YAKA Malaybalay: no chairs, just good food at this funky Bukidnon joint

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There are no chairs (although there are comfortable bean bags). There are a few low tables, some round and square mats and several throw pillows. Customers are just made to squat on the bamboo floor. There’s live music, sometimes courtesy of the greats like Waway Saway. And there’s food. Good food. Prepared and served with love by my family’s friends Saturn Karnani and Jade Silabay-Karnani.

It’s overall good vibes and chill at YAKA – Music. Beer and Burger. It’s the latest joint in Malaybalay City, Bukidnon that’s fast gaining fans. What started out as a Kaamulan Festival business has now found a permanent home at Capitol Site (next to Seabas convenience store).

yaka malaybalay

YAKA, which means “squat” or “sit on the floor,” is a great example of the kinds of places I miss in the Philippines. I doubt I can find a place that offers the same vibe here in New York! Alas.

Aren’t there days you just want to let your hair down, wear comfortable casual clothes, go out makeup-less (gasp!), bring all of your friends and just kick back and relax “cowboy” style? You can do just that over at YAKA.

So while I’m still here in the US, may I ask you to go and visit YAKA for me?

They serve what my friends who have already paid a visit call are the best Jamaican jerk burgers at that neck of the woods!

YAKA Malaybalay Jamaican burger prices: Php 120 (pork) and Php 140 (beef). If you aren’t feeling adventurous yet, try their cheeseburger with fries for Php 110. The buffalo wings (Php 85) and fries (Php 95) are customer faves as well. They also have delicious sisig! Drown all those down with San Miguel Beer. Win! Don’t worry, little boys and girls. They do have soda and juices.

Pay my friends Saturn and Jade a visit and support a Bukidnon local business. While you’re there, ask Saturn about the cool caps and shirts he sells. YAKA opens at 4PM and runs until midnight. Please take note that they’re close every Monday.

YAKA Malaybalay, Capitol Site, Malaybalay City

Malaybalay tourist spot
Malaybalay tourism
Where to eat in Malaybalay

*** NOTE: This article also appeared on the September 15, 2017 issue of the Mindanaoan Meets World column in the Urban Life section of Gold Star Daily, Mindanao’s largest newspaper. For more information, visit Mindanaoan – the multi-award winning blog of a US Embassy International Visitor Leadership Program alumnus, Best Lifestyle Blog awardee and 2013 Mindanao Blogger of the Year awardee

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