Cacao Stakeholders Forum, Villa Caceres Hotel, Naga City

We were invited by DA-Bicol to be one of the guest speakers at the Cacao Stakeholders Forum last August 31,2018.

Thank you for the new farmer friends I met and who have asked how to be part of our association.

For interested cacao farmers, just inform Ms. Cacao through FB messenger of PDSCACAO or leave a message here.

Here are the photos:

Cacao Level-Up Onsite Training in Quezon Province

We were invited by Mr. Julian Gonsalves, Senior Advisor at the International Institute of Rural Reconstruction to conduct a 2-day seminar in Quezon Province. Together with PDS CEO Mr. Mel Santos is Ms. Romela Fabula, PDS Bicol Chapter and PDS PRO for Cebu Chapter Nestor Saludo who prefers to be called Nestor Salcedo on this James Bond series of being a Secret Agent, and Mr. Marlon Enoc for teaching everyone how to graft the right way. 

The activities focused on the following:

Day 1 – Plantation de Sikwate Planting Programs (lectures and forums)

Day 2 – Onsite Training on cacao tree rehabilitation, side-grafting with heirloom budsticks, and more. Thank you Mr. Manuel Borre for welcoming us to your farm.  Different venues allowed #TeamPDS to show our cacao farmers that the true meaning of seminars and trainings does not limit or should not limit anyone to 4-walls. Literature can help but what matters is the actual feel of the soil under your feet, the dancing flowers on your hand, and the fragrance of the most aromatic cacao variety of them all — Criollo or Heirloom cacao.

We would like to thank LGU Guinayangan Municipal Agricultural Officer (MAO) Ms.  Belina Rosales for the Certificate of Appreciation we received.

Thank you Hon. Mayor Cesar J. Isaac III for the OTOP tokens and unforgettable accommodation your good office gave us. To all LGU officers and staff of the barangays in Quezon Province, we salute your dedication and true spirit to help uplift the lives of our Filipino farmers.

Friends of Plantacion de Sikwate: Everyday Goodwill Television

Today we had an opportunity to guest in Everyday Goodwill Television of Radyo Inquirer 990AM.

We were last invited on November 21, 2017 and our guesting this afternoon was to give them an update on where we have progressed as an association

excerpts from the show: 

Maraming salamat sa pag imbita muli sa amin. Isa po itong magandang pagkakataon para sa mga magsasaka ng cacao. ~ Romela Beltran-Fabula

We average 1-2 visitors a month from foreign investors or chocolatiers. Ayon sa kanila, ang Heirloom Cacao natin ay hinahatulad sa Lamborghini or sa Ferrari. – Mel Santos

Isang bumisita din sa amin ay taga Sweden. Ma’am Angela and Tibor Vargas. Pumunta sila sa Camalig. They wanted to connect directly sa ating farmer. That way, si farmer, mabigyan natin ng premium price dun sa harvest nila . Yun naman ang pinaga goal natin. Ang mabigyan si farmer ng magandang income si farmer through Heirloom cacao. Yun po ang isang magandang ginagawa ng PDS para walang trader pa. – Romela Beltran-Fabula

Tamang fermentation and drying technology niya . na naituro ni Steven DeVries ng America, isa sa mga founders ng Heirloom Cacao Foundation. Ang naituro niya ay ang ginagamit naming ngayon sa protocols natin. – Mel Santos

Token of Appreciation

As a Token of Appreciation for acknowledging and supporting the efforts of Plantacion de Sikwate Cacao Producers Association, Inc.
on our propagation of the PHILIPPINE HEIRLOOM CACAO –
remnants from the Manila-Acapulco Galleon Trade in the 1700s, we gave Tess Cancio the FRIENDS OF PLANTACION DE SIKWATE.

Watch the show here

CACAO & Everyday Goodwill

All it takes is a determined and passionate farmer to grow and propagate a rare variety of cacao called the Criollo. So-called critics may disagree but look behind me. That is our contribution to the Cacao industry; our very own GININTUAN. Come and join me on June 26, 2018, 1PM at INQUIRER’s Everyday Goodwill live at DZIQ 990AM or via their FB livestream.

– Mel Santos, PDS Chief Executive Officer

PDS Courtesy Call to Zambales Governor

“Taking the first step towards Zero Idle Lands Policy: an Agricultural Modernization Program for Zambales Province”

Photo below taken during a briefing conducted by officers of the Plantacion de Sikwate (a nationwide association of cacao producers led by Mr Rene Pamintuan) for Governor Deloso of Zambales at his office.

PDS BOHOL CHAPTER: Cacao Post Harvest Forum and Echo Seminar

IMG_2260Liboron, Calape, Bohol – September 26, 2017| Our Cacao Icons, Mr. Mel Santos and Mr. Chris Fadriga, visited Bohol for the CACAO POST HARVEST FORUM AND ECHO SEMINAR. They were invited for a speaking engagement by PDS Bohol Chapter Vice President Cecilia De Leon, a cacao nursery propagator, in collaboration with The Organic Street and its Filipino cluster extension, theorganicgroup.The event began with fervent prayers for a good harvest. Respect for the Philippine National Anthem came next with Ms. Milet Olleras who conducted the National Anthem as well as the Bohol anthem.

Mr. Nestor Saludo, PDS Cebu Chapter External PRO was also seen waving the National Flag. This showed the support of the Filipinos for a better life and better change. IMG_2379IMG_2378IMG_2377Liboron, Calape’s Barangay Captain Ms. Maria Alma Origines welcomed the speakers and participants. IMG_2279Mr. John Edgar Luardo, PDS Bohol Chapter President gave the statement of purpose in line with the vision/mission of PDS as the national organization. He introduced the Chief Executive Offcer of Plantacion de Sikwate, Mr. Mel Santos, for a short talk on the Plantacion de Sikwate advocacy and how it can benefit the Boholano farmers.

PDS Bohol Chapter Vice President Ma’am Cecilia De Leon welcomed also the other Bohol Officers who were present and later on revealed how thankful she was “to have the Cacao Icons together in a day away from their very hectic schedule is nothing short of a miracle.”IMG_2263IMG_2259PDS National President Mr. Christopher Fadriga shared an interesting and enlightening rationale on the importance of fermented beans and how it can support the needs and demands of local chocolatiers in a market-driven environment.IMG_2268IMG_2262He was  followed by Mr. Bern Karaan’s ‘farmer cacao experience’ with his 18,000 cacao plantation in Fort Justine, Sierra Bullones. He, later on, discussed the fermentation procedure.IMG_2273IMG_2292IMG_2291IMG_2289IMG_2287IMG_2286IMG_2282IMG_2270 Mr. Luardo gave his advice on how to open a cacao pod without using a jungle bolo or knife. Instead he showed how a makeshift cacao pod breaker can help small-scale entrepreneurs prepare their homemade tableas. IMG_2280IMG_2271IMG_2264The participants even had a cacao nursery tour to showcase the progress of the PDS-BrownSeeds Funding Program of Ma’am Cecilia De Leon.IMG_2368IMG_2366IMG_2365IMG_2364 The Golden Babies (Filipino Aromatico – Heirloom Cacao) that were found in nearby places in Calape were brought to the table and shown to participants. IMG_2373 IMG_2372 IMG_2371 IMG_2283 IMG_2277IMG_2363IMG_2362IMG_2361IMG_2360IMG_2359IMG_2358IMG_2357IMG_2356IMG_2355IMG_2354Certificates of Appreciation were given to the speakers of the event. Mr. Mel Santos, Mr. Chris Fadriga, and Mr. Bern Karaan. The rest of the participants also received their Certificate of Participation as well.IMG_2369IMG_2320IMG_2313IMG_2306 Mandatory Participant Group Photos IMG_2304IMG_2300IMG_2304IMG_2303IMG_2302IMG_2299IMG_2298IMG_2297IMG_2301IMG_2296IMG_2295Thank you to the Bohol Cacao farmers, coming from different nearby towns, who attended the seminar together with Provincial officers from the Department of Agriculture, Office of Provincial Agriculturist, DTI and ATI.