Berto’s First Kapihan and Blog Launch

By December 6, 2014Uncategorized

Last Saturday, we invited some gentlemen to come to our first ever Kapihan session entitled: “Graduate from your Frat Boy Drink: A Coffee and Cocktail seminar by The Curator.” This is to not only launch a series of get-togethers called “Kapihans” to share ideas and thoughts, but also to officially launch our passion blog project into the world wide web.

We had a list of very special gentlemen come over, a list of close friends and colleagues that helped inspire our blog. 

Ryan Agoncillo, Drew Arellano, Renzo Ongkiko, Paolo Valenciano, Khalil Kaimo, Adrian Tecson, Jericho Rosales, Edward Bugia, Jelito De Leon, Leeroy New, Marc Abaya, and Indy Villalon were some of the Bertos who graced our mini coffee session.

These men are accomplished Bertos in their own right, whose styles, thoughts, ideas, and passions inspire us to become a better version of ourselves too. 

We wanted the intimate Kapihan to be an afternoon well-spent for the guys — something that they’d leave feeling a little more educated, improved and informed.

So it was  absolutely wonderful to have a mini workshop by my good friend Jericson Co who happens to be a well traveled art lover, coffee and cocktail geek and part-owner of The Curator

He explained to us the elaborate and delicate basics of Coffee making and Cocktail making.

Showing us a range of applications and processes — some fancy and others easy enough to do at home.

The Curator happens to be one my favorite “Speakeasys” in Manila, and it was great for him to show us that we didn’t always have to order a San Mig light or Rum Coke at the bar. They also served us some of their best treats from the kitchen — The “Bellychon” was a decadent scene stealer, Bacon Sticky Buns and Croissants with their own Bacon Jam.

But I think the highlight of the day was when we started giving out Berto’s Bag of Basics.

We wanted to give our guests a taste of who we are and what we stood for to better give them an idea of what we were all about.

Berto handpicked some of his favorite items, some of which were handmade and custom-made for each of the guests supporting local brands with world-class quality.

Each guest got the famous GOLD COIN from Back Alley Barbershop entitling them to a cut-and-wash session from one their skilled barbers.


Every Berto needs some haberdashery. Our friends from OTAA flew in some of their signature bowties for the gentlemen. Each one had a different design which we felt matched their personality.


Our friends from Borders gave the team these wonderfully designed Passport Holders, an essential for every Berto out on an adventure. These are locally-sourced and locally-made, another reason to be proud Filipinos.

Since we’re all about going back to the basics, Zalora PH helped us hand out items from their Zalora Basics men’s collection. MLCK handpicked items from their very broad selection to fit the look, style and personality of each of our guests.


There’s nothing like something handmade. These sunnies from Grama Filipinas were meticulously designed and created out of Bamboo. Each one had a unique design and turned out to be something that was truly personalized.

One of my personal favorites, mostly because it really embodies who we are as a blog, are these bespoke espadrilles from Black Wing Shoes. When we sent out invites to the gentlemen, their RSVP was their shirt size and shoe size. I really wanted them to feel the quality of a Filipino product, if only so that  they can talk about it amongst their friends and inspire more  people to #supportlocal

It was a great afternoon of intelligent conversation, laughter and enlightenment. There was a time in our history when revolutions started in cafes and in gatherings like this. We couldn’t be more thankful and honored to have such friends that shared our hearts and our vision.

So we’re officially launched! Do join us and share in our discussions. We don’t always have to agree but we can definitely settle over a glass of Whiskey and strong handshake. Join us as we go #BackToBasics and maybe, just maybe, we can spark a new revolution.

Special Thanks to Wobbletop Productions
Photos by Ralph Hilario and Video by Mark See


Author JPV

JPV is a professional TV commercial director, an independent filmmaker, an entrepreneur and a jerky maker. As sophisticated as he thinks he is, his wife thinks otherwise. He has a hard time fitting into RTW pants, and prefers to drink a peaty Islay scotch or a Bombay Tonic.

More posts by JPV
Loading Facebook Comments ...

Leave a Reply

Berto’s Instagram