By Ira Pablo and Mels Timan
Everyone has their own story to tell. It is filled with relationships and events that help shape who we are and what we believe to be true about the world. It is precisely the appreciation of the collective history of their family that inspired business partners Angel Tangco and Gigi de Jesus to put up Stories By LilyPad, a homey cafe nestled in a quiet neighborhood in Quezon City. Originally built in 1972, the house was owned by Angel's grandmother and served as the family's ancestral home, a repository of countless family memories echoing through its concrete walls.
As the original occupants slowly moved out of the nest, Angel wanted to infuse new life into the structure that held so much joyful memories. She collaborated with Gigi for a possible enterprise involving the ancestral house. Armed only with their shared love of stories and good food, they opened their doors to paying customers and the rest was history. These adornments include a water fountain fashioned from a hodgepodge collection of ceramic mugs, which were gifts from family and friends throughout the years. Largely inspired by the biblical quote, “My cup floweth over,” this whimsical welcome for visiting guests is a witty way to incorporate a body of water to signify the owners' shared interest of diving. The overall results bring a feel-good vibe that simply beckons anyone to sit back and relax with a good cup of coffee.
Unlike most renovations that demolish the original structure in favor of a more modern look, Angel and Gigi opted to retain most of the architecture of the house, preserving most of the exteriors and interiors of the place. As such, all of the hardwood and concrete details of yesteryear are still very much intact, blending seamlessly with touches of Nouveau Retro furniture and memorabilia tastefully infused throughout the interiors.
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If the ambiance of Stories By Lilypad lures people in, the food that they serve is what encourages them to linger. As a self-confessed foodie, Gigi crafted a menu that is composed of crowd favorites that were re-imagined and tweaked in accordance to her discerning tastes.
Grilled Chicken & Lime Pesto
Their best-selling dish, the Godo Fried Chicken is a paean to Gigi's late father who helped her perfect the recipe. Other dishes like the Jakothai Rice, is jokingly referred to as “survival food,” an allusion to its fateful incarnation from leftover pantry ingredients that were ingeniously scrambled together to create something edible. These experiments yielded culinary gold that were since adapted to the cafe's cooking repertoire.
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All these efforts culminate to make Stories by Lilypad a gem of a find, a haven of bliss amidst a busy metropolis to finish a term paper, work on reports, catch up with old friends, or even just to enjoy an icy iteration of their caffeinated offerings on a sunny afternoon, proving that it is, indeed, the story we tell ourselves that makes all the difference.
Visit Stories By Lilypad at 46 Times Street, West Triangle, Quezon City. For inquiries, please call 09568240094. More updates on their Facebook and Instagram accounts.
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Photographs from Lui Jimenez, Barry Viloria, and Stories By Lilypad