OpinionsTempest in a Coffeemug‘F*ckboy consumers’

‘F*ckboy consumers’


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Scene: Caña at The Bricks Hotel along Rizal Avenue, Dumaguete, Thursday, 3 p.m. A table overladen with laptops and work stuff, and cups of coffee. A conversation.

“I heard there’s a new coffeeshop opening in front of your apartment.”

“It’s not really a coffeeshop, we found out last night. It’s actually more of a milk tea place–but they do serve coffee. I mean, they have to. The word ‘bean’ is part of their name. People would expect it to be a coffee place, not a milk tea place.”

“There are too many milk tea places in Dumaguete, to be frank about it.”

“I’ve only liked one or two of them, to be honest. But Renz is a big milk tea fan, although he denies it.”

“Wasn’t that spot where the, umm, new milk tea is now…wasn’t that a fruit stand?”

“It was! I loved its name. Rizalicious Fruit Stand. It tickled me to death. Can you imagine taking Rizal’s name and making it delicious? It’s absolutely sacrilegious and bonkers, I love it. But it’s gone now. I was frustrated about that for a while, because it became my landmark for Grab Food drivers.”

“I wonder why they moved out.”

“I’m not really sure but I was riding a tricycle the other day, and the passengers in it had some chika. Apparently, the lot owners increased the rent? That’s what I heard.”

“These days, you have to be careful keeping a business. Everything’s so expensive now. Rent is expensive. Onions are expensive.”

“Can you imagine for a while we were talking about how expensive onions were in the Philippines? That people were actually trying to smuggle them in international flights? What crazy times we live in.”

“I’m worried about _____, though. Its original branch in ______ is no longer around. But it’s new branch along _____ is still thriving.”

“We ate there last night.”

“I think he’s just consolidating his businesses right now. Let go of branches that are no longer working.”

“But it was such a pandemic hit!”

“It was!”

“I remember trying to get their food in the early months it opened in 2021, and we couldn’t! The lines were so long, and by the time we got to the stall, all their food items were gone.”

“That was fun.”

“It was, kinda. We had to go back there at least four times before we could finally get our orders in. But it was worth it. That ______ is to die for. It was delicious.”

“I have no recollection anymore how much I ate there.”

“Oh, it was a lot for me. And then I stayed away for a bit because it was a bit too much. But later, when we got a craving for ______, we’d be there in a minute.”

“And now that original spot is gone.”


“I went past it the other night–the spot is so dark now, and it was all so festive before. I loved how they played music like mad.”

“Now it’s gone. Except for their second branch along _______. Thank God it’s still there. Because I still get my ______ cravings. I don’t understand though. It was so popular during the pandemic!”

“But that’s how Dumaguete runs. It runs on f*ckboy consumerism.”

“F*ckboy what? What do you mean?”

“Haven’t you noticed? Whenever new places open in Dumaguete, locals throng to it like mad, for months even. But once the novelty is over, we avoid them like the plague. That’s what f*ckboys do. They’re always, like, into you–and then when they get their fill, sayonara.”

“Oh, yeah. I remember Chapters Café.”

“Yup, that café is popular in Dipolog, and franchisers thought they could make it work in Dumaguete. And it did, for a while. It was so Instagrammable with its quaint design using popular literary characters, and people went there to Instagram being there. And then suddenly, nobody came.”

“The food was horrible! And I hated how they used books as receipt and cash holders. It was so disrespectful.”

“I’ve noticed, we generally hate franchises. We do like things that are local.”

“Must be why Harbor City didn’t work.”

“The dimsum wasn’t worth the Dumaguete taste. I also remember how people swarmed to Max’s.”

“I still love Max’s! But yeah, it’s quiet most days. I love the chicken though. And their other stuff. How come we still patronize Mooon Café and Café Racer? Aren’t they Cebu franchises?”

“Because Rey remade them to cater to Dumaguete sensibilities. Mooon Café in Cebu is not exactly the same as Mooon Café in Dumaguete, not really. Same with Café Racer. Totally different vibes. You have to get into the elusive Dumaguete vibe to cater to Dumaguete taste.”

“I have a former student once–he now works at a major Manila corporation–he posted in Facebook some years ago that the only way to know you’re really a success is to succeed in Dumaguete. Because we are notoriously picky, so when we pick you, you are an absolute winner.”

“Dumaguete as the litmus test for the rest of the Philippines?”

“I get that. I get f*ckboy consumerism, I guess. We do tend to swarm in the very beginning, and we do tend to easily let go.”

“Unless we really, really love the food or service.”

“Unless they really catch our vibe.”

“Unless they really get us.”


Author’s email: [email protected]



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