NATIVE coffees always had a special aroma and taste, and the K’fi coffee of the T’Boli tribe is no exception.
This coffee product is organic and is being consumed by the tribe, especially the elders, regularly.
From what was just a regular coffee served in the tribe, the K’fi coffee is now being offered as a pasalubong for tourists visiting the famous tourist spot in South Cotabato – Lake Holon.
Before hiking Mt. Parker’s Lake Holen, tourists shall drop by the T’boli town’s Municipal Tourism Office to register and get local guides. Upon reaching the area, visitors will be welcomed with a sachet of K’fi coffee, a wooden cup and a hot water. The coffee is sold for only P10 per cup.
From there, ride a motorcycle to Barangay Salacafe where the orientation will be done, it is the jump off to Mt. Parker / Mt. Melibingoy.
Reaching the camping area after three to four hours, the native coffee is also available, it can be a perfect companion for the cold weather, a native coffee completes the whole experience.
While going back to the T’boli town, some two hours trike from the camping area, you’ll pass by Sitio Nabul where a lot of root crops’ delicacies and tribal wears and accessories are on display by the road.
The Holon House of Coffee is also located in the area.
One of the tribe’s coffee makers and vendors, Jennifer Tamonggal, who is seven-month pregnant, was there, patiently catering tourists buying the K’fi coffee and their tribe’s accessories for pasalubong.
“We are happy that a lot of tourists are visiting Lake Holon now, it means better sales for us,” Tamonggal said in vernacular.
K’fi coffee is sold usually on weekends. She shared that sometimes, the coffee supply is not enough to meet the demand needed by the tourists.
“We usually can sell 400 to 600 sachets of K’fi coffee weekly,” she said adding that she is saving money from selling native coffee for her child’s delivery.
Also with her is Maricel Tamonggal, who is currently studying in the town’s public school. Maricel is helping Jennifer selling pasalubong items for her daily allowance.
In another stall, a 28-year old mother of three, Emma Bulol, is gladly accommodating tourists who are tired of hiking by selling root crops’ delicacies such as camote (sweet potatoes), balanghoy/balinghoy (cassava) and native bananas. Bottled water and soft drinks are also on display.
“While my husband is farming (abaca, corn, cassava, etc.), I am here selling these, at least I have some sort of income,” she said.
Emma added that she is earning some P1,000 daily from selling root crops’ delicacies and beverages.
In this agriculture-blessed area in T’boli town, the T’bolis are also taking advantages from these by doing small businesses for extra income realizing that they shouldn’t just heavily depend on farming alone.
Published in the SunStar Davao newspaper on November 13, 2017.
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