Your Coffee Bean Story: Dennis Corteza

“I wasn’t familiar with Coffee Bean before, but a friend brought me to the store and I tried the Double Chocolate that he suggested I’d have. Iba talaga! It wasn’t too sugary, and I could really taste the chocolate. After that, I gained appreciation for Coffee Bean.

I’m a freelance Art/Creative Director, and if I need to come up with great ideas, this is the place. I’d also see neighbors who I only knew by face. Eventually, we introduced ourselves to each other and now, we create stories together. Because I keep coming back everyday, even the staff became closer to me. On my birthday, the Team Members gave me a cake with a dedication and even sang for me! They even write notes for me on the tray liners; they go the extra mile & that extra effort really matters to me. Aside from this, the Coffee Bean staff always invites me to join their contests. I won 3 years ago for Mondays Made Better. I remember this well because it was the deadline for submissions already, but there were too many people in the store to capture a decent picture. I’m very particular with my output, but since I was going to Boracay that weekend, I brought the Coffee Bean cups with me and took my pictures there. I won and the crew was very supportive of it.

Coffee Bean has become a familiar place with familiar places. Not just my go-to place for work, but a peaceful second home.”- Dennis Corteza

Sir, could you please state your name and what you do?
I’m Dennis Corteza. I’m 46. I used to work in an Advertising agency under the creative department, working on TV commercials and other creative work. Now I do freelance as an Art/Creative Director.


As a part of the creative industry, passion has to play a role in your life. What are you passionate about?
Right now, I make LGBT wristbands because of a tragic event that happened two years ago. While my co-worker was doing a film, his child committed suicide. He was only 15 years old. I brought my co-worker to the hospital and witnessed the breakdown of the parents who didn’t know their child was LGBT. This led to one of my passions—sharing these LGBT bands to parents in hopes of bettering their LGBT awareness. If kids know their parents support the LGBT community, they can feel the support as well.

Why wristbands?
One of the places I took inspiration from were the friendship bands, and these LGBT bands, when worn, send the message of unconditional love whether you’re LGBT or not. I give these to parents so their kids know that it’ll be okay if they were LGBT or not. Another place where I get my inspiration from are indie films. My partner introduced this to me— and we’re currently showing this movie called Too Cool to be Forgotten. The director is from Pampanga and took his inspiration from the Lahar story. The film is somewhat a dark, coming of age movie.


How did the interest in films start with you?
My partner is a film producer who started doing indie films. I used to only like mainstream movies but he introduced me to Cinemalaya. We joined Cinemalaya 5, and our third film won 7 awards. We’ve made 20 movies since, but aside from films, we’d make videos for pharmaceuticals, CSR projects, and other clients. That’s why I’m in Coffee Bean a lot, it’s like having an office that’s within walking distance.

If you don’t mind me asking, what are your current goals and ambitions?
Our group is making an anti-bullying animation with the College of St. Benilde to teach the kids not to discriminate against gender. That’s the big goal, and hopefully the animation will be featured online and in the film fest.


How does Coffee Bean play a part in your day after day?
This really acts as my office. For me, it’s true when they say that if you work at home, you won’t be too productive because you’d be tempted to sleep. Coffee Bean, compared to other coffee shops, is more quiet, has wifi, and a friendly staff.


Could you describe what you can remember from your first Coffee Bean experience.
I wasn’t familiar with Coffee Bean before, but a friend brought me here and I tried the Double Chocolate that he suggested I’d have. Iba talaga! It wasn’t too sugary, and I could really taste the chocolate. After that, I gained appreciation for Coffee Bean, and the fact that it’s more quiet than other coffee shops means I can work, especially when I need to brainstorm or conceptualize my projects. It’s the perfect venue!

Do you have any memorable milestones in a Coffee Bean?
I would see my neighbors, who I only knew by face, in the store and eventually, we’d say hi and introduce ourselves to each other. Now, we share our work with each other, we share stories. Coffee Bean is a familiar place with familiar faces.

Another memorable moment was when at first, I didn’t really know anyone from the Coffee Bean team, because I kept coming back every day, we grew familiar with each other. The crew and I started having fun with each other. I can feel the camaraderie here.


Since we’re mentioning our team, do you have any experiences where our team went above and beyond your expectations?
On my birthday, they gave me a cake with a dedication! I even asked them to sing for me! Two years ago I also collected 10 Giving Journals, and every time I would claim one, I’d have my picture taken with them. I would even make them wear a sash when Ms. Universe was still trending. They even write notes for me on your tray liners. Extra effort like this matters to me. They really go the extra mile! My friends who are working in another coffee shop get jealous! They try to get me to stay in the coffee shop they work in. Aside from these, the Coffee Bean staff members always invite me to join your contests. I won 3 or 4 years ago for Mondays Made Better. I remember this well because it was the deadline for submissions already, but there were too many people in the store to capture a decent picture. I’m very particular with my output, but since I was going to Boracay that weekend, I brought the Coffee Bean cups with me and took my pictures there. I won and the crew was very supportive of it.


Would you happen to have a go-to drink?
It’s really all the teas, especially the chocolate and tea latte, that’s very delicious. The problem with me is that I’m sometimes acidic and I get attacks if I go overboard with the caffeine. In my five years, the first year was dedicated to mocha and green tea. I also tried the new flavor, Hazelnut Chocolate. I love your open house!



In one line, what’s your Coffee Bean story?
For me, it’s a peaceful second home. If I need to come up with great ideas, this is the place. It’s serene. The staff is great, and the customers are great, too. It’s really a second home. I create great ideas here.

What’s Your Coffee Bean Story? Email brewyourbestyear@coffeebean.com.ph if you would like to share your story with the community!

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