This is the end of an era. After many years of service, the Ministop near Benilde’s School of Design and the Arts (SDA) building, is closing down. News broke out on March 14 that regulars of the convenience store will have a measly two weeks before they must wave goodbye to their favorite hangout spot. At March 31, Ministop SDA’s contract will end.

“So what’s the big deal?”, you might ask. “It’s just a convenience store.” Well to a lot of people, it’s more than that. The unassuming store became an artists’ hub. From the art kids at SDA, to bands like Jensen and the Flips, Similar Objects, The Espasouls, and a lot more. Other than the proximity to the schools of Vito Cruz, people hung out there because the store had such a chill vibe. People would share stories and secrets. Friendships were formed, and group projects were finished. There were even gigs performed outside Ministop.

“Hi Pangga! May Energy Ka Pa Ba?: The First Ministop Gig” was one of the first big gigs to take place at the convenience store. It featured such musicians as People’s Future, Bulusan, Salamin, The Ambassadors, Kuwago, and Mayonnaise. Before Jensen Gomez was in a band, he had a solo busk right outside of MiniStop to raise funds to play in Malaysia.

Here are few gig photos taken from MiniStop SDA’s Facebook Page:


Ministop SDA

Ministop SDA 2

This twitter thread by Choi Padilla of Jensen and the Flips pretty much sums up why Ministop SDA is so special to the people of Taft.

Artists who used to frequent the establishment are now calling for a one last hurrah gig for Ministop SDA. Pauline Lauron of Espasouls is game for playing for the store where her band did their first photo shoot. Red Rivera, a photographer who specializes in events, says that there are people fixing up a gig right now.

I can’t begin to tell you how much this little convenience store means to me. Growing up as a Scholastican and a Benildean, Ministop SDA was my go-to place. My friends and I would just laugh and hang out there. We’d spend hours there eating kariman, drinking shakes and deepening our friendships. After particularly stressful school days, I’d go there and just order a sundae to eat on the walk home. Of course the ice cream won’t make it all better, but stepping into such a familiar place would alleviate some of my troubles.

Hence, On March 31, let’s pour one out for the old friend of everyone from Taft. Farewell, Ministop SDA. You will truly be missing.

Share us your favorite #MinistopSDA memories!