Coffee, choco love affair in Iloilo City

By Herman M. Lagon

IN THE heart of Iloilo, when you stroll past the familiar corners of Festive Walk, or bask in the ambiance of the Atria Park District, a peculiar debate brews—Hot Coffee or Iced Chocolate? Just like many relationships, they seem worlds apart but clearly complimentary!

Hot coffee is that intense, steaming love affair—often strong, sometimes bitter. Perhaps everyone knows that coffee, scientifically, increases alertness due to its caffeine content. It wakes and pushes you up like that partner who gets you out of bed for a morning jog. You can get this wake-up call at Madge Café’s native Arabica or feel the espresso embrace at Coffeebreak or Bluejay.

On the other hand, Iced chocolate is that sweet, cold comfort. The spoonful of sugar is the bear hug after a long day. Chocolate contains flavonoids, known for their antioxidant properties. Perfect for that healthy heart flutter. For this comforting cuddle, head to House of Monkeys or indulge in the cocoa comforts at Nothing But Desserts, tsokolate é in Camina Balay nga Bato, or the Double Chocolaty Chip Crème Frappuccino delight in Starbucks.

Proper coffee intake has been linked to health benefits for diseases like Parkinson’s. Chocolate, especially dark, is heart-healthy and can improve brain function. But, like all relationships, it is all about moderation. Too much coffee can make you jittery and heart-pumping, and too much chocolate, cavities and diabetes.

You will find them both in Iloilo City’s landscape of love, laughter, and beverages. From the local ambiance of Café Panay, Pan de Manila, Kapehan sa Molo, and Balay Sueño Café to the quirky Monkey Grounds Coffee, Bread Basket, Seattle’s Best Coffee, let us not forget the charm of Molo Mansion Café, Tinukib Café, Pat-Pat’s, and Wawa’s or the trendy vibes at Bo’s Coffee, Daily Buns, Bruskofee, and The 60:40 Cafe.

Let us not forget the real-deal chocolatey-coffee options at the mall cafes, street-side joints, homey restaurants, public markets, and even those mom-and-pop outlets or sari sari stores—our neighborhood convenience shops—tucked in every nook and cranny of the city. And do not blink, because there are java and cocoa to be had at the market kiosks, too. The City of Love serves up more than just history and culture—it is like a whole taste adventure waiting to happen.

Just as in any companionship, behold the delightful surprise: Coffee and chocolate, despite their contrasting natures, unite to craft the finest mocha blend! A dash of warmth, a sprinkle of coolness, a hint of bitterness, all enveloped in a tender sweetness. It is like they were destined to complement one another, creating a truly harmonious fusion at the heart of the urban jungle.

So, the next time you take your me-time or we-time in the capital city, whether chilling at the Riverside Boardwalk, shopping at SM City, strolling at Smallville, promenading at City Time Square, playing around at Plazuela, jogging at the Esplanade, or instagramming at the city’s plethora of breathtaking heritage sites, churches, and museums, grab that coffee, chocolate, or both. Let it remind you of relationships—different but perfectly complementary. Just remember, balance is key and wellness is everything!


Doc H fondly describes himself as a ‘student of and for life’ who, like many others, aspires to a life-giving and why-driven world that is grounded in social justice and the pursuit of happiness. His views herewith do not necessarily reflect those of the institutions he is employed or connected with.