my limit, to get me to want to fail, and to transcend that mental barrier.

Q: In your USA National Team journey, was there a time where you failed to make it to an international race that you really wanted to be a part of?

A: I wish I could have participated in the IDBF World Dragon Boat Championships 2013 in Hungary. I had travel conflicts and the education program I was in occupied a significant amount of time. Hence, I have not dedicated enough time for training.

Q: How did you cope with the disappointment?

A: I was disappointed. I knew that I didn’t have enough time so I reassessed the amount of time I had. There wasn’t a realistic way for me to happily and sanely complete my education program and train to the elite level. I just told myself that someone equally capable and strong will hopefully earn that spot.

Dragon Boat World Athlete Tek Li

Q: Once the training and preparation starts, how do you manage your time between trainings and your social life? Do you still have one? 🙂

A: Eh. Yes and no. Once training starts, I can’t go out partying every weekend. I spend a lot more time on the water and in the gym instead of out and about. Balance is important though. I’ve been able to coincide rest days with hanging out with friends. I’ve also tried to build in more time to spend with my parents. Also, practices with Dragon Warriors… that’s my social life!

Q: In your opinion, how important is social support for an athlete? For that matter, who are your best supporters?

A: Social support is critical for an athlete. I want people to be proud of me and to be proud of the effort I put forth. I compete because I enjoy training hard, but I wouldn’t be able to get to the world stage if not for my family who instilled the work ethic in me. I would not have made it if my coaches and teammates were not there to push me. My best supporters are my mentors and friends. They share my journey and my ambitions louder and farther than I would ever be able to.

Dragon Boat World Athlete Tek Li

Q: At what point can you say that you have reached everything in dragon boating?

A: Once dragon boating is in the Olympics and I can participate in it, I would have reached everything in dragon boating.

Q: Outside the dragon boating world, who is the athlete that you admire most and why?

A: I really admire Eric Guerrero, a freestyle wrestler. I met him when I went to an Oklahoma State University wrestling camp during the same year that I joined dragon boat. He is a hard worker, disciplined, humble, and approachable. He reached an elite level, but then also gave back to the community as a coach.


Photos by Scott M, Debbie S, Shoulong L, Anthony Gallaccio
 
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Photo Essay: Borobudur Pilgrimage

Borobudur Temple

Borobudur Temple

Borobudur Temple

Borobudur Temple

Borobudur Temple

Borobudur Temple

Borobudur Temple

Borobudur Temple

Borobudur Temple

Like many, one of the main reasons to travel to Yogyakarta or Jogja in Indonesia is to see the temples. At a recent trip, we saw three of the most popular ones: Prambanan, Pawon and Borobudur. The Borobudur Temple was the most magnificent of all three, hence we created a photo essay of our experience.

We have gotten to know many important events and historical relevance of the temple because we were provided with a knowledgeable tour guide. It was indeed very educational as it was very cultural. As we were traversing the three main levels of the Borobudur Temple, while at the same time enjoying the architecture and the sculptures, we have felt an invigorating psychological calm, peace and serenity.

With 504 Buddhas and 72 of it surrounding the central dome at the top most level, the inner peace we have felt must have been brought upon us by the Buddhas and the intricate stone carvings on its walls; which certainly helped retell its story from a different perspective. Although ours was not the typical pilgrimage one may have had, but still a pilgrimage nonetheless.