Become This Book Bar’s

Ninong or Ninang With

Their Relaunch

by Inside Manila Team, February 01, 2019 4:12pm

Photo by Jace Amodo/Inside Manila


Become This Book Bar’s Ninong or Ninang With Their Relaunch

by Inside Manila Team, February 01, 2019 4:12pm
Photo by Jace Amodo/Inside Manila

Whoever said Print is dead (or dying) obviously lives in a remote desert island when in fact many local independent publishing scenes are sprouting within the metro, thriving and continuing to make waves in the mainstream. One of those who continue to raise the banners for local print publishing in this age of digital media is quietly tucked in an avenue in Makati—and it’s about to make bigger waves soon.

Kwago is a Manila-based independent book bar that offers a highly curated collection of used and new books, and fiction-inspired cocktails. Located in Warehouse 8a Chino Roces Makati and founded by Czyka Tumaliuan, the book bar aims to provide a platform for local publishers and writers to reach a wider audience both here and abroad.

As a writer, self-publisher, comics creator, experimental poet, archivist, and open-source advocate, Czyka started Kwago with the vision to provide a reading nook in every Filipino home; a smarter and more creative Philippines. It is also her way of supporting independent publishers and writers who need platforms for their work.

After its birth on January 27, 2018, Kwago has grown from a small book bar to a community of readers, zine makers, authors, and artist-publishers. This February 9, Kwago will be unveiling a renewed space with a more curated inventory, new programs and partners at an event called "Rites of Passage at the Warehouse" in collaboration with Warehouse Eight.

On the same date, Kwago will also welcome a new co-owner Jean Karl Gaverza, founder and writer of The Spirits of the Philippine Archipelago—he used to volunteer and frequent Kwago a lot, but ended up offering to help in a deeper way to make the vision grow even more.

A scene at Kwago's intial launch in January 2018. Photo by Jace Amodo/Inside Manila

With the help of architect 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, Kwago is refurbishing the book bar with an aim to have a homey, minimalist aesthetic that could accommodate more books and longer conversations, as well as create a headspace for clarity and serious play.

But more than a rebirth, Kwago's relaunch is a big thank you to everyone who always believed in Czyka's vision from the very beginning, especially Warehouse Eight. More importantly, it’s a declaration of Kwago’s commitment to be of better service to the community of readers, and local and independent publishers that continue to trust Kwago.

In addition, Kwago will also announce a long-term partnership with new publishing platform Comma, a brainchild of Czyka and poet-curator Roy Voragen. Comma will be Kwago’s guide and partner for curating its collection of books, zines, and other publications. They will be launching their first collaboration, A Curated Shelf, on the same day. A Curated Shelf is a two-month publication exhibit at the book bar, where they will invite an individual to curate 15 publications under a certain theme. Their first curator is new media artist Tad Ermitaño.

Celebrate and become the book bar’s ninongs and ninangs during "Rites of Passage at the Warehouse" this February 9at the Warehouse 8a, La Fuerza Plaza, 2241 Chino Roces Ave., Makati 1231 from 11 am to 11 pm. Door charge is at 380php and it comes with a zine, and a new fiction-inspired drink by Kwago book bar.

This article is created based on a press release from Kwago. For more information, visit or follow @isipkwago on Facebook and Instagram.


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