Kapeng Barako Club – Not Your Ordinary Play for the “Bitter” in Love


Whether you’re in love or ‘bitter’ in love, I’m sure that you’ll fit right into this club. Kapeng Barako Club: Samahan ng mga Bitter is a story about a group of friends and their complicated tangled relationships and bitter outlooks on their love lives.

Since the set-up was in Tipsy Beans Ortigas, the play was very intimate. It almost felt as if we were eavesdropping on what they were talking about because they were literally just at the next table! We could really connect with the characters because they seemed very normal – as if these characters were our own friends. We could even find ourselves in some of them.


The play features Joel, an artist who has an issue with his stomach that always concerns Anna, an account executive and his best friend. Anna (who was, by the way, played by our co-intern Arra Pentinio!) has an ex-boyfriend named Ed who is now the fiancé of their friend Masi. Masi is a vocalist of a band and has secret feelings for Eric who feels the same way, but keeps it hidden, as well. There is also Stef, the resident commercial model who just came back from her studies in Russia. Then we have Mr. Playwright Marlowe who loves to write about the love struggles of his interesting group of friends. And of course, there’s Sunshine, the cheerful barista at the cafe.


Sitting in the front row, it felt like we were in the moment with them, confronting this complicated situation that they were all in, and trying to find their easiest way out. I was so anxious watching the scenes unfold and wishing that they would all have a happy ending. Although on second thought, this is the Samahan ng mga Bitter, so maybe they aren’t getting a happy ending? As of now, no one knows yet but the writer himself. (We’re still waiting for the sequel, Mr. Ekis!)


I personally love how the ending left us all hanging. It left many questions in our minds. Will Masi’s wedding actually push through? If it does, will she and Eric still be friends? Will Anna ever let Joel step up from the friendzone? Will Marlowe and Stef ever get the shot that they honestly deserve? Who does Marlowe really like? It takes a bit of imagination as to how their lives are going to turn out, which makes the play even more exciting because you can turn it into whatever outcome you want.


Even though the play takes on serious relationship issues among the barkada, the hugot lines and the punch lines made the play lighter. The way the actors played their characters gave them life and energy. They make you root for them and cheer for them because they need it. The use of coffee as a reflection of their personalities and their outlook in life made so much sense. It was simple yet so true. It made me realize that people aren’t very different from their taste in coffee, after all.


On a more personal note, there are three lines that stood out the most for me. Incidentally, they mostly came from Mr. Playwright Marlowe. Maybe it’s because we share the same fascination of turning some parts of our lives in fiction or maybe he’s simply an impeccably-written character.

  1. “Kung seryoso ka sa kadate mo, aayain mo siya magkape kasi tatantsahin mo kung kaya mo siyang kausapin for the rest of your life.” – Marlowe A simple yet important advice for everyone. I mean, who would want to be with someone you can’t even talk to? Coffee is also a great excuse to subtly ask someone out. Just saying.
  2. “Bakit mo pa kasi kailangang i-break yung equilibrium?” – Anna That struggle of having a friend that secretly likes you is confusing. Anna‘s reaction of Joel’s confession is a proof of that.
  3. Last and definitely not the least, “Ikaw yung play ko na sana totoo na lang.” – Marlowe We all have that one person. That one person whom we all wish to make all the perfect stories in our heads come true.


You can catch the upcoming showdates of Kapeng Barako Club: Samahan ng mga Bitter written and directed by Juan Ekis on their social media accounts.

Kapeng Barako Club

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Twitter: @BitterCorp