Miniong Alvarez and Johnson/ Directed by Arjel Joseph
Café Aroma should ring a bell to old stage hands. Once located at the corner of Recto and Avenida Rizal, near Odeon theater, the café was the familiar hang-out of thespians, ingénues, key grips, stage crew, dilettantes, and virtually anybody who ever had the merest fancy for the stage or the then budding local motion picture industry.
During those days, dabblers in the performing arts and Manila Opera House performers on respite would intermingle at the Aroma in much the same way the beatniks would cluster at their Coffee Bean or much later hip black gather around their Soul of Food. It was the place where a feisty kapitan del baryo would sidle up to a garrulous crewman, mistaking him for a big-time producer, asking him about procedures on how to get in touch with vaudeville types for his town’s coming fiesta. It was the place where fastidious talent agents would nurse their time, virtually sitting on unhatched but hopeful talents.
When the Aroma gave way to a new structure, all but the old memories of bygone days remained. Independent producer Ben S. Hernandez, director Arjel Joseph and Apeng Daldal and his brood of comedians got together and cooked up a daily sitcom, Cafeteria Aroma, a blocktimer over GMA-7. The show premiered February 1982, 11 am timeslot.by Alvin F. Baquirin/ TV Times/ February 1982
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