My name is Jec and this is how our coffee journey began. Rain and I both started working at Starbucks in 2010. I was assigned in Cybergate Mandaluyong while he was assigned in Metrowalk Ortigas. He was first introduced to me when I was assigned to cover a shift in Starbucks Emerald Avenue. His group dropped by the store after their shift to say hi to my co-barista. After that, we didn’t get the chance to talk to each other again.
It was in June 2011, when Rain was assigned to cover a shift in our store. My co-baristas, who knew that we’ve already met each other before and were both single, started to tease us. One night while I was browsing through Facebook, a notification popped at the corner of my screen. It said, ”Hi Ms. Cute”, I was surprised when I opened it and saw that it was from Rain. I responded with, “Hello Mr. smiling face.” We talked about how busy our store was and that we didn’t get the chance to have a longer conversation. We exchanged numbers but he got a bit frustrated because I don’t normally reply to text messages or answer phone calls. He was worried that I seemed uninterested in him. Good thing Charm, my co-barista and friend, mentioned that that’s really how I was when it comes to using my phone.
When he asked if he could court me, I told him yes but I wasn’t ready to commit myself to anyone yet. If he was willing to wait for the right time, then it was up to him.
Rain was then assigned in our store for three weeks. Whenever possible, he would wait for my shift to end and he would accompany me going home. I really appreciated his effort in doing such gesture almost everyday. When he went back to Starbucks Metrowalk, we would only meet once or twice a week since both our stores operated for 24 hours and our schedules did not coincide.
We had our store meeting in August of that year and he had his shift in Cybergate again. The team decided to hang out after our shift and spend time together. At that moment, I knew I was with the right guy and I felt that I was ready to give him a chance. It was nearly 3 am when Charm suddenly told Rain that there’s something that I’d like to say. I was shy because I wasn’t sure if he still wanted to pursue me. Charm kept on insisting and said ‘‘Two doughnuts!’’, pertaining to the chocolate dipped doughnuts that were in the pastry case. Both Rain and I did not get it right away. There was suddenly a blackout for a couple of seconds. When the light came back I told him: “Ask me again.” Rain, being that shy-type, reserved, kind of guy just smiled and did not say a word. Our friends were still staring at us and were waiting for what we had to say. Pressured, I asked: “How can I answer if you won’t ask me”. Still, no words were uttered. Then I just said “Okay fine, even if you are not asking me.” He asked, “Seriously, does this mean we’re together already?” with a big smile on his face. I said “YES!”
What we have is such a blessing since both our families and friends are happy for us. Of course, we too had challenges in our relationship. When Rain resigned and I was transferred to several stores in Makati, we did not have that much time like we had when we were both baristas. It was in late 2015; when we both got our jobs in the corporate world. Out of nowhere, on June 2016, my Starbucks friends invited us to join them in Boracay. I urged Rain to say yes so we can take a break from work. I didn’t know that he’s been planning the proposal together with our friends. Rain surprised me and proposed to me the night we arrived in Boracay.
Now, we are happily married. Our relationship is not always perfect. Obstacles only strengthen our love for each other. It’s all about the choices you make, and we chose to preserve ours. Our stay with Starbucks was totally worth it. Not just because of the working experience, but because we came across people who were bound to change our lives. We found a family in Starbucks. And soon, we’ll start ours. It was indeed a wonderful journey for us, from coffee to forever.