PS.Q&A: A Harding Road love story
Marvin Ramilla, Assistant Bar Supervisor & Taty Normelati Binte
Hashim, Assistant Cafe Manager/PS.Cafe at Harding Road
Taty, 40 years young
Joined PS: October 2006 (PS.Cafe at Harding Road)
Marvin, 37 years old
Joined PS: February 2008 (PS.Cafe at Harding Road)
Hometown: Manila, Philippines
You’ve been married for 5 years now! Tell us how you met.
Taty: We met on a Monday in 2008 in the days before Harding started serving lunch. I was there in the afternoon to take reservations, and it was Marvin’s first day of work. After we met, we were always playfully teasing each other… I guess that’s how these things work.
Marvin: The bar team and door host always worked side by side, so we became friends first and hung out a lot. Taty was transferred to Palais for three months to help with the opening there, and then returned to Harding in September 2008. At that point we became more serious and we were married a year later. We now have three kids -- our eldest son Ilham is 4 years old and our twin boys Ilyas & Ihsan are 3 years old.
What was it like dating while on the job together?
Marvin: Oh, I felt motivated to go to work everyday… I knew we could see each other and I
always took notice her shifts. By the time the whole of PS.Cafe at Harding figured out we
were together, Taty was already three months pregnant.
Taty: It was a bit hard at first. We tried not to get our personal life get in the way of work. I
was manager at the time, so I wanted to handle everything professionally and we tried to keep it a secret. We went separately to work or met privately after work so no one would
suspect a thing.
What is the best part of working together as a married couple? The worst part?
Marvin: The best part is that we can plan our schedules around looking after the kids. One of us can work in the morning and the other at night, so there’s always someone spending time with the kids. The worst part is that we can’t flirt with other people at work… No, I’m joking… there really is no worst part.
Taty: The best part is that we can creatively solve problems and issues within the team if we take different shifts, since we’re able to see different things and compare notes. If the bar and service teams are having issues, it’s easier for me to understand from Marvin’s perspective. I wouldn’t say it is bad, but since we see each other 24/7, we usually have nothing left to say at home!
How did you feel when you found out you were having twins?
Marvin: I was really shocked and surprised. During the first check up they never said they
were twin babies. When they told us they heard two heartbeats we were shocked, and even more surprised to learn they were identical. Identical twins are more rare than fraternal twins. They share the same umbilical cord and food supply. Normally pregnant women go for checkups once a month, but with identical twins we had to go twice a week.
Taty: We were taken aback; we didn’t expect to have two kids as we were only planning for one. Later we were surprised to find out that we had aunties on both sides that were twins. Marvin had aunties that were twins, and my mom wasn’t a twin, but her sisters were. It’s usually hereditary.
Do you ever take your kids to PS.Cafe?
Marvin: Yes, a lot. Not surprisingly, their favorite food is the truffle shoestring fries.
Taty: When we take them they usually run around a lot. We try not to bring them when we are working though. Work is work and dinner is dinner.
Has being a parent made you better at your job? If so, how?
Marvin: Working the bar is physically challenging, but every time I come home and see our kids doing well, I feel a bit more motivated and relieved of stress.
Have you found any issues with being a bartender who doesn’t drink alcohol?
Marvin: It’s not difficult as I wasn’t a heavy drinker before. I don’t even think of the temptation to drink. It doesn’t really affect my work and usually after work I’m preoccupied with the kids. Of course sometimes I have to take a taste if the customer wants something different, but I generally don’t feel like drinking most of the time. My favourite drink at PS is the Fresh Mango Mint Soda -- it’s so refreshing, and doesn’t contain any alcohol. Taty’s is the Lychee Lime Cooler for the same reasons.
What’s the biggest change you’ve each seen or felt in Harding over the years?
Marvin: The volume of business. Since I joined I have seen more and more people coming to PS.Cafe at Harding Road. It’s a compliment of course and we are happy to have them. You slowly get used to it and just adapt to the pace.
Taty: Working here, you see a lot of people come and go. We have many different guests and I’ve learned a lot from them. The flow of people and the diversity of people has also
Want to know more? You can catch Marvin & Taty at PS.Cafe at Harding Road.