The night cafe in CDO

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map_cdo.gif It was a marketing plan hatched by the city government of Cagayan de Oro that the night cafe sprung to life in 2004, probably a first in Mindanao. Located in the open air plaza in Divisoria, the roads leading to this area are blocked off as early as 5 o’clock in the afternoon every Friday and Saturday. With this novel idea, it became an instant hit that it seems, the entire population of this city and nearby environs descended, partly curious, partly excited at this new gimik venue where families and friends gather.

Square monobloc tables and chairs are set in the open spaces along with rectangular tables laden with various food ranging from pasta, grilled items, native dishes as well as international cuisine and sandwiches. Coolers filled with refreshments and bottles of beer. Most vendors cook on the spot. As for the food, its really hit and miss.

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Concerts are performed most of the time and this swells the crowd even more. Not all the space is devoted to food though. the other parts are crowded with wares like ukay-ukay and other cheap clothes, DVDs and many merchandise.

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Because of the density of the people coming here, navigating to reach a specific table or stall can be slow but really its fun. Other than eating, some just hang out watching other people, checking merchandise, or just talking with friends oblivious to the din of the crowd and the concert until around 4 o’clock am. During the rainy season, tents protect the patrons from being wet.

Estan Cabigas is freelance photographer, blogger and writer based in Makati City, the Philippines. A true blue Cebuano, he makes stunning images and meaningful photo stories. His work has been published in local and international publications including National Geographic Magazine, Geo (Germany), Sunday Times Magazine (London) and other publications. He is also a peripatetic traveler and has traveled to all 81 Philippines provinces. I'm open for work, collaborations and inquiries, including hotel, restaurant and site features and reviews.

5 Comments

  1. Sidney
    November 19, 2007 @ 20:13

    We need more of those places in the Philippines. Just plain popular fun for everybody (it is not the same inside a mall).
    It is a pity that Mayor Lim closed the entertainment strip along Roxas Blvd. It was one of those popular places where everybody could go and enjoy.

  2. estan
    November 20, 2007 @ 11:29

    Sidney, you’re not the only lamenting (or rather ranting?) about the demise of the Baywalk strip. Its really sayang. It would have been an avenue on reviving interest beyond Malate. If the mayor found it a problem with regards tax collection and/or peace, I think its just a matter of flexing his muscles for these owners to comply and fielding security.

  3. Ferdz
    November 21, 2007 @ 22:56

    Mukhang pumatok yung gimik. It would be a nice alternative to provinces whose nightlife is limited to Videoke bars and watching TV.

  4. estan
    November 21, 2007 @ 23:03

    i agree ferdz. it was really a hit. maybe the time was ripe as CDO is really developing fast.

  5. jhay
    April 22, 2011 @ 21:29

    10yrs na ako cdo.. pero til now.. naa pa nite cafe… amzing… daghn n na kuartahn dha dapita…. luv dis place… dami ko memories dri dapita… more picz… ty

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