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Good Food At UkeHUB Kafe in Lapulapu City, Cebu, Philippines

I was lucky enough to be asked to write for Around the Philippines Blog, an up and coming travel and food blog about the Philippines. This was for an an event by UkeHub Kafe at their place in the Mactan Arcade at Airport Road in Lapu-Lapu City.












Unlike the other stores you find in this arcade, Ukehub Kafe doesn’t focus only on food or clothing, nor any singular product for that matter. But anyone who looks at it from the outside can easily say that it’s a lounge for travelers, as it’s only around 15 minutes from the Mactan Cebu International Airport. Yet, the cafe’s main business is Ukulele. They sell ukuleles. And they also do ukulele workshops. Now, I’ve been a fan of this petite instrument since I was a teenager. I’ve always been wanting to play songs with the ukulele ever since. So this event is easily my kind of gig, you know what I’m saying? It was exciting to say the least. But soon as I got there, I learned that all my expectations were nothing compared to the reality that UkeHub Kafe has exceeded for themselves. I’ll share my experience with you, as usual through a series of photos that I took with my camera phone. But I will say here upfront that this story is about ukulele, coffee, and travel.

UkeHub Kafe

You can already take a peek of these lineup of ukuleles as soon as you enter the door. Ukulele’s are guitar-like instruments made popular in Hawaii, but with a higher pitch than a standard guitar and consist of only four strings. If you’re a fan of these little music-makers, you’d tend to ignore everything else and grabbing one and plucking it will be the first thing you’d do.

That’s pretty much what I did. Lol. The ukuleles are made by no other than Susing’s Guitar. Susing's is one of the oldest and most outstanding guitar makers in the island.


Plucking a ukulele at UkeHUB Kafe in Mactan Island Lapulapu City Cebu Philippines
Plucking ukuleles


My other favorite thing about thing in the world is red velvet cake. And they have it here! UkeHub Kafe serves these sweet delights. The feature different cakes everyday.


Red velvet cake at UkeHUB Kafe in Mactan Island Lapulapu City Cebu Philippines
Red velvet cake


As soon as I got over my excitement about the ukuleles and my other senses started to work, suddenly I feel something tugging at my brain. Coffee! Or rather, the aroma of brewing coffee permeating my nostrils and commanding me to get a cup. The result? Heaven! I mean, look at that latte foam art!


Coffee latte from UkeHUB Kafe in Mactan Island Lapulapu City Cebu Philippines
Coffee latte



This tuna sandwich toast by UkeHub is a sumptuous combination of crunchy, chewy, and crisp. Perfect to get the edge off your boredom, especially if you’re waiting for that connecting flight.


Tuna sandwich from UkeHUB Kafe in Mactan Island Lapulapu City Cebu Philippines
Tuna sandwich

At every table in the cafe has an unpainted ukulele lying down at the center. I wonder what these are for. Decoration maybe?


UkeHUB Kafe in Mactan Island Lapulapu City Cebu Philippines
Ukuleles on the table


The usual Susing’s Guitar Branding inside the soundboard of every finished product.


Susing's Guitar-branded ukuleles at UkeHUB Kafe in Mactan Island Lapulapu City Cebu Philippines
Susing's Guitar brand

To my surprise, the host invited us to take one. Then we started painting it using acrylic water-based paints and a watercolor brush. This was actually part of a workshop they do in the cafe called “Paint Your Own Ukulele.” It only costs 1000 PhP. With that minimal amount, you can already do this awesome artsy session with your friends. And you get to bring home the mahogany-made ukulele that you yourself painted. So that’s what it is for, eh?



Painting a ukulele at UkeHUB Kafe in Mactan Island Lapulapu City Cebu Philippines
Painting a ukulele

My finished Product. HAHA! Be kind. It’s my first time. Nah, It's my girl Deah's actually.



Deah's painted ukulele at UkeHUB Kafe in Mactan Island Lapulapu City Cebu Philippines
Deah's painted ukulele

Soon as the ukuleles were dry, this gentleman stepped in and introduced himself as our ukulele teacher. His name is Frank Clive Cane, a long-time member of the Phil-Harmonics Orchestra and also a music teacher in one of the local schools in the island.

Frank Clive Cane at UkeHUB Kafe in Mactan Island Lapulapu City Cebu Philippines
Frank Clive Cane

He taught us all how to play three popular ukulele songs in just less than 2 hours!


Learning to play the ukulele at UkeHUB Kafe in Mactan Island Lapulapu City Cebu Philippines
Learning to play the ukulele
In this session, we were allowed to use one of the ukuleles displayed at the store. I resisted so hard not to purchase. This also part of a workshop which they do inside the cafe itself. They offer ukulele lessons for beginners starting at 150 php per person! That’s cheaper than any private tutor you can get on your own. Believe me, I know.


Ukuleles on display at UkeHUB Kafe in Mactan Island Lapulapu City Cebu Philippines
Ukuleles on display


Another gentleman stepped in and introduced himself. You might recognize him as one of the new YouTube phenomena. Caloy Juapo! That blue-eyed hunk who sings Cebuano songs with his guitar. He played us a few of the Bisaya songs he knew.


Caloy Juapo at UkeHUB Kafe in Mactan Island Lapulapu City Cebu Philippines
Caloy Juapo (left)


For such a comfortably small place, UkeHub Kafe was nothing less than an unforgetable experience. If any place has any hope of bringing Cebuanos back together in the spirit of who we really are as people, it’s UkeHub.
Truly, a place that resounds our island’s music, culture and style, through three of the best things life can offer: ukulele, coffee, and travel.


Full disclosure Notes:
  • This article was contributed by Nathaniel John Arong. He represented Around the Philippines blog in UkeHUB Kafe's media day.
  • Some photos grabbed from UkeHUB Facebook page.
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