On the main tourism road of General Luna, Siargao, stands The Beachbaby Cafe, a vegetarian and vegan cafeteria with white aesthetics and minimalist native interiors. Specifically located on the first floor of a two-story building, the neat roadside cafe facing the main street coexists with two other restaurants, a guest bedroom, and an administrative office. The cafe was designed to stand out from the other establishments on the island through its distinct and simple white ambiance with local touches. The restaurant’s ambiance of tranquility and tidiness is reflective of the fresh, wholesome food it offers.

The building that houses Beachbaby is predominantly constructed with concrete. Using a Japanese technique known as Shou Sugi Ban, a distinctive charred wood accent was added to the building’s façade. This method is known to preserve wood by carbonizing it with fire. Similar to how sealants work, the carbon layer created during the burning of the wood serves to protect the timber’s interior. This technique for treating wood is appropriate for exterior design because the charring caused by the fire significantly strengthens the wood.

Extensive use of native materials such as nipa helped create a tropical ambiance for the entire building. Locally sourced cogon was used to adorn the cafe’s awning, further softening its exterior. The island vibe was further accentuated by the strategic use of indoor plants of varying sizes. The tables inside the cafe are also white-washed wood with neutral-colored seating. A reading and work nook was also provided due to the space’s suitability for brainwork activities.

Nicole Serrano Honasan, the owner of Beachbaby Cafe, explains that the space’s all-white interior was advantageous when she acquired it. The neat space provided a good foundation for her to decorate as she pleased. The all-too-white space was enhanced by adding handcrafted rattan lamps that are locally sourced from Bicol. A few macramé pieces and well-balanced plant placement completed the cafe’s minimalist bohemian vibe. Additionally, the charming restaurant is bathed in natural light through the glass walls facing the street. Due to the orientation of the space, which faces the setting sun, no harsh sunlight enters the cafe. The overall setting was a benefit as it made the spot a pleasant place to unwind, particularly in the afternoon when one could simply observe the stream of busy tourists passing by the street. The Beachbaby Cafe offers a refreshing atmosphere for guests, giving a space for those who opt for a more calm cafe experience.

Photos courtesy of Carisa Magno and The Beachbaby Cafe

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