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Lumad beauty queens promote local coffee

DAVAO CITY – Beauty queens from the Bagobo-Klata tribe in Baguio District here, Inna B. Garcia and Kessia D. Tar, jumped into a coffee business with this goal in mind – that is, to help the other Lumads earn a sustainable livelihood and promote their traditional coffee.

Garcia, the reigning “Hiyas ng Kadayawan” and her business partner, Kessia D. Tar, her predecessor who held the title in 2014, hatched the idea of putting up a coffee business called “Kapeng Nitibo” only a month ago to market their traditional coffee made from Excelsa variety and corn.

This after getting the nod of their elders, as a tradition, to bring their coffee to the mainstream market.

“There are no such popular native products in the market that we can call our own,” said Tar, a graduate of BS Accounting Technology at the Ateneo de Davao University (ADDU).

She said that they saw the potential in coffee because most of the Lumads grow coffee within their ancestral domains in scenic Tamayong, Calinan, Baguio District, and Tambobong.

“Coffee is also a sustainable livelihood for us, indigenous people (IP), and a basic need for some people,” she said.

She added that they hope to see the Lumads more empowered and lessen their dependence on the government.

“They are supportive, excited, and thankful for this new venture,” she said. (Antonio Colina IV)