The latest Cebu branch of the Philippine coffee chain is a cozy two-storey location in a new mall in Lapu-Lapu City- the Island Central Mactan. We went there when it was newly-opened and so it wasn’t as crowded as most coffee shops are in the city.
On the ground floor of Bo’s Coffee in Island Central Mactan is a long and high table that can be a good place to work on, especially for a group of friends or colleagues. It has a number of power outlets that should be enough to handle several laptops and other gadgets.
Ample power outlets
There are a few more tables on the ground floor as well as outside the cafe. Both the ground and second floors have ample power outlets. While not all tables have sockets, there are more than what is available in your average cafe.
The visually appealing industrial finish of the ceiling, however, turns the 2nd floor into an echo chamber that can be quite distracting when you work. Voices and laughter are amplified. Whenever the barista pounds on the filter of the coffee machine to clean it, you’d think someone was operating a jackhammer. Still, the noise can be cancelled out by a decent headphone playing Vivaldi close to the maximum volume.
Average WiFi connection
The coffee shop’s free WiFi connection is about average – repeated Speedtest checks logged download speeds of about 2 Mbps and upload speeds of .253 Mbps. The area, however, has good Smart LTE coverage and you’re better off using an LTE device or your phone as portable hotspot.
The cafe has enough parking spaces since it is located in a mall. Island Central’s basement parking, however, is still undergoing works and can be difficult and tight to maneuver.
The coffee shop opens daily at 6 a.m. and closes at midnight.
Your other options in the immediate area are the nearby Starbucks in Marina Mall, Coffee Way a little farther away and the Uke Hub Cafe, which has been generating quite a buzz (we’ll write about it in a future post). Nothing outstanding will make you choose this coffee shop over the nearby locations. Of the coffee shops in the vicinity, however, Coffee Way stands out for being open beyond midnight.
BO’S COFFEE ISLAND CENTRAL MACTAN
DIGITAL NOMAD HOTSPOT RATING: 8.14 out of 10
The cafe’s free Wi-Fi connection offers average to below average speeds. The area, however, has strong Smart LTE signal.
Power source: 8.5
The cafe has ample power outlets for its users.
Work ambience: 8
Second floor can be noisy
It doesn’t have its own CR. You can use the mall’s CR, which are, as of this writing, clean and well-maintained.
(Are you a digital nomad? Have you worked here? Share your experience in a comment below.)
Max Limpag is a journalist, blogger, and developer based in Cebu. He started as a reporter covering City Hall in 1996. He has written on technology for various print and digital publications since 1999 and twice won the Philippine Blog Awards for technology and sports. He co-founded the new media start-up InnoPub Media.