Local Flavors

What Makes a Tribal T'Boli Meal Healthy?

South Cotabato

Ida Damo
Ida Damo | May 27, 2014


Root crops are the main source of carbohydrates for the T’Bolis. That's why these figure big in their diet. Among the root crops are gabi (taro), camote (sweet potatoes), and balanghoy/balinghoy (cassava).

Native bananas are also part of their diet. And so is corn.

tbolimeal tbolimeal

While some corn is used for their meals, some are left to mature, dried, and then used for planting the next crop.


These root crops, bananas, and corn are simply boiled then peeled before serving. Some are mashed or steamed and wrapped in leaves.


Fish like tilapia are introduced into the diet by making them into soup, with leaves of the sweet potato or kangkong (water spinach/swamp cabbage). In the T’Boli community of Sitio Kule, the tilapia is obtained only after hours of trek to Lake Holon.


The concept of fertilizing their crops with synthetic chemicals is still new to them, which is why you get your root crops, bananas, and corn purely organic.

Oh, and their coffee is Arabica and is prepared the traditional way.


So, what’s a T’Boli meal like? Simple, organic, nutritious, and filling.

How to Get There

PAL and other major airlines fly daily to General Santos City. T’Boli is an hour and thirty-minute land trip from General Santos City by bus/van/private vehicle.

Sitio Kule, Barangay Salacafe, T’Boli is an hour away from the T’Boli town proper by local government unit's dump truck transpo or the habal-habal motorcycle.

Fare Expenses:

  • Bus from Davao City to General Santos City: Php 270
  • General Santos City to Koronadal City: Php 97 by bus / Php 75 by van
  • Koronadal City to T’Boli: Php 70
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