Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Madge Café: Where "The" People Meet

I remember a good friend tell me that there’s this ‘kapehan’ or café at La Paz public market. Like all public or wet markets in the Philippines, the market is a place of trade for all kinds of products ranging from basic commodities to those commonly found in department stores. They have stalls for almost anything and the best part of it, they have Madge Café.

I don't know if there's a secret ingredient. People just keep coming back!

For nearly 20 years now, I’ve been passing the same pavements of our public market and it never occurred to me to actually try to check what’s going on inside where Madge Café had been situated for years. From the outside, it looks like that typical coffee shop where senior citizens meet up and reminisce and talk about their lives and the current issues in politics. I found that a little boring as a child and I always thought about why they always hung around those places.

Judging from their outfits, I think they came from exercise or jogging.

This was what I was talking about. I overheard the guy in yellow's a doctor.
Cool, huh? Haha.

But after 22 years now, I find ‘hanging around with friends’ the best remedy to a tired mind and body. We usually hang out in coffee shops. Thus, my addiction for coffee. Yes, I’m addicted to coffee but not really the exaggerated type. I just like smelling and tasting [of course!] coffee. I don’t know where my craving for coffee started but it has really made me wacky. I hear the word, smell it or even see a mug and I’m immediately reminded of coffee.

Since I don't know what to order, I asked if they had native coffee. The polite waitress said 'Yes' and so I said I'll have one. She asked, "How would you like it? Strong or mild?" I said I'll have it mild while looking at the owner at the bar counter mixing coffee and milk with her mugs and a wooden dipper. I wasn't sure of the outcome and so I just patiently waited. I drank it when it arrived and it was like having espresso but I like it better in Madge. Must be the mixing and the wooden dipper. Haha!

This is a pandeciosa. I'm not certain about the spelling.
Please correct me if I'm wrong.

Anyway, back to our topic on Madge Café…

Madge Café has this cork board. It’s more of a memorabilia of all its customers. I didn’t recognize everyone of them but I saw last year’s vice presidential candidate, Mar Roxas; action star, Cesar Montano and then Mayor Jerry Treñas. It’s a huge cork board, mind you, and politicians, doctors, athletes and even journalists of our local newspapers gather in this place to eat and talk about important matters. See that picture below? The title says, "Iloilo Coffee Shop Percolates with Political Ideas". Hmm... I wasn't able to read the article and so I couldn't tell you exactly what the writer meant by the title. Percolate has many meanings but it's often used to mean 'diffuse'. So, I don't really know. Maybe because of meetings held in Madge, useful political ideas were born.

Must be a tough job running a business like this and the owners may have great charisma to attract people with high standing in society.

Well because of that, Madge Café have made it big because if it didn’t they wouldn’t have been featured in The Philippine Daily Inquirer and the Yummy magazine.

Let me tell you another important thing about Madge. They name mugs for regular customers and these photos below will tell you just how many regular customers they have through the years.

Want to have your own name and mug at Madge? Then visit Madge and see for yourself!

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