A video of a foreigner complaining about a crowded coffee shop in the Philippines gained buzz on X, eliciting different reactions among Filipinos.
It also led to discussions on the lack of accessible public libraries and other similar spaces in the country.
What the video was about
A travel blogger named Dale Philip, who shares his travels around the world on social media, uploaded a short-form clip where he complained that he could not order a Matcha Latte from a Starbucks branch in SM Baguio because it was crowded.
The video showed Philip zooming in on a group of customers, who looked like students, occupying a space inside the Starbucks store.
The foreigner then ranted that he could not understand the “concept” behind why customers supposedly “use” coffee shops as their “personal office.”
“Yeah, I would hate to have a business where people just come and use it as their personal office. Use your Wi-Fi, your electricity, buy like one coffee. So, I don’t understand why they let people do that,” Philip said.
“And I don’t understand why people do that either,” he added.
Philip also showed the face of a customer who said hi to him while recording despite her looking like a minor.
“Somebody just doing their homework right there,” he said.
@dalephilipvlogs Laptop Loitering Digital Nomads at Starbucks 🇵🇭 I visited SM City Mall in Baguio, Philippines. I was considering getting a Matcha Latte from Starbucks but when I saw it was full of laptop loitering digital nomads, I changed my mind. #Baguio #Philippines #Travel #TravelVlog #SoloTravel #BudgetTravel ♬ original sound – Dale Philip
In the caption, Philip also claimed that the individuals in that particular store were “laptop-loitering digital nomads.”
“I visited SM City Mall in Baguio, Philippines. I was considering getting a Matcha Latte from Starbucks but when I saw it was full of laptop loitering digital nomads, I changed my mind,” he wrote.
Philip uploaded the video on November 5. It has since garnered 265,000 views on the video-sharing application.
The video soon reached the local community on X, formerly Twitter.
X user @maroontito shared it with his followers. He also slammed the blogger for “making a living off Filipinos” for his commentary on Starbucks customers.
“The audacity of white people to make a living off of Filipinos while simultaneously criticizing our own culture and social norms. Didn’t even bother blurring their faces. Nakakainit ng dugo,” the user said.
How Filipinos reacted
Some Filipinos also seem to dislike customers who use coffee shops to charge their devices or for other activities.
“May point din naman siya, actually! Kairita din kasi mag starbucks tapos puno ang tables gawa ng mga naglalaptop nakikicharge or whatever!” an X user said.
Other Filipinos, however, pointed out the lack of public areas where students and other people could do their tasks for free outside their homes.
“[Well], if we actually built more libraries and productive workspaces, students wouldn’t have to flock to expensive coffee shops that sell overpriced coffee!” an X user said.
“This just shows the lack of accessible third spaces in our cities that allow us to work and/or study w/o needing to purchase something,” an X user commented.
“Not everyone has Wi-Fi at home or a proper area where they can study/work online,” another Filipino on X said.
In 2019, a branch of a fast-food chain also earned criticism for its new policy wherein “studying” on its premises was discouraged.
Starbucks is “third place”
Starbucks has a “Third Place” business policy model, citing each store as a place “beyond home and work where people could gather, relax and talk.”
Starbucks Philippines President Noey Lopez also brought this up when asked about patrons’ behavior of lingering inside its shops for hours.
“Third place is between home and work, right? That’s where you come up with the third place, so we wanna be the third place. If we can be the first place, then even better. We don’t really mind,” Lopez was quoted in a report as saying.