Last 22 April 2017, Elizabeth Bantican-Quevedo — along with her husband Ramon Quevedo and our mutual friend, Donnie Friolo — introduced us to Adette Purto, Chair of D’ Cup Coffee Republic in Mandaluyong City, Metro Manila. After exchanging our stories during that initial meeting, I felt Adette has been a long-time friend and sister! The similarities and diversity of our dreams are so complimentary! I felt we, at Coffee for Peace, found a partner and a sister company.
A NOTE FROM D’ CUP COFFEE REPUBLIC
D’ Cup Coffee Republic is a book cafe and events venue in Mandaluyong City inside Pioneer Street Market. It has a spacious dining area that can comfortably accommodate 80 persons, plus a book lounge area good for 20 persons, and an enclosed function hall good for up to 100 persons, making it a perfect venue for meetings, workshop classes, special gatherings. View our venue and function hall which you can reserve online. We also invite you to visit our site regularly for workshops, classes, and other events. [Facebook Page]
When Elizabeth arranged the meeting between us and Adette’s team, we were simply expecting to sell our coffee brand to this coffee shop. Our presentation was scheduled for only an hour. After our 45-minute story-telling and presentation, she kept asking questions — deep, penetrating questions that went beyond the quality, price, and origin of our coffee. Her questions focused on peace and reconciliation, on the dream about contributing to a God-centered, radical, nonviolent, transformation of our people and our land.
The meeting went beyond two hours.
We didn’t say good bye. We immediately talked about “What’s next?”
Koinonia Group. Elizabeth, Ramon, and Donnie are part of the leadership of the Koinonia Group. I’m grateful to these faithful friends and partners whom we consider as our long-time community. Koinonia Group started in 1982 when Dann and I were serving as community organizing workers in the City of Olongapo. I was raising our little children and Dann was a young social science teacher at the Columban College. A group of outstanding students became regular visitors in our apartment. Elizabeth was one of them. We soon became a fellowship of followers of Christ working for justice and liberation of our people from the oppressive dictatorial regime of Ferdinand Marcos, Sr. We referred to our liberation-oriented activist band as Koinonia Group.
Ramon and Elizabeth met in a workplace abroad, got married, and returned to the Philippines to continue their careers, and later started an entrepreneurial endeavor in Metro Manila.
Donnie was Dann’s fellow leader at the Koinonia Group since our days in Olongapo.
We’re now scattered all over the world. But we’re still connected. The long-distance connections grew stronger because of social media. We all update each other of our lives, family development, career development, and respective ministries.
Coffee for Peace’s journey with D’ Cup Coffee Republic. Our relationship with Adette and her team at D’ Cup Coffee Republic has been growing fast. Last 12 May 2017, she and her team visited us in Davao and observed the operation of our coffee processing yard. We also compared notes on the similarities and differences of our respective coffee shops based on our differing contexts.
As I write this blog, both of our teams are talking on how our social businesses can work together to advance Peace Reconciliation (PAR) principles and practices together so we can establish at least one PAR community in each of the 81 provinces in this country.
Joji “Lakambini Mapayapa” Pantoja, CEO
Coffee For Peace, Inc.