Ilocos Sur Robusta coffees top PCQC 2021 

SIGAY, Ilocos Sur, May 29 (PIA) - The locally-produced Robusta coffee of Mabini Abuan, native of barangay San Elias, Sigay, who has been producing coffee for more than two decades now, has been hailed as Best Philippine-origin Robusta Coffee in the 2021 Philippine Coffee Quality Competition (PCQC).

Abuan’s natural processed coffee beans scored an average score of 85.54, placing first in the Robusta category during the PCQC virtual awarding ceremony held on May 26.

The coffee has notes of cherry, almond, caramel, dark chocolate, dates, and prunes.

Cherry Cruz, chair of the technical working group of the PCQC 2021, praised Abuan for doing his best to improve the coffee, which she described as a “phenomenal coffee.”

“I would say it is one of the best Robusta coffee I have tasted in the local competitions the past four years because at 900 meters above sea level, it has sweetness and complexity pretty much like with an Arabica coffee,” Cruz said.

Robusta coffee beans produced by Mabini Abuan. (Photo credits: Mike Abuan)

Abuan credited the recognition to the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) for the training they have provided introducing new technology and teaching them the proper procedure from production to processing.

Simula noong nagpunta ang mga taga-DTI rito sa amin at itinuro ang tamang proseso upang gumanda ang kalidad ng aming kape, simula sa tamang pag-rejuvenate, pag-aani, at pag-ferment ng kape, tumaas talaga ang kalidad ng kape rito sa Sigay,” Abuan said in an interview with the Philippine Information Agency.

Along with the DTI, the convergence of efforts from various agencies and local government units such as the provincial government of Ilocos Sur, Department of Agriculture (DA), and Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Department of Agrarian Reform also provide various assistance and incentives to the local coffee growers.

Sigay Mayor Carlo Crisanto P. Peredo felt proud for this recognition saying that it is but a manifestation of their title as Sigay is acclaimed as the “Coffee Capital” of the province.

“Our vision is ‘Sigay: the Robusta IP Helm of Holistic Development’ – with this, the coffee industry remains to be part of our flagship program of economic growth, specifically under our One Town One Product (OTOP) Program. Foremost, we shall continue to strengthen our Coffee Growers Cooperative, which has a total of 103 coffee farmer-members, and altogether work for the continuing growth of our coffee industry,” Mayor Peredo said.

Packs of Robusta coffee powder produced by the coffee farmers of Sigay, Ilocos Sur. (Photo credits: Local Government Unit of Sigay)

Sigay has their own Coffee Processing Center and has been supplying coffee beans and packed coffee powder within Ilocos Sur and Baguio City as well as to its residents’ friends and relatives from Cagayan De Oro and abroad.

“Close coordination is continuously made to the provincial and regional offices of the DA on matters pertaining to improving the planting and nurturing of coffee. Also, product packaging, promotion and linkaging are being made to ensure a steady market of the product,” he added.

Likewise, Governor Ryan Luis Singson felt happy for this recognition and encouraged IlocosSurians to support their local products.

Kailangan na tayo rito sa Ilocos Sur, palakasin at i-promote natin ang ating kape lalo sa mga coffee shop, restaurant, at hotel, dapat prayoridad nating gamitin ang ating produkto,” he said.

Hoping that more coffee farmers in the province would be recognized, Abuan called on other local producers to use their learnings from the training provided by the government to improve, thus, expand coffee production to create demand not just in the province but nationwide.

Sundin sana natin ang proseso na itinuro ng DTI upang pare-pareho tayo na makapag-produce ng dekalidad na kape para hindi magkakaiba ang kalidad ng ibebenta natin. Nawa’y magkaisa tayo. Sana hindi natin balewalain ang mga tulong at training na ibinibigay ng gobyerno sa atin dahil para rin naman ito sa ikabubuti ng ating produkto,” Abuan said.

This year’s competition assessed a total of 103 entries nationwide, 13 of which came from Region 1 and mostly from Ilocos Sur. 

Other coffee growers from the province who made it to the finalists row for the same category were Mariel Gannad (2nd place), Erlinda Dao-ayan (3rd place), and Juana Bitongan (5th place), all from Gregorio Del Pilar; and Rodolfo Aciong from the municipality of Quirino, who bagged 1st and 3rd place in the same category of the PCQC 2018 and 2019, who ranked 4th place this year. (JCR/AMB/JMCQ, PIA Ilocos Sur)

Source: Philippines Information Agency (

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