Books, brew, and bites make up the perfect harmony at Cup Fiction

Photos by Ina Jacobe

Located just off White Plains, Cup Fiction’s name had originally been suggested as a joke that ended up sticking because it actually fit perfectly: warm and inviting, beckoning you to just come and read. Books are lined up along wooden shelvings on metal frames, set against a wall with plain cement finish. Completing the industrial look are sleek tables surrounded by mismatched chairs, and hanging bulbs that would be all lit up by sunset, giving the cafe a certain feel of home.

Co-owner Saab Magalona-Bacarro has always had a dream of owning a library, to which Cup Fiction owes its bookish charm. Regarding the selection of titles, she says, “It’s not really curated because we feel like, all books are welcome. No discrimination.” The range at Cup Fiction comes from her personal shelves, as well as that of co-owner Jim Bacarro (Saab’s husband and Cheats bandmate) and their friends and family. As a result, they have everything from self-improvement and management books to even a copy previously owned by Jim of an out-of-print book about the WWF wrestler Chyna. Comics and books are also for sale, in an effort to show support for local publishing and give them a platform to promote and sell their stuff.

Further setting Cup Fiction apart is its menu. Aside from really good coffee by #YKW Roasters and craft beer, they serve affordable baked goods, BFG (big fat giant) cookies, all-day breakfast, salads, and sandwiches. A new obsession in particular is the recently added Loco Moco, a twist on a traditional Hawaiian rice dish with bacon steak, arugula, and homemade gravy, topped with a fried egg.

The cafe cements its all-around status by hosting events in the space next door, upping the cafe’s industrial charm with chairs quite literally stuck to the walls and a large mural on brickwork. They host everything: stand-up comedy, gigs, spoken word poetry, open forums, vinyl meets, even bridal showers and baby showers. Some companies rent out the space for coworking and brainstorming, because, according to Saab, “If you go outside of your comfort zone, you might come up with great ideas.”

The future holds many possibilities for Cup Fiction, but for now, they’re focusing on community-based events: more workshops for the likes of calligraphy and watercolor, along with, perhaps more ambitiously, talks on filmmaking. There are also plans for more regular shows. “A night for acoustic, hindi basagan,” Saab says with a grin. “You can listen to music while you’re sippin’ on coffee.”

Cup Fiction is located at 141 Katipunan Ave., Quezon City. Check out their Instagram for updates.

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