Lanao del Norte Mindanao Travel

Iligan City: A tale of two coffee cups

By on May 3, 2014


iligan coffee - iliganon

Right after my cousin’s wedding reception last December, a few of my relatives and I met up for a few ‘catch-up drinks.’ We were all in Iligan, a highly-urbanized city in Northern Mindanao.

We held our mini-reunion at Iliganon, when everyone else in our clan have decided to call it a night. The restless night owls that we are, we pushed through with our rather unplanned rendezvous.

Durian Coffee | Iliganon

Iliganon is a convenience store, a restaurant, a coffeeshop and a bar at the same time. It is also a museum of some sort. Inside their small airconditioned space are old photographs of Iligan and some of the important people that built this city a few decades ago.

They are known for their Durian Shake, but since I wanted to drink something warm for the night, I ordered a durian coffee instead. It’s not on their menu, but the waitstaff assured me that they actually serve that as well.

Iliganon's Durian Coffee - not bad but too tame for my liking.

Iliganon’s Durian Coffee – not bad but too tame for my liking.

I wanted to like my brew, but it failed to give me the the familiar numbness in my nape. It didn’t scream ‘CHOLESTEROL’ at all, probably because the durian flavor was not thoroughly infused in my cup. I could smell though the fruit’s pungent yet heavenly smell. I’ll stick to their creamy durian shakes next time.

Civet Coffee | Kopi Luwak Coffeeshop

The following morning, I itched to tour around the city before we leave for Cagayan de Oro. I made a quick detour at Kopi Luwak Coffeeshop located at the lobby of Jasmine’s Pension Home (formely Casa Royal Inn). I heard from a good friend that they are serving Civet Coffee or Kopi Luwak, which is said to be the most expensive kind in the world.

iligan coffee - kopi luwak

It is said that the civet cat chooses only the best coffee berries in the wild. They are only after the fleshy pulp so they defecate the beans afterwards. These are then collected, washed (of course), dried and then roasted. It is best brewed using a German syphon technique, a contraption that reminds me of my chemistry laboratory sessions back in the day.

Kopi Luwak's civet coffee - a bit pricey but it's very worth trying once in your life.

Kopi Luwak’s civet coffee – a bit pricey but it’s very worth trying once in your life.

Although drinking coffee sourced from cat droppings may not account for a good conversation over dinner, trust me when I say that is a really good cup of joe. It was my first civet coffee – very black, had a fruity aroma and a surprisingly light taste.

For a good few minutes, I pretended to be a snotty coffee connoisseur while I slowly savored my expensive brew. It also gave me enough fuel to finally start my brief morning tour around Iligan, a city that will continue to surprise me in more ways, coffee cups in this case, than one.

Quezon Avenue Extension, Palao, Iligan City
+63 63 225 4577

Kopi Luwak Coffeeshop
Andres Bonifacio Avenue
Tibanga National Highway, Iligan City
+63 63 221 7363

  1. Reply

    Lowella Luad

    October 11, 2015

    How much po ang cup of kopi luwak?

  2. Reply

    Lowella Luad

    October 11, 2015

    How much is a cup of it?

    • Reply


      October 12, 2015

      Hi Lowella. It costs around Php 200 for a small cup.


Brennan Mercado
The Philippines

Brennan is an electronics engineer by profession. From time to time, he gets to travel beyond his office cubicle, try new restaurants or catch up with his terribly long list of unread books. He likes museums, spicy food and talking with habal-habal drivers. For now, he's still deciding on whether to play Pokémon GO or not.

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