FirstDibs by Amor Maclang • Published 18 February 2019


Everyone knows that the field of marketing communication is highly stressful, with deadlines to keep, clients to meet, work sessions to attend, articles to write, pitches to finish, presentations to deck out, and cost estimates to flesh out.

There’s also the daily routine of bearing traffic gridlocks on our way to and from the office—a frustrating reality that affects everyone, commuter or motorist alike.
So, what do we do whenever we feel overwhelmed by, well, everything around us?

Although everyone has their own way of beating stress, we can all agree that one sure-fire way to beat the daily crunch is, of course, to eat. And this is one thing that creative agency people love to do—whether for beating stress, for sustenance, or for simply satisfying their cravings. There’s nothing like a good dose of cheer-chow to get back one’s bearings and make sense of everything.

The good news is that the GMCI office in Salcedo is surrounded by a diverse range of eateries that cater to basically everyone’s equally diverse gastronomic preferences. In other words, there are so many stress-busting options near our place of work that choosing is oftentimes a chore (but this is also why we all love Salcedo Village).

Since our lovely people in GMCI are all card-carrying food lovers, they must have their own favorite hangouts in and around Salcedo Village. We wanted to know which ones are their faves so we asked them a simple question: “What’s your favorite restaurant within the vicinity?”

And here are their answers. Eat well!

SARA ALVAREZ (Chief Operations Officer)
Favorite diner: Gino’s
“I love Gino’s spicy honey sauce, which I put on everything, even on my pasta. You can also buy a bottle of it and bring it home! I recommend their Angelizzas for appetizer, and their four-cheese pizza and aglio olio pasta.”

One of Gino’s special pasta dishes

ZAHI DEPALING (PR and Engagement Associate)
Favorite diner: Kite Bar

“I love Kite Bar for their Falafel Sandwich with their signature sauce and Hummus. Add in Tzatziki--it’s this fresh cucumber and Greek yoghurt with dried mint to refresh my pallet from the splash of flavors of the Falafel. And because I love chilly, a classic yoghurt drink would be perfect to cap everything off!”

PAM SALES (PR and Engagement Executive)
Favorite diner: Echostore
“I like Echostore Cafe because they offer natural, organic and local food. I recommend the A La Trio pasta, French Mushroom Omelet, and Banana Heart Burger.”

Echostore’s Banana Heart Burger

ANNE TIANGCO (PR and Engagement Senior Director)
Favorite diner: Calderon
“I love Calderon because they serve the best Paella Negra. Also, the place has that homey vibe which I like.”

AL DIMALANTA (Head of Content)
Favorite diner: Kite Bar
“I love Kite Bar. It’s my go-to lunch or dinner place in the vicinity. Their Kebabs are a winner and so are their Shawarma Rice dishes. But what really keeps me going back to Kite is their garlic sauce, which is the best I’ve ever tasted here in Metro Manila.”

HANNAH TAN (Accounts and PR Associate)
Favorite diner: Kite Bar
“I like Kite Bar because they have dairy-free options for my ingredient-sensitive self.” JEULS HERMOSISIMA (Planning, Strategy, and Business Development Executive)
Favorite diner: Umu Umu
“Their Uni (Sea Urchin Sashimi) is so fresh. With just a small portion it feels as though I'm at the beach and enjoying the sunset!”

GRACE LEYCO (Senior Manager PR and Stakeholder Management)
Favorite diner: Kite Bar
“My current favorite is the Kite Bar. The place offers Mediterrean and Arabic food and spices. Also, the place is cozy, and the ambience is very homey like you are in your own small corner and eating peacefully without the long lines and the rushed eating before going back to work. In Kite, you can actually eat and relax.”

TRISH PEREZ (PR and Engagement Executive)
Favorite diner: Refinery
“I’ve never ordered anything I didn’t like in Refinery and I'm so glad a branch opened just a street away from our office. For the past two years, this is where me and my best friend have been celebrating our birthdays. I highly recommend their Hangover Pasta, it's the perfect combination of bacon, asparagus, fried egg, and fettuccini. Must I mention that the sauce is made of rendered smoked bacon fat and parmesan cheese? (Who doesn't like bacon!)

I’m a fan of alcoholic drinks, and wine is one of my go-to drinks whenever I want to enjoy a "tita" night and Refinery has a selection of Unli Wine, Moscato, or Sangria. I’ve tried their Moscato and Sangria, but I'd gun more for their Moscato as it has a fruity taste that I can't get enough of.”

Refinery’s Cold Cuts and Cheese Platter

So there. Apparently, the folks in GMCI do not eat just to bust stress, but to simply indulge in something that they really love. As we always say in GMCI: “We do well by doing good.” But from the looks of it, we also need to add, “…and by eating good food.” Burp.