Karma Café

An American friend told me about the Karma Café in Ever Mall here in Dumaguete and raved that I had to check it out. He told me that it was a fun, crazy place run by some funny Filipina sisters, and a good place to network and get to know like minded people. But when he told me it was located in Ever Mall, I was lost, because I’d literally never even heard of that mall. In fact, Dumaguete only has a couple of shopping centers you’d even consider malls.

But yesterday, I was meeting this same friend for coffee to talk some business, and he wanted to finally bring me to Karma Café. So he led me back from the popular touristy Boulevard several streets and into a nondescript building that just as easily could have contained a warehouse. Instead, it was Ever Mall, a local shopping plaza that was little more than cell phone kiosks and cheap fashion shops on repeat.

But there, in the middle of the large open area with several other food stalls, was the famed Karma Café.

The Karma Cafe is All The Rage

Good thing I didn’t blink, because it’s not really a café but just a stand about three feet wide. It’s not even called Karma Café, as they had some other nondescript name I forget on their lone signage, which my buddy explained to me they couldn’t officially change without having to pay new taxes and business licenses.

The café area consisted of one or two little round tables and a couple of foreigners and Filipina women sitting around. There, I was introduced to the owner, a Filipina woman in her early 20s. But then I was introduced to her again. Wait, what was going on? In fact, Karma Café is owned and run by two twin sisters, and they’re absolutely awesome. Thanks to the diminutive status of their operation, they’re free to sit and hang out with the customers, and the banter and entertainment they provide are the best parts of Karma Café (where they told me “What you deserve is what you get’ is on the menu!).

But the witty and sharp-tongued sisters aren’t the only highlight of the café because I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of the food. I had a blended fruit shake and after struggling through the options, one of the sisters just told me she’d make something amazing, and that was fine with me. Unlike other local establishments, she volunteered the question, “No milk, no sugar?” knowing that foreigners at least tried to be healthy. The amazing thing is that they make these smoothies with fresh turmeric and ginger added, which add a unique taste like no other so you can practically feel the healthy ingredients entering your system. The smoothie was also filled to the rim of a big glass and only cost about $1.25, where the same thing would have been $2.50 or more at other smoothie stands.

My friend also insisted I got a waffle, and it was good with bananas cut up inside and a blueberry compote or jam added. I’m eager to go back to Karma café to try their coffee and a couple of other food options, as well as keep loading up on those healthy shakes – and great conversation with the twins and new friends!

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Norm Schriever is a blogger, Amazon best-sellling author, cultural mad scientist, and enemy of the comfort zone. His work appears in the Huffington Post,, Good Morning America, The Anderson Cooper Show on CNN, NBC, MSN, Yahoo,, and media all around the world.
Norm grew up in Connecticut and graduated from the University of Connecticut, where he was never accused of overstudying. After expatriating to Costa Rica in 2011, he started traveling the world and documenting what he saw. He now lives in Southeast Asia, writing his heart out and working with local charities.

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