Exploring record store gems in Cebu for Record Store Day

Exploring record store gems in Cebu for Record Store Day
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There’s an undeniable romantic allure to exploring a record store with a loved one, channeling the vibes of iconic movie couples like Rory and Jess in “Gilmore Girls,” Summer and Tom in “500 Days of Summer,” and Jess and Celine in “Before Sunrise.” To express love for musicians past and present, accidentally brushing fingers while browsing vinyl records, there’s one cinematic moment we all recall.

Every third Saturday of April marks World Record Store Day — a time to not only romanticize record stores on the big screen but also to get intimate with music in real life, whether coupled up or solo. There’s still an enduring joy in discovering sought-after records and an abundance of exclusive new releases and reissues at independent record shops that modern music platforms can’t seem to replicate.

Just as in other parts of the world, below are some record store gems in Cebu that are definitely worth celebrating:

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Pavement Records

For the true vinyl enthusiast, Pavement Records has been the neighborhood’s local record store since 2015. Cebuano vinyl collector Dexter Duran describes the record store as a laid-back music hub where vinyl is sold during the day, and evenings unwind over beers and live performances. The owners, deeply entrenched in the music scene, have curated solid shelves of tunes from yesteryears to the present day. Picture classics from the likes of Bob Dylan, Duran Duran, The Beatles and James Taylor, spinning alongside the freshest beats of J. Cole, Dua Lipa and Travis Scott.

The record store also caters to audiophile collectors who are after turntables, amps, cassette decks, and a stash of CDs. It is located on 32 Pres Quirino St., Villa Aurora, Kasambagan Mabolo, Cebu, open Monday to Saturday from 4:30 p.m. to 1 a.m.

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Little Rituals Records

The owner of Little Rituals Records curates vinyl records from her travels, whether she’s exploring the bustling streets of Shibuya or browsing a weekend market in Brighton. Little Rituals Record is a space for the community to sift through band shirts, gears, and accessories to kickstart their analog journey, alongside a vast collection of records sourced from the owner’s diligent collecting in both personal and familiar locales. Featuring fresh drops from Adele and Taylor Swift to classics, disco and earworms, Little Rituals Records is a small yet packed setting for an unforgettable vinyl experience.

Little Rituals also hosts its own radio show called “Kings of Vinyl,” where crate diggers share their collections live on air, streamed at Magic 92.3 Cebu every Saturday. It is located in Maze, Ayala Center Cebu, Cebu City.

Unity Coffee & Vinyl

Unity Cafe is one of the newest record-store-cafes in town, offering a solid selection of vinyl and great food in a spacious area where you can browse without bumping into someone. Head upstairs to explore the vinyl collection, and be sure to check out the secret door leading to a second DJ booth where you can test out your favorite tracks. Vinyl collector Dexter shared that the resto-bar setting offers a great experience to dine and wine while listening to DJs do their sets. The record store is an upscale affair, offering a solid collection of hearty meals to light bites, complemented by a selection of imported and local wines, beers, and everything in between, all before diving into their extensive shelves of wax.

Check out its curated indie, jazz, and widely available title collections that are waiting to be in your own space at home. Located on Don Jose Avila St., Cebu City, the cafe welcomes visitors daily from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m., with its record lounge opening its doors from 2 p.m. on Tuesday, and Wednesday through Sunday.

Stax of Wax

Cebu is no exception when it comes to events that celebrate the culture of record collecting as part of the broader history of music. On April 20 and 21, 2024, Banilad Town Centre will host an event called “Stax of Wax: Record Store Weekend Year 2.” This gathering will keep the medium alive amid an increasingly digital age. For friends that are yet to be familiar with the legacy of vinyl in Cebu, a lineup of selectors and dealers will help you get lost in this community united by the love of the music’s original range and analog warmth.


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