The Obo Manobo Coffee Farmers sent their representatives at the Philippine Coffee Expo 2022 (PCE2022) to present their initial product. Datu Romeo Andot, Bai Gemma Andot, and Alvin Baroro were sent by the Manobo Apao Descendants Ancestral Domain of Mount Apo (MADADMA). They were accompanied by Rich Paul Calceta and Don Tormis of the Corporate Social Responsibility Department of Energy Development Corporation (CSR-EDC). Sihaya Ansibod, PBCI Field Operations Director assisted them. The Obo Manobo Coffee presented in this event was the product of a long-term program to develop key farmers who would be the local champions we refer to as ‘farmer entrepreneurs’ or farmerpreneurs. This is part of an on-going inclusive development initiative of MADADMA. We, at PBCI-CFP IncluDev Team, has been tasked to facilitate social preparation, community organization, and training in basic entrepreneurial skills.

The participation of the Obo Manobo farmers in this national coffee exposition is part of inclusive development and social entrepreneurial program initiated by the Manobo Apao Descendants Ancestral Domain of Mount Apo (MADADMA) in partnership with the Corporate Responsibility Department of Energy Development Corporation (CSR-EDC). The Inclusive Development (IncluDev) Team of PeaceBuilders Community, Inc. (PBCI) and Coffee for Peace (CFP) serves as consultants on community development and social entrepreneurial skills.

At the forefront of this endeavour is clarifying what inclusiveness means. Is it equity? Empowerment? Opportunities? Participation? Satisfaction? A combination of these? Or something else?

For us, PBCI-CFP IncluDev Team, inclusiveness is both a process and a goal. We do not, however, close our eyes to diversity as a fact of life. Difference is normal. Some people are excluded from society because of difference. Difference can be due to a range of factors, some universal, some cultural and context specific.

Inclusion for us is about society changing to accommodate difference and to combat discrimination. It sees society as the problem, not the person.

To achieve inclusion, a twin track approach is needed: (a) focus on the society to remove the barriers that exclude — i.e. mainstreaming; (b) focus on the group of persons who are excluded, to build their capacity and support them to lobby for their inclusion.

Because inclusion involves everyone in society at all levels, collaboration and networking are core strategies to achieve inclusion.

PBCI looks at being inclusive based on three pillars: (a) high, sustainable development to create and expand spiritual, psycho-social, political, and economic growth of both individuals and communities; (b) broader access to opportunities to ensure that members of society can participate and benefit from holistic development; and, (c) social safety nets to prevent extreme deprivation.

This inclusive development partnership has been demonstrated even when we participated in the Philippine Coffee Expo 2022 at the SMX Convention Centre in Davao City last 14-15 September 2022.

Here were the highlights of our experiences as partners in this event:

Final Preparation at the PBCI-CFP Centre in Davao. The day before the coffee expo, our team gathered at the PBCI-CFP Centre in Davao City to finalize our booth tasks. We all agreed that the main spokespersons would be the MADADMA representatives — Datu Romeo, Bai Gemma, and Alvin. The CSR-EDC Team, Rich Paul and Don, will be our business-to-business liaison officers, especially between our booth and the Expo management. PBCI-CFP Team will connect with coffee industry players and invite them to visit our booth.

We also made sure that the green coffee beans we’re going to present for tasting were excellent in quality.

Three organizations, one team. The staff of three organizations — MADADMA, CSR-EDC, and PBCI-CFP — became one single team and did the setting up of our display booth — the Obo Manobo Coffee Farmers‘ booth. The Expo management also gave our team a chance to present the story of the Obo Manobo coffee and their current journey towards improving their coffee quality. Key coffee industry players attended our workshop that was held on Wednesday, 14 September 2022, at 3PM (1500PHT).

Our Ina, Joji Pantoja, who is a co-organizer of this Philippine Coffee Expo 2022, visited us while we were setting up our booth. Marivic Dubria, a champion coffee farmer, was with her.

“We’ll buy your coffee.” Several coffee buying partners have expressed their appreciation for the Obo Manobo coffee. They have signed up in our ‘prospective client list.’ This was during Day One of the Obo Manobo Coffee Farmers booth at the Philippine Coffee Expo 2022, SMX Convention Center, Davao City. 14-15 September.

Post plenary conversations and photo ops. After the plenary sessions at the Philippine Coffee Expo 2022, we had a chance to talk about coffee and peace with those who stayed. T.J. Ryan (ACDI VOCA) and Tala Alngag Bautista (CFP PBCI) shared thoughts about ‘conflict transformation’ in coffee farming communities affected by land-based violence.

Then we tried to “freeze” those fun moments by taking photos.

Mount Apo meets Kalinga. During the second day of Philippine Coffee Expo 2022, Datu Romeo Andot and Bai Gemma Andot, from the Obo Manobo Indigenous People at Mt Apo, met Jeffrey Pasikan from the Kalinga Indigenous People, Cordillera Region.

Datu Romeo and Bai Gemma are part of the on-going coffee quality training among the Obo Manobo farmers at Mt Apo, an aspect of the inclusive development and social entrepreneurial initiatives by MADADMA.

Jeff Pasikan, an official from the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), has been a partner in advancing coffee quality and just coffee trading in Kalinga — framed in Peace and Reconciliation Principles and Practices. He is a Certified Coffee Quality Grader. “The Obo Manobo coffee,” Jeff said, “is very good, considering that it’s being prepared from a percolator. I like the fact that you’re serving it without sugar and cream,” he adds. “The Obo Manobo is confident of the quality of their coffee.”

Delighted to have Lendilou in our table. We were having our lunch break and we’re happy to have Lendilou Flores Loon join us at our table. She’s a young coffee ‘farmerpreneur’ from Balutakay, Bansalan, Davao del Sur. She’s also a coffee quality champion and a visionary. We are inspired by Lendi’s commitment to excellence as a person, as a coffee farmer, and as a young visionary for the coffee industry in our country.

Atty. Allan Barcena of EDC-CSR visits Obo Manobo Farmers’ booth. We were excited to see Atty Allan V. Barcena, Assistant Vice President and Head of Corporate Social Responsibility and Public Relations of EDC, visit the Obo Manobo Coffee Farmer’s booth at the Philippine Coffee Expo 2022 (PCE2022).

During the last afternoon of the Expo, he was briefed by Ms Joji Pantoja, President & CEO of Coffee for Peace and Chair of Davao Coffee Council Region 11, co-organizer of PCE2022. Atty. Barcena expressed his view on the need to plant more shaded coffee plants, like Arabica, to preserve our forests and sustain-regenerate our watershed areas.

We are thankful to CSR-EDC for sponsoring the Obo Manobo Farmer’s participation at the PCE2022. We also thank EDC for their partnership in this inclusive development and social entrepreneurial initiatives among the Obo Manobo.

Obo Manobo Representatives visit Coffee for Peace Cafe. It is our joy and honor to host Datu Romeo Andot, Bai Gemma Andot, Alvin Marchan, and Don Tormis at our Coffee For Peace Café at One Oasis Davao. We missed Rich Paul Calcetas Cosio who had to rush back to Kidapawan City for his Law studies and class session. After our two days welcoming participants together in our Obo Manobo Coffee Farmers’ booth at the Philippine Coffee Expo 2022, we treated ourselves to a mini party at our coffee shop.

Permanent link to this article: https://waves.ca/2022/09/16/obo-manobo-farmers-present-sample-product-at-the-philippine-coffee-expo-2022/


We are sent by Mennonite Church Canada Witness in partnership with our international community.