By Gerry Urbina
AboitizPower Empowers Ifugao Coffee Growers
Ifugao farmers have introduced a remarkable coffee blend to the bustling metropolis, capturing the very essence of Lagawe, the capital town and thriving center of commerce and trade of the province renowned for the magnificent Banaue Rice Terraces.
Photo Insert: SADC Director Bishop Valentin Cabbigat Dimoc (center) proudly presents the exquisite Ifugao Kape Coffee Products to SNAP-Benguet Plant Support Services Sr. Manager Rosalyn White (left) and AboitizPower VP for Corporate Affairs Suiee Suarez (right), showcasing the passion and craftsmanship of Ifugao coffee growers.
Lagawe owes its newfound coffee fame to the tireless efforts of the local growers, empowered by the social arm of Aboitiz Power Corp. Through their dedication, they cultivated Arabica and Robusta beans, meticulously roasting them to perfection, resulting in a truly unique blend.
The much-anticipated unveiling of this extraordinary coffee blend took place at NakakaBAZAAR: the Grand Nakakalocal Fair 2023 event, held at the iconic SM Mall of Asia Entertainment Music Hall.
The coffee aficionados of Metro Manila eagerly awaited the chance to savor the flavors that encapsulated the essence of Lagawe and the unwavering toil of the Ifugao coffee growers.
Nestled at the foot of the majestic Cordillera Mountains in the northern Philippines, the picturesque town of Lagawe tells a tale of perseverance and dedication. It has transformed into a haven for exceptional domestic coffee production, proudly boasting the renowned Ifugao coffee.
This particular blend, crafted from a harmonious fusion of Arabica and Robusta beans, offers a deep and rich flavor that truly captures the spirit of the region. However, the journey to create this outstanding blend was not without its challenges.
The Ifugao coffee farmers embarked on a process of trial and error, encountering numerous obstacles along the way.
Their initial attempts to cultivate Arabica beans met with disappointment and failure. Yet, undeterred by setbacks, these hardworking sons and daughters of the highlands harnessed their deep understanding of the high-altitude terrain and cool climate to continue their quest for excellence.
Embracing experimentation and armed with an unwavering determination to succeed, the farmers honed their skills through countless cups of coffee, learning from each mistake and refining their techniques. Their passion and love for the land shone through as they transformed setbacks into stepping stones on their path to success.
In 2010, the transformative Livelihood, Enterprise, and Agro-forest Development (LEAD) project breathed new life into their endeavor. Aboitiz Power Corporation, in partnership with its subsidiary SN AboitizPower (SNAP) and the Social Action Development Center (SADC), sought to convert idle cogon land areas into productive assets.
The lands surrounding the upland water basin utilized by the Magat Dam and the SNAP-Magat hydropower plant were given new purpose through the cultivation of fruit and native trees in Tinoc and Hingyon, and the nurturing of sugarcane and coffee in Lagawe.
With the mastery of coffee cultivation, the Ifugao coffee farmers expanded their enterprise to establish the Ifugao Roasting Center, with invaluable assistance from SNAP. Equipped with its very own roasting machine, the center became a catalyst for the development of Ifugao Kape Coffee Products.
Collaborations with Misereor (the German Catholic Bishops' Organization for Development Cooperation), SNAP-Magat, and the Department of Trade and Industry—Ifugao ensured the sustained production of their smooth, flavorful, and robust Arabica and Robusta blend.
The remarkable journey of the Ifugao coffee farmers stands as an inspiration to all, a testament to the indomitable human spirit. It serves as a poignant reminder that with unwavering determination, resilience in the face of adversity, and a fervent passion for one's craft, extraordinary achievements can be attained.
So, as you sip a cup of Ifugao coffee, prepare to embark on a sensory adventure that transports you to the breathtaking landscapes of the Cordillera Mountains. Let each sip be a tribute to the dedicated farmers behind this exceptional blend.
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