Spotlight: Diligence Café

This cafe is where coffee and naps collide.

By Diane Camacho

Photos by: Cara Santos and Kira Jorgio

Tucked away in one of the obscure buildings along Katipunan Avenue, D-Caf (as the managing partner, Elmerei Cuevas fondly referred to it), is a student’s go-to for all-nighters. Open from 2:30 p.m.-7 a.m. from Mondays to Saturdays and 6 pm to 7 a.m. on Sundays, it’s the perfect place to cram that thesis or study for your Board or Bar exams.

But more than being the perfect all-nighter hideout, it’s a social enterprise of sorts by Elmerei Cuevas and Anna Lorraine Uy. Both 20-something professionals who put up the café to inspire people to pursue their dreams through, what else—Diligence, they employ working students and out-of-school youths to help them achieve their dreams of finishing their education.

For students or freelancers, it’s a place where they can study or work for hours at a time at peace without worry of the proprietors or baristas giving us an evil eye for overstaying. With an hourly rate of Php60 which comes with free wifi unlimited coffee, tea, or lemonade (and an environment conducive to doing work (think the absence of chatty #TitasofManila). If you plan on staying much longer, they also have an all-day rate of Php350 which comes with the same bells and whistles.

When it comes to the ambience, it’s completely study/work and overstaying-friendly. With proper lighting, ample tables and sockets, private conference rooms, and bean bags to boot, D-Caf provides all a student would need to study diligently all through the night.

Working on a paper? They offer printing services so you don’t have to rush elsewhere to print your work. Need to take a short break? You can get a nap slip from their staff and ask to be waken up at a specific time. Spent all night working and now it’s time for class? No sweat, they also have a clean shower (and a shower kit for a fee) where you can wash off traces of your all-nighter.

Really, what else could you need?

If you said food, D-Caf has a selection that not only nourishes your body but satisfies your taste buds as well. Best-sellers include the Crispy Corned Beef (Php120) and the Cum Laude Burger (Php160). If you have a sweet tooth, the Lava Cake is an explosion (pun intended) of gooey chocolate goodness that you’ll keep coming back for.

While it’s not exactly the place for connoisseurs looking for a specialized brew because coffee roasting machines are usually very noisy and the place is—first and foremost—a place to work and study, the average coffee drinker will not be disappointed. Brewed using beans from Benguet that’s acquired by fair trade, it’s a decent roast that’s medium-bodied, mellow, and good enough black. But if a frappucino is more your speed, their Top Notcher Mug (Php120) is a much cheaper option than any Starbucks frappe.

Created specifically with the student in mind, it gets good marks for ambience, food, coffee, and its added “features.” True to its name, it stimulates diligence while on its premises. While it mostly caters to students, freelancers are more than welcome too. It is, after all, a cheaper option that a lot of co-working spaces in the metro. Besides, freelancers need naps too.

Unit 2A, 2nd Floor, Elizabeth Hall, President Carlos P. Garcia Ave, Diliman, Quezon City

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