Where what sounds stellar tastes divine
Text: Tiny Diapana
Images: N.S. Villaflor, Ernest Diño, and Contributed
Though the Cebuano crowd can be a tough audience to please and to gather, the music scene here in our island has always had a tenacious spirit. Last month, SunStar Weekend featured some of the most enduring bands in Cebu, bands that live on passion for music and the tenacity of the scene’s do-it-yourself attitude.
This time we’re featuring the places that keep the music alive. Good bands need good venues — what would the sprawling 70’s New York music scene be without CBGB? Here are some of the cafes, restaurants and bars that serve as hosts for the relentless music scene in Cebu as well as the best dishes on their menu. Because good music and good food always makes a good mix.
Handuraw Events Café
Opening in 2004, Handuraw has always been supportive of the local music scene, inviting both up and coming as well as established artists and bands that tap into different musical genres. The events café has been considered as one of the go-to spot for musicians and music lovers who’d like to listen to different artists play. Some of the most memorable gigs they’ve held were their Sinulog events, programs where artists from Manila and Cebu get to play on the same stage.
They also welcome productions that don’t involve music, supporting the Cebuano art and literary scene by holding poetry readings, film showings, book launches and art exhibits.
Pizza de resistance
Handuraw serves 17 different pizza flavors, with Handuraw Special as their best-selling pizza. Pizza Cebuana, Sisig Scramble, and American Roast pizzas are also must-tries. Pair them up with Beer Below Zero San Miguel Beers and The Cebruery craft beer and relax while good music plays.
A Spanish restaurant and tapas bar that serves deli, cold cuts, cheeses, wines and imported products at affordable prices, Hola España is mostly known for hosting Cebu Plaka Nights. Cebu has a growing community of vinyl collectors, and during their vinyl events people get to listen to the mix of spinning turntables and music. It’s a unique kind of club music, and Cebu Plaka Night features music taken from the 70s, 80’s and others distinct periods.
Massimo La Magna the general manager and executive chef of Hola España also plays during their events as Banana DJ. The most memorable events Hola España has hosted were the Smiths tribute night, The Dragonfly Collector live performance, and Clem Castro of Orange and Lemons live performance.
Hello from the Spanish side
Hola España recommends their Spanish Tapas paired with good wine. You can also try their Gambas, Chipirrones, Tortilla de patatas as well as their sausages, coldcuts and cheeses.
The Emerald is a destination pub and restaurant that strives to serve great food and music to its guests. The establishment opened its doors to different artists and musicians after new ownership acquired the place back in July 2016. Their aim is to feature real artists and real music and though The Emerald doesn’t discriminate against any genre, they keep to their high standards by aiming to offer the best live performances.
The best events they’ve had so far are the regular gigs by MOFO, which show off the full capacity of their system. The Emerald considers it a real treat to experience, great audio, lighting, video, and real time recording with MOFO — something which the Cebuano market has never had before.
Tap of the world
Pork chop with blue cheese, Irish beef stew, chicken parmigiana and their house Emerald burger are their top dishes. The Emerald has the usual 5+1 sets on local beers as well as draught San Miguel Pilsen and Heineken on tap. They also serve 2-for-1 on frozen margaritas every Sunday.
La Vie Parisienne
The very first French boulangerie, pastry shop and wine library in Cebu, La Vie Parisienne has been inviting different artists, musicians and djs to play ever since they opened their doors to the public. Their first DJ curator was Cebuano artist and musician Budoy from Junior Kilat who brings different DJs to play in La Vie Parisienne every Friday night.
They also feature entertainment bands that play from the roof of their wine cellar on occasion. La Vie Parisienne has been home to Alliance Franciase De Cebu and Fête de la musique, a music festival well known in the country.
La Vie Parissienne takes pride in bringing affordable luxury, offering an array of different beverages in its new wine cellar. They also offer great wood fire oven pizza and craft beer brewed by their sister company, Cebu Beer Factory.
Fujinoya is a restaurant and coffee shop that infuses new and exciting Japanese twists to Western style dessert favorites. It started opening its doors to musicians last year when it held its first music event with 22 Tango Records, an independent record label based right here in Cebu. Fujinoya is open to all kinds of musicians and bands. The latest music event Fujinoya had was another 22 Tango event this month which was held in time for Valentines.
Fujinoya is proud of its specialty coffee like its latte and its loveable lattearts as well as brews from origins like Naciemento Honduras and Santa Barbara. They also have great desserts, serving cream puffs, strawberry and matcha shortcakes, matcha mousses and all sorts of sweetness.