DETERMINED to preserve their tribe’s rich cuisine and culture, Kessia Tar of Bagobo Klata tribe -- one of the 11 tribes of Davao City -- reopened Maa To Ro, a Lumad-themed restaurant.
Situated in Baguio Proper District, Davao City, Maa To Ro (near Davao's popular tourist destinations Malagos Garden Resort and Philippine Eagle) had its reopening last August 10 in time for the month-long Kadayawan sa Davao Festival celebration.
“With the re-opening of Maa To Ro Native Restaurant, the customers should watch for more unique, delicious and exciting new dishes that are authentic to the tribe. We also serve herbal teas from our garden that are natural and healthy,” Tar, owner of the restaurant shared.
Tar is also proud to mention that her restaurant is the lone restaurant in Davao City that serves authentic native dishes. The word "Maa To Ro" is a Bagobo K'lata word which means “Mangaon ta (let's eat!).”
The 120-seater native restaurant offers delicacies of Bagobo Klata such as Lol'lot ngo Monok, Lol'lot ngo Nono, Lol'lot ngo Gehot, Lol'lot ngo Isda, Monok to Iyog, Pancit to Iyog, pletek to Pandan, Ginataan ngo Monok, and Pas ni Mor, among others.
Lol’ot is a native way of cooking food using bamboo.
“But I'm very open to the idea of the fusion of other tribes’ dishes if they would allow,” she said.
What’s interesting with this restaurant is it has a cultural presentation every Saturday and Sunday during lunch time.
“With this, we are sharing a part of our culture to our guests in which we offer them our authentic food at the heart of the domain of the Bagobo Klata. This also gives us a chance to preserve our way of cooking and of course, it provides jobs to the community,” Tar added.
At the back of the restaurant, Tar shared, is their tribe’s weaving center dubbed El lom.
When in Davao City, complete your experience by tasting authentic native dishes at Maa To Ro.