When an event promises a book bar, naturally, you’d be curious. Is it a cocktail bar that has book-themed drinks? A bar that serves books?
Turns out it’s both and more. Kwago’s newly refurbished Book Bar is part library, part bookstore, part cafe bar. Founded last year by Czyka Tumaliuan, it’s meant to be a “a literary respite in La Fuerza, where writers and different kinds of storytellers and artists can hang out and forget yung mga jobs nila or ideological differences.”
What started out as a simple way to share her love for books has since turned into a full-on mission to tackle decreasing readership. New partner Jean Karl Gaverza tells me that the sense of community is what makes it what is today. “Kwago is more than just the bookstore downstairs. It is a movement for culture, arts and literacy.”
Last Feb. 9, they celebrated their one year anniversary with “Rites of Passage at the Warehouse” in their permanent nesting place in Warehouse Eight. Czyka gave us a tour of the new book bar: a shelf that was made with the help of Arts Serrano of One/Zero Design Collective, multimedia designers Reymart Cerin and Vince África of The Public School Manila and interior designer Jia Cabansag of Altum.