BACOLOD CITY -- A cafe in this city has become a tourist attraction because of its unique and exotic offering aside from coffee, pasta and sandwiches.
Cafe Reptilya opened about a month ago along Lacson Street and is frequented by young and old alike because of the live reptiles that can be found inside the quaint coffee shop.
It is home to two Burmese pythons, an iguana named Red, a bearded dragon named Drogo, a ball python named Ivory, and leopard geckos, among other reptiles.
Four-year-old Keiris Turley kept touching Athena, the Burmese python, when he had lunch with his family in the coffee shop. He said he is not scared of snakes and loves touching and playing with them.
Ken Reinwald, 15, also frequents the place, not primarily for the food, but for Ivory, a ball python.
“I like snakes because they’re the most unique animals in the world. They’re cold blooded. They’re misunderstood creatures," he said.
Friends Sef Alba Carandang, Kaila Ledesma Trebol and two other partners opened the coffee shop in July. Trebol said she was inspired after she visited an animal cafe in Japan.
She noted that in the Philippines, most people are afraid of snakes and other reptiles.
“It’s really to bridge people with animals. Especially in the city, people don’t really like reptiles. When they enter a house, initially people get scared and then they kill it,” she said.
Carandang said they have permits that allow them to have the reptiles in the cafe.
“They’re actually exotic. These are not local like you can find in the wild. So there’s the cafe experience. We have food, coffee and get to know our reptiles and sort of help dispel all of these misconceptions that reptiles are dangerous,” Carandang said.
The cafe is also known for its pasta dishes and the Negrense coffee it serves made unique by the latte art on it that is a trademark of the place.