New fiction-inspired cocktails

“Dead Balagtas,” a comic book, is an inspiration for one of the drinks.

Kwago is a tiny book bar at the foot of Warehouse Eight. It concocts fiction-inspired cocktails to promote reading and literature through taste. Today, it is unveiling new drinks based on three books at the relaunch of its Rites of Passage at the Warehouse.

“Kwago’s mission is to make people fall in love with literature and think more creatively. Our fiction-inspired bar aims to introduce authors and stories we love to the younger generation and inspire them to read and to execute their own crazy ideas like these authors we love,” said Kwago founder Czyka Tumaliuan.

Tumaliuan, together with her friends, Warehouse Eight co-founder Kayla Dionisio, Marvin Moreno of Craftpoint and poet-curator Roy Voragen, tried different alcoholic concoctions to come up with a drink based on Emiliana Kampilan’s Dead Balagtas, Rebecca Añonuevo’s Bago ang Babae, and Georges Perec’s Species of Spaces and Other Pieces.

“We tried to connect the key things we love about each text with an actual flavor profile,” shares Dionsio. “We then just experiment from a base and keep tasting it, either adding, changing an ingredient to accurately encapsulate it in a drink.”

KWAGO unveiled new drinks based on three books at the relaunch of the Rites of Passage event.

“We loved how Dead Balagtas re-establishes the connection of our identity to the history of our land, and its approach in tackling gender identity as it intersects with and is innately formed and affected by other social factors such as ethnicity and sexual orientation. We ended up trying to make a genderless drink because of this,” added Tumaliuan.

“It’s a classic gin and tonic that you can spice up using any condiment,” Moreno said.
“We will have Bern Cruz and Potchie Lazaro’s Gingin’s Dried Fruits available for everyone to use in their gin and tonic,” Tumaliuan said.

“Rites of Passage” is happening from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. at Warehouse Eight. Pledge/door charge is at P380 and it comes with a zine and a new fiction-inspired drink.

Kwago is a Manila-based independent book bar that offers a curated collection of used and new books and fiction-inspired cocktails. It aims to provide a platform for local publishers and writers to reach a wider audience both here and abroad. Its vision is to have a reading nook in every Filipino home; a smarter and more creative Philippines. It is located at Warehouse 8a, La Fuerza Plaza, 2241 Chino Roces Avenue, Makati City. Log in to its website,

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