The Pantry Gang/ Merienda Gang

We may be a mean editorial staff of a national daily, quite used to the daily pressure of producing a credible broad sheet. At core, however, we are just people who like to gather around a table and partake of food together, sharing stories, a few laughs and some light banter.  

It's an unintended consequence of moving into a new office so posh it's forbidden to eat anything solid inside. In the course of our work -- always beating the deadline, running after stories (or people supposed to deliver those stories), we've become used to eating in front of our computers. Always in a hurry. 

To make up for the prohibition, the new management team built us a nice pantry instead. It's big enough to accommodate a dozen people, it has a great view of the street below, a split-type aircon, vibrant green walls, a six seater center table and some bar stools in the periphery. 

Since then, we've been finding good reason to bring food and share it among everybody, or within our smaller cliques. 

Imagine I have been with this company for almost ten years and it's only now I've sat with them and gotten to know them. I bet they say the same about me -- I used to just come in, do my work, eat at my desk if I'm hungry, and then leave. 

It's been fun documenting the get-togethers. Take this series of photos, taken from Monday to Thursday this week.

Thursday: EIC Jojo Robles sponsored two boxes of pizza
Wednesday: I cooked linguine carbonara -- and passed entertainment editor Isah Red's discriminating taste
Tuesday:Sports editor Reira Mallari bought pancit and lumpia for everybody 

Monday:Godmother Isah Red's cool pink pants drew enough compliments so that he bought us all a bucket of KFC chicken

I am sure the novelty will eventually wear off, but for now it's so much fun making new friends -- rather, discovering that acquaintances and work associates can in fact be friends.