Brewed Coffee on a Shoestring

For travelers who have been to Silay, Negros Occidental, two things come to mind—ancestral homes and sugar. You’ll find archaic heritage houses around the province, from open-house tourist spots such as The Ruins to private residences that may only be photographed discreetly from the outside.

As for being the land of sugar plantations, you’ll notice that native pastries such as caramel tarts are sold everywhere in Negros, while dessert shops and cafes are found in almost every street. During my first visit to Bacolod two weeks ago, my sweet tooth went wild. We visited as many cafes as we could on our list, including the popular Calea, Café Bon, Pendy’s, and Kuppa.

But there was one coffee shop that, in my book, stood out from them all—Kapehan sang Silay. Thanks to my Google-obsessed boyfriend, Anton, who spends most of his online time researching about the newest restaurants and underground spots, we rode a tricycle to Kapehan, located along Rizal Street in Silay.

Kapehan’s corner location has that ancestral vibe that Negros is known for.
This place is also called New City Café, but people here know it more as Kapehan sang Silay.

Definitely not categorized under the Starbucks kind, Kapehan is a humble coffee shop and eatery for the common folk of Silay. Kapehan’s menu, handwritten and posted on the wall, is simple and affordable:

San Miguel Light, P28
Pilsen/Stallion, P25
Eagle, P20
Sprite/Coke Sakto, P10
Pepsi/7-Up, P10
Tropicana, P12
Mountain Dew/ Royal, P12
Coke/Sprite 12 oz, P13
Coke Litro to serve, P13
Coke Litro for takeout, P26
Noodles, P15
Noodles with egg, P20
Pancit Canton, P18
Native Coffee with milk, P13
Nescafe with milk, P13
Nescafe without milk, P10
Nescafe 3-in-1, P12
Milo with milk, P14
Lipton tea, P12
Oatmeal, P20
Oatmeal with Milo, P23
Iced tea, P13
Iced milk, P17
Kalamansi juice, P13
Fried/soft/boiled egg, P12
Meat/cheese sandwich, P12

Brewed native coffee, P13
Iced tea, P13
Butter toast, P13 a pack, which is good for 2 people

Anton ordered a mug of native coffee, while I had a glass of iced tea and buttered toast. Our total bill was P39, but that wasn’t the best part of our experience. It was being in the midst of the modest Silay crowd on a Friday afternoon and watching them take a break from their workaday world. Most of them had their eyes glued to the boxing game on the wall-mounted TV set, while others were reading newspapers while slurping their bowl of noodles.

Kapehan’s bulletin board, with announcements for events such as cock derbies and fiestas

What a refreshing change from my usual WiFi-filled afternoons in air-conditioned designer cafes!

Kapehan is located at Rizal Street, Silay, Negros Occidental, Philippines.
It’s in front of the San Diego Pro-Cathedral Church.

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