CHECK IT OUT: Jing Si Books and Cafe in Binondo


Jing Si Books and Cafe
Ground Floor Soler Tower
1342 Soler Street,
Sta. Cruz, Manila
Tel. No. 733-3296
Open 9 a.m. - 6 p.m. (Monday to Saturday)

Linger for tea at this Binondo store and cafe. Click for more.


( "Jing Si" means  "contemplative" in Chinese-and you feel just that when walk into Jing Si Books and Cafe in Binondo, a space dressed in cream and dark wood with soft Buddhist chants playing in the background. The calmness and peace stands out in stark contrast to the hustle and bustle of the busy Binondo streets.



Operated by the Buddhist Compassionate Society, Tzu Chi, the shop helps raise funds for the group's mission work and activities. With branches in Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, and the US, Jing Si highlights the bookstore which carries books, videos, and CDs featuring the teachings of Dharma Master Cheng Yen. Wall decor, bookmarks, stationery, and greeting cards exclusive to this store are also on display.


Even if you are not inclined toward Buddhism, there are other good reasons to drop by Jing Si. You’ll find a selection of eco-friendly products not found anywhere else in the city such as fleecy blankets made from recycled Polyethylene terephthalate (PET) water bottles (starts at P1,080), plus clothes made with recycled PET plastic (scarves are at P450, shirts are priced at P810). They also have a number of stylish alternatives to the ubiquitous plastic bag, from small plastic totes that can be folded up and hidden in your pocket (P180) to big canvas ones with leather handles (P620 to P720).

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Jing Si’s selection of instant vegetarian ramen includes the more familiar curry-flavored ramen (P195 for 5 packs) along with unusual ones such as herb tonic-flavored noodles. They also offer instant soups and multi-grain drinks. It is at the rear of the shop where you will find the coffee shop which lists a limited selection of coffee, tea, natural health drinks, and vegetarian noodles (everything is priced below P120). Enticed to stay for some peace and quiet? Try the Rose tea, dubbed "understanding tea," or the green tea, named Good Day tea. If you’re more adventurous, try their version of milk tea called Writer's Tea.


Photos by Anson Yu

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