As many visitors to Iloilo know, this city has left a lasting mark on the culture of Filipino people with its delicious array of innovative dishes. Ofcourse, they are all great! However, sometimes you want to take a chill pill, and pause for a while. Maybe, you might want to have a good cup of coffee while having some good reads from James Patterson, Dan Brown or John Grisham. One such local business you must visit is Book Latte Cafe in Megaworld, Iloilo.
This coffee shop/library mash-up is the new in. A carefully curated selection of books, creative wall art mural and paintings plus the smell of freshly brewed coffee filling the air will probably fascinate you in more ways than one.
COFFEE SHOP/LIBRARY MASH-UP INSPIRATION OF BOOK LATTE CAFE
The inspiration of this coffee shop/library mash-up is the continuously crippling of the ecology of libraries by technology nowadays. The long road experience seems to have been forgotten by some. So, here in Book Latte Cafe, you will be encouraged to read books or look around for some art works from local artists while having your delicious cup of coffee and scrumptious meal.
You can find Book Latte at the ground level of the Festive Walk in Megaworld Iloilo Business Park. The place isn’t much big, and can only serve about 30-40 people, but can serve more because outside seating is available.
THE WALL ART MURAL | BINUKOT PRINCESS OF PANAY
As you walk in, you’ll noticed this big wall art mural, done by Ron Bulahan and Kinno Florentino as mentioned by the cafe owner. That lady in the mural is one of the Binukot Princesses of Panay Island. Wait. What’s Binukot?
In the ethnic tribes of Panay, a family tradition exists until now which sets apart one girl of the family to become a Binukot. Literally, Binukot is a woman, isolated from the outside world. Prohibited to socialize with other people starting from childhood, her innocence later translates to cultural ignorance and naivety in social situations. Unfortunately, the last Binukot Princess already rest in peace last year.
OVERVIEW OF BINUKOT PRINCESS
Regarded as the most beautiful maiden in their community, Binukot Princess has a fair to white complexion. She dresses in long-sleeved blouses and ankle length skirts. The blouse is to be richly embroidered at the collar, cuffs, and hem. As you can see in the mural, she is carried around in a hammock simply because her feet are not allowed to touch the ground. She is only given the choicest of food and treated like a princess.
The tribe believes that the seclusion will result in a higher value by marital suitors in the future. Quite interesting, huh? Only here in Book Latte Cafe you can enjoy your coffee while learning some Filipino cultural practice which still applies until now. Also, the Binukot Princess fights against being a socially naive through gaining confidence within herself via reading books. Thus, the motivation of the coffee shop – to promote reading among individuals to pave way for self-development.
Unlike the usual library, there isn’t an overwhelming amount of books in Book Latte. You can easily browse their shelves without minding of getting caught up in rows upon rows of books. That’s not to say that they don’t have variety, however. Their selection of books is diverse, and it encompasses a broad spectrum of genres.
ART WORKS BY LOCAL ARTISTS
Upstairs, you can find Book Latte Cafe Alternative Art Space. What’s best about this cafe is how they keep their core as a revolutionary coffee shop in the city through art appreciation. Every month, the cafe hosts artwork exhibits from local Ilonggo artists who want to display their art pieces.
We ordered The Club, Bangus with Rice, a cup of Cappuccino and the best-selling Carrot Cake. The club sandwich makes up two fillings in one, with chicken on one level, light spread of mayo, cheese and salad on the next. The ingredients make up this whopping 3-5 cm thick sandwich. The Filipino classic Bangus with rice is also tasty, and this one was what I wiped clean! I can’t explain the bangus sauce, but it perfectly complemented with the Bangus. The Cappuccino is really awesome, too. If you are a coffee lover, you will surely know that it is made from good quality of beans. For more delectable dishes, you can refer here: Cafe Menu
The carrot cake is a crowd favorite no matter the season is. It was moist, and the frosting was perfect – having the right balance of sweetness. Moist and deliciously made that makes you want to eat a slice or two! I actually ate 80% of the slice, and 20% went to my boyfie.
CALLING ALL COFFEE-LOVER/BIBLIOPHILE
The cozy set up of Book Latte Cafe makes it the ideal spot to find a good book, drink a delicious cup of coffee, chill and stay for a while. If you consider yourself a coffee-addict or bibliophile, Book Latte Cafe is the place for you.
This is a wonderful spot for breakfast, lunch, snack or caffeine boost, dinner and literally steps away from Megaworld Lifestyle Mall, because this cafe is open 24 hrs to serve you. You won’t definitely go wrong with coffee, books and art pieces. Combine a visit here with your explorations of the city of Iloilo.
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littlemisadvencha is a Filipino Civil Engineer, M.S. student in Structural Engineering and a fur mom of four-legged babies. She writes about her experiences to inspire and educate.