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|
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|
(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!
|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|
(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|
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|
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|
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.