Home INNOVATION Rovinare by Jose Karlo’s Coffee

Rovinare by Jose Karlo’s Coffee

written by patrik February 22, 2020

"It's not just the coffee, but the people we bring together"



“It’s not just the coffee, but the people we bring together”

-Jose Karlo’s Coffee

Located in Brgy. San Jose, Tacloban City, the building where Rovinare stands is part of an ice plant manufacturing plant built in 1974. It used to be the machine and fabrication shop of the plant site serving the entire Region 8.

When super typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan)- the strongest typhoon recorded in history pummeled Tacloban in rabid devastation, the plant suffered irreparable damage – the whole electrical systems down, delivery trucks and machinery submerged in water and half of the building’s wall ripped to the ground.

While the debris and piles of junk materials surrounding the whole compound are visual remnants of catastrophic damage, they also are a haunting remembrance of what was lost. This posed a challenge to all of us which eventually morphed into an idea of putting together the pieces of junk, truck and heavy equipment parts and ice plant machinery and turn them into function re-defined pieces of industrial furniture, fixtures, and décor that will become the structural and interior elements of a café-bistro. Hence, Rovinare came into being. 

“Rovinare (It) is a piece of ruins-turned-art, a remembrance of a catastrophe and above all, a product of innovation

The massive 150-ton blue machine that greets you upon entering the café-bistro is called the “Press Brake” used for making the ice cans. It became the core part of the café ‘s industrial design and architectural template resulting in a mélange of rustic colors, lines, textures, shapes, subdued lightings and compositions that defy conventions even to the most unnoticed detail. Rovinare (It) is a piece of ruins-turned-art, a remembrance of a catastrophe and above all, a product of innovation with the help of carpenters whom without their untiring work and dedication couldn’t have made “Rovinare” a reality. 

The word “Rovinare” is taken from the Italian word “rovine” which means “ruins.” Its purpose is to share the story of Haiyan and how it is possible for people to rise from almost nothing. To show people that even at a point of nothingness we can be resourceful and create something meaningful and memorable. Rovinare will continue to stand as a reminder that we are resilient, hardworking and strong-willed human beings.