You have to go out of your way to visit Ritual.
In 2010, the independent general store set up shop in the Language Internationale Building along Makati’s Arnaiz Avenue, which now appears to be frozen in time, with marble floors and a broken elevator. Such a location, however, only adds to Ritual’s charm. It’s the kind of secret haunt you stumble upon on your way to brunch or a meeting. It’s the kind of discovery you rush to tell your closest friends and nobody else.
A note on the glass door encourages customers to bring their own containers and lets them know that the store does not use plastic of any kind, especially not bottles or bags, over health and environmental concerns. Inside, shelves and tables are lined with a surprisingly vast range of items for every situation imaginable, whether you’re decorating your home, doing some summer cleaning, or looking to try a new skincare routine. These quality items are mostly organic, and all eco-friendly and locally made, from abaca totes with gorgeous intricate designs to polished black rice from Nueva Ecija.
The best part is, this small hideaway is able to represent far-off cities and provinces in the country and promote their livelihood by stocking their unique products — a great way for customers to try something new and distinctly Filipino while in the comfort of Metro Manila, when pesky schedules get in the way of travel plans. Their suka and patis may come in fancy bottles, but they taste exactly like the homemade sauces you stop for on the side of the road during road trips up North.
There are tables and seats as well for guests to sit down and have some cold brew, craft beer, or one of Ritual’s signature cacao drinks sourced from Davao (There’s an entire section devoted to different kinds of tablea!). From time to time they even host live music or talks and workshops for activities the likes of composting or Korean cooking, right in the store.
Before you leave, make sure you grab a two-peso marble for the old school sari-sari store touch. If that’s not a detour worth taking, we don’t know what is. – Fiel Estrella
Ritual is located at 2F Languages Internationale Building, 926 Arnaiz Avenue, Makati. For more information on their products and events, and to order online, visit their website.
Photos by Patrick Diokno