Experience Ukulele, Coffee, and Travel at UkeHUB Kafe

It Really is a Traveller’s Café

The trip to UkeHUB Kafé will be the first part of your adventure. (I say “adventure” without the hyperbole.) It’s located at Airport Road, Mactan, Lapu-Lapu City, Cebu, Philippines and literally 5 minutes from the Mactan Cebu International Airport and about an hour from the heart of Cebu City. If you’re at the Mactan Marina Mall, then you’re very close. Just follow the road that leads beyond the Timex Clock Tower and you’ll find Mactan Arcade. From there, simply follow the smell of brewing coffee and the sound of high pitched strumming.
UkeHUB Kafe in Lapulapu City, Cebu, Philippines
UkeHUB Kafe in Lapulapu City, Cebu, Philippines

The Original Susing’s Guitar

Stepping inside UkeHUB is instantly an aesthetic experience. The walls are decorated with a line-up of the finest ukuleles in the island of Mactan, manufactured by the world-famous Susing’s Guitar, one of the oldest guitar and ukulele companies in the country.
Inside the Ukehub Kafe in Lapulapu City, Cebu, Philippines
Inside the Ukehub Kafe in Lapulapu City, Cebu, Philippines
(Photo from the UkeHUB Kafe Facebook album)
The ukuleles are the main stuff the UkeHUB Kafé is actually selling, with coffee and sandwiches being only secondary. Their ukulele’s range from 1,500 to more than 10,000 pesos, depending on the wood it’s made from (ranging from mahogany to Swedish oak wood) and depending on what type. Apparently, there is more than one type of these midget guitars, namely the Soprano, the Concert, the Tenor, and the most aptly named Baby Guitar (I wonder how they’re made) or sometimes called the Baritone.
If you’re the kind that appreciates pretty awesome craft, then those Ukulele displays will sure to satisfy you’re aesthetic craving.

There’s Hot Chocolate and Coffee, then Pasta and Sandwiches

Oh, it’s cheap! Yet the quality is top-notch. Literally less than a hundred pesos, but you already got some foam latte art on your cup of hot chocolate. I mean, I don’t always get that kind of love on my hot drinks, and it taste good too!

Menu at UkeHUB Kafe in Lapulapu City, Cebu, Philippines
UkeHUB Kafe Menu



I personally love their “Maya’s Lasagna” and “Hungry Harry’s Sandwhich,” and who wouldn’t? I mean, either of these rockstars are only 130 pesos but they definitely make a full stomach, even for one as huge as mine. Delicious to say the least---a must try!
Matcha madness at UkeHUB Kafe in Lapulapu City, Cebu, Philippines
Matcha madness at UkeHUB Kafe in Lapulapu City, Cebu, Philippines
(Photo from UkeHUB Kafe Facebook page)

The Fun-filled Ukulele Workshop


Part of the UkeHub Kafe’s cause is to promote Ukulele music as an indelible part of the Cebuano’s history and culture. That is why every week, they have ukulele workshops that aims to teach kids of all ages to play and appreciate the chill and bubbly music of the Ukulele. Because, if anything, “chill and bubbly” are two words that best describe the Cebuano spirit, true?

The workshops usually happen on weekends (Friday through Saturday), but you can always work with them to set a schedule for you. To find out the next workshop schedule with UkeHUB Kafe, visit their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/UkeHubKafe.


As I undergone the workshop last March 19, 2017, my spirit danced with joy and merriment from how easy yet satisfying it is to strum and rock with this little instrument. I tell you, it feels absolutely natural. Like the Ukulele was meant to be there in my arms, over my chest, close to the beat of my heart. The workshop started with learning the Ukulele’s history, anatomy, its major chords, and its different styles of strumming. With teacher Frank Cane, a pioneer in the Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra and a local music teacher in Mactan, a funny and high-spirited man, I learned to play three songs, in less than half an hour. And from the chord patterns that he taught me that day, I am now able to play more than 20 songs with the Ukulele. And I think that’s hella rad to say the least!


The price for each workshop starts from 150 pesos per person. Yep, you read that right. It’s that affordable and I guarantee you, my dear readers, it’s worth every single cent.

The Unexpectedly Fantastic “Paint Your Own Ukulele” Workshop

I have always been in love with arts and crafts, besides literature and music, the visual arts is the one closest to me. Since I had always drawn pictures since I was a kid, but as many amateur artists know, color rendering is hell. Water color painting was always my weakness.
Nat and Deah paint their ukuleles at UkeHUB Kafe in Lapulapu City, Cebu, Philippines
Nat and Deah paint their ukuleles at UkeHUB Kafe in Lapulapu City, Cebu, Philippines

But the painting teachers from UkeHUB Kafe were super cool and friendly, and their cheerful patience was very encouraging. And for the first time in my life, I loved my painting. Although it’s really simple, it made me proud and happy.
Nat shows off his painted ukulele at UkeHUB Kafe in Lapulapu City, Cebu, Philippines
Nat shows off his painted ukulele at UkeHUB Kafe in Lapulapu City, Cebu, Philippines
By the way, the price for this workshop is only 1000 pesos! Aside from getting a standard Ukulele (Mahogany Wood), you get to learn how to mix paint and render colours plus you get to bring home the brushes and color plates too!  Now, if that’s not perfect. I don’t know what is.
Deah's painted ukulele at UkeHUB Kafe in Lapulapu City, Cebu, Philippines
Deah's painted ukulele at UkeHUB Kafe in Lapulapu City, Cebu, Philippines


Ukulele. Coffee. Travel.  

The UkeHub Kafe is a place for travellers to lounge, chill, and rejuvenate after long hours of flying coach. For the 8 hour stop-overs, it’s the place to go pamper yourself with the beautiful line-up of Ukuleles while you sit back and enjoy a cup of coffee.
It’s for the Cebuano youth to set themselves off for a new kind adventure, the kind that doesn’t require you to trek faraway places. Ukehub Kafe offers an adventure that recalls us back to where we belong, with people who reflect our very own, an adventure based at a place that is home.
Note: This article was contributed by Nathaniel John Arong who attended the UkeHUB Kafe's Craft Party on 19 March 2017 on behalf of the Wonderful Cebu blog.

Event Alert: Easy E-commerce for Everyone (24 March, 2017)

Teespring helps aspiring entrepreneurs in Cebu with Payoneer and Facebook

Aspiring e-commerce entrepreneurs can now jumpstart their online businesses by joining the “Easy E-commerce for Everyone,” an event organized by Teespring, an online business solutions platform, with Facebook and Payoneer here in Cebu.

Intended to inspire, Teespring pioneer in the Philippines Marvin Espina will share how he and his wife Khate succeeded in his online business with customers mostly in the United States.

“I don’t have to go abroad to earn a living anymore. Two years ago, building our own home seems too far to realize but last year we just started the construction of our dream house, hoping to finish it this year. We were also able to travel the country and even brought my little girl to Disneyland Hong-Kong—all thanks to Teespring,” Espina said.

Speakers from Teespring, Facebook, and Payoneer are slated to provide insights and trigger discussions on the use of Facebook as a marketing tool, setting up online businesses, and keep conversations going with customers online.

Aside Marvin Espina, another Teespring seller Norlito Baclayen will also present his testimonial.
Paolo Lacuna of Facebook, Miguel Warren of Payoneer, and Ha Nguyen of Teespring will be on hand at the Sky Hall B, SM Seaside City Cebu on March 24, 2017.

Ha Nguyen is the UK country manager of Teespring, an online platform that allows one to create and sell customs apparel with no cost, risk or hassle.

Lacuna, the business development lead of Facebook for the Philippines, will talk on cross-border selling.

Warren, meanwhile, is the Philippine country manager for Payoneer, a New York-based online payment solution which was established in the archipelago in November 2016. Payoneer provides online payment solutions to leading brands such as Airbnb, Amazon, Google, Upwork and millions of small businesses around the world. With over 3 million users worldwide, Payoneer can send money to more than 200 countries in over 150 currencies.

Teespring’s Ha Nguyen is optimistic about Cebu because of its vibrant trade and economic atmosphere.


Online selling in the e-commerce market in the Philippines is estimated to reach US$1,237 million in 2017. This is expected to grow annually at 17.3 percent resulting in a market volume of US$2,345 million in 2021.

To register and join the event, go to -https://ecommerceforeveryone.splashthat.com/. Registration is free, but seats are limited.

Note: This is a press release from PRWorks in behalf of Teespring.


So Much Fuss About Cebu's Favorite Lechon Lately

One claim by a television giant has stirred Cebu netizens as to which lechon brand is actually Cebu's favorite. In a news release the TV network reports that Cebu's "number 1" and "favorite" lechon, Zubuchon, is opening soon in Manila. Not too long after, the post has gone viral but necessarily on a positive note. Netizens were up in arms amid what they perceived as a ridiculous claim. 

Cebu's Number 1 Lechon

I've been around the Cebu food scene for quite a time now. And lechon happens to be one of my favorite Cebuano dishes. In this post, I will weigh in on this trending #LechonWars and will make my own personal ranking. Do note that I will only rank the lechon brands that I have personally tried. Although I will also make some notes on the ones I haven't tried yet.

House of Lechon (Cebu City) 


House of Lechon in Cebu City, Philippines
House of Lechon in Cebu City, Philippines
My personal favorite among Cebu lechon brands is House of Lechon. While this restaurant is located in Cebu City, their lechon recipe more closely resembles the one from Carcar. With or without that accompanying sauce Carcar lechon is known for, this one really tastes good. And they probably cook one of the best baked scallops in Cebu too!

House of Lechon in Cebu City, Philippines
House of Lechon in Cebu City, Philippines

CnT Lechon (Cebu City)

I'm pretty sure many Cebuanos would agree that CnT Lechon has long been one of Cebu's top favorite lechon brands. For one, it is prepared the traditional Cebuano way and it's been on the scene for a while. Never mind that there are many lechon brands popping up. CnT Lechon still has a solid customer base. And lately, they are bringing the brand to the shopping malls. That should open up more opportunities for them.

CnT Lechon in Cebu City, Philippines
CnT Lechon in Cebu City, Philippines

Zubuchon (Cebu City)

In terms of ambiance, Zubuchon is up there as their restaurants are usually located in modern commercial areas such as The Walk at Asiatown IT Park and Escario Central Mall. Zubuchon though has a unique flavor profile that is unlike any of the traditional Cebuano lechon recipes. This is probably the reason why Cebuano netizens were kind of outraged by the claim that it is Cebu's favorite and number 1 lechon brand. It just isn't Cebuano! Zubuchon's lechon preparation includes coconut milk as one of its ingredients.

Zubuchon in Cebu City, Philippines
Zubuchon in Cebu City, Philippines

Crispchon (Cebu City)

Another non-Cebuano lechon preparation in this list is Crispchon which is on the menu at La Mesa Grill in SM City Cebu. This one is fried, not roasted like the rest of the lechon brands listed here. Like Zubuchon, it's more of the ambiance and the unique taste profile that makes La Mesa's Crispchon interesting.

Lechon sa Intsik (Carcar City)

When driving down south, a popular lechon stop is the public market in Carcar. And here's a trick I learned from one of my cousins: ask for the lechon sa intsik. The Carcar lechon is unlike any other in Cebu. They put in some sauce with the lechon, a practice not advisable elsewhere in Cebu as you would want your lechon skin crispy to the bite.

Celia's Lechon (Talisay City) 

Back when I was living with an aunt during my high school years, Sunday was always lechon day. We bought lechon near the old Talisay City town hall. Every Sunday, that one stretch of lechon stalls teem with buyers mostly churchgoers who just finished their Sunday obligations hearing mass at the nearby Santa Teresa de Avila Parish Church. And some are about to enjoy a picnic in the nearby beaches. But one lechon stall stands out from them all. And it wouldn't be hard to notice that people actually flock to Celia's. Now run by the late Celia's offspring, Celia's also has a stall in Banilad, Cebu City.

Cebu's Original Lechon Belly

Cebu's Original Lechon Belly is a game changer in the Cebu lechon scene. This trendsetter created a unique space in the Cebuano lechon industry. Now, many up and coming lechon brands have taken from the boneless lechon craze pioneered by Marlon Gochan. Now, they have stalls all over the country.

Ayer's Lechon (Cebu City)

Ayer's Lechon, another traditional Cebuano lechon brand that has been around for quite a time now. They are easily recognizable by Cebu visitors as they have a stall just outside the departure lobby of the Mactan Cebu International Airport. They are one of the pioneers in packaging Cebu lechon to be brought on flight mostly to Manila.

Ayer's Lechon in Cebu City, Philippines
Ayer's Lechon in Cebu City, Philippines

Alejo's Lechon (Labangon, Cebu City) 

While Alejo's Lechon do not have a restaurant space, the sheer amount of daily orders they get will make one really curious why they are a hit. Alejo's is but one of 2 places that my family orders a whole lechon from during special occasions. It's good-tasting lechon cooked in massive quantities. Sometimes though, they can be too salty so consistency seems to be an issue here.

Lechon sa Lilo-an

A Sunday treat at the Lilo-an poblacion, lechon sa Lilo-an also has its loyal following which is largely middle-class and lower income families out to spend a family day in the affordable beach resorts in Lilo-an and neighboring towns. Many of these Sunday lechon stalls in Lilo-an can be found by the roadside fronting the town hall. 

Mila's Lechon (Talisay City)

A more established lechon place in the Talisay City poblacion is Mila's Lechon. Other than Sundays, this is the preferred lechon brand in the area. Celia's just takes over on Sunday. There's nothing really fancy about Mila's Lechon and I would rather gladly eat their grilled seafood over their lechon.

Abling's Lechon (Talisay City)

I know of 2 spaces that Abling's Lechon occupies. One is at the Gaisano Capital SRP in San Roque, Talisay City. The other is an inato-style carenderia near the Tabunok Public Market also in Talisay City. I prefer the one in Tabunok as the air conditioning at the Gaisano Capital SRP takes the crisp out of the lechon skin.

Lechon Brands I Have Yet to Try

Rico's Lechon 

Known for it's spicy lechon, I have yet to try Rico's Lechon. I've been craving for it for a long time now and it seems like I'll have to wait a few more years to finally try it. Rico's really has very good reviews and many of my foodie friends in Cebu attest to how good it tastes.

Tatang's Boneless Lechon 

When you cannot have enough of lechon, Tatang's Boneless Lechon may be right for you. They offer a lechon buffet every Monday. And for some reason, I haven't even tried it yet. I did hear good reviews about them so it's worth checking out.

What is your favorite Cebu lechon brand? Let me know in the comments.