Patrick and Monse

Revisiting Escolta

I spent an unexpectedly chill and candid afternoon with Patrick and Monse in one of Escolta’s oldest buildings, the First United building. I suggested the building since we recently acquired a space for studio shoots and also the buildings interiors are just beautiful! And, by sheer coincidence, that was where Patrick spent most of his childhood, since his family owns the iconic building!

Patrick considers this beautiful building very close to his heart, and to have his engagement shoot with Monse here was truly something special for him.

Scroll down to read more about their love story as shared by Monse.


first coworking space
First untied building


We met through work.  I was a fresh grad at the time, and he was a VP (no, he was not my boss hahaha!). At the time, I was very hesitant to go out with him that I was just starting my career in the corporate world and he was already an officer — not to mention our 18 year age gap.


minimalist prenup

On the day we were supposed to have our first date, he cancelled! He forgot it was Chinese New Year. A few days later, we finally went on our first date. We had dinner in El Cirkulo. After dinner, he brought me home to Alabang. Referencing the distance, he jokingly said “I forgot my passport.”

graey studios

We talked the whole way home and, decided to go for a few drinks in Barcino. We had three bottles of wine between the two of us and went home at 3am that night!

As a couple we’re very laid back and relaxed. Some of our best dates are spent at home cooking, binge-watching movies and shows, our appreciating a bottle of scotch. Cooking classes are also great.  Spending time with family is also very important to us.


One of the biggest factors in choosing First United Building was that it’s owned by Pat’s family. He and his family have so many memories there. It’s really a beautiful building and the architecture really does make for a great backdrop. Escolta is beginning to blossom again. Uncle Robert and Auntie Lorraine have worked so hard put Escolta back on the map and to make it a hub for local businesses and artists. We also wanted to help them see how much their hard work has paid off. 

the den
third wave coffee
first united building
first united building

It’s heartwarming to hear these words from Monse after the shoot:

It was the most carefree experience! Both Pat and I haven’t really had much experience in front of the camera. It was exciting seeing the different spaces we were shooting at. We were so surprised how easy and natural it was. You played a huge role there. We were really happy because at the end of the shoot, we really felt that people would get to know us more as a couple through the photos.

first united building


  1. Margot Aguado Rodriguez :

    Beautiful shots, monse & pat! And what backdrops! I wish they could refurbish all those heritage buildings in Escolta & Binondo & turn portions of it into pedestrian walkways of the Old City of Manila, much like in Europe.
    These photos will be beautiful memories for you to look back on in the years to come?
    Love & best wishes to both of you!

  2. Roberto and Lorraine Sylianteng :

    It was great having Pat and Monse! I saw the video of the wedding. Great ad for Escolta. Hehe.

    We are also grateful to the artists and designers who have opened up our minds to explore the full potential of the First United Building!

    • Jaja Samaniego :

      Glad to have shot their engagement shoot there! First United Building is truly a gem. 🙂

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