The entire world has added their thoughts regarding the COVID-19 and we are here not to add on to panic but INSPIRE you to rise above this stage.

Now that there is nothing to do and nothing to get a living from due to the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ), why not follow what these Sagbayan, Bohol Amazonas do?

“Climbing trees is not just for recreation”, Indai Cortes said. These trees have heirloom cacaos that have been neglected for so long. “I climb trees to reach the cacao pods and see if they are within the white bean cultivars I am propagating”.

Different regions, where the ratio of trees to humans may register at 20:1, it’s not unusual to see women climb them in search for daily sources of income.

And now that the suspension of classes took effect a couple of days ago, students are starting to show ‘ALLOWANCE ANXIETY’.

No classes mean no lunch money. So Queenie, Indai’s daughter, decided to take a shot at fruit picking — 40 feet from the ground.

” I help harvest caimito (star apple), cacao, avocado, and corn. Some are easy to pick since they are on ground level but other fruits need extra effort. That is why they are expensive — buwis-buhay (life-threatening)”.

Strong arms and legs are required to tree climbing so here are 6 ways to ensure you are fit to climb.

1. Eat Lots of Vegetables
2. Perform Strength Training (warm up/stretching helps first)
3. Consume Enough Protein
4. Eat High-Calcium Foods
5. Get Plenty of Vitamin D and Vitamin K.
6. Avoid Very Low-Calorie Diets

DISCLAIMER: Minors were not harmed nor forced to climb trees. They helped the mother to reach areas with weight requirements. Safety gear (crash helmet) was provided but not shown in photo used. No child labour happened during entire process.


Join us at the Diamond Hotel, Roxas Blvd. Manila on June 19-30,2019 from 8:30AM onwards for the Philippine Culinary Heritage featuring Executive Christopher Carangian.

Executive Chef Carangian
*Graduated from Culinary Institute of America
*Founder of Razorchef PH
*Punong Heneral at Culinary Generals of the Philippines
*Food Historian at GMA7, Kapuso mo Jessica Soho, Pinas Sarap, and Ijuander
*Filipino Heritage Food Advocate
*Certified Coffee Sensory Judge for World Coffee Events
*Food Historian of Jose Rizal University

June 19, 2019 is the opening of the Filipino Food Festival where we will be selling and displaying heirloom cacao grafted seedlings, cacao tablea, cacao nibs, cacao tea, and coffee.Joining Plantacion de Sikwate are its members from Pangasinan, Bicol, Bohol, and Negros Occidental. We shall be at the booth everyday to cater to your queries as well.Such a Filipino celebration will not be complete without Elar’s Lechon, and naturally sweet Stevia sugar (one of the event’s bar hosts and exhibitors). To cap off the celebration, Chef Christopher shall prepare long-forgotten Filipino food and expplain the rituals that make the Philippines the land of gold (Ophir) with royal bloods known as MaharliCas.

Free registration so just drop in and be proud of our heritage through the eyes of Dr. Jose Rizal.

Awarding a PDS Member: OWWA Balik Pilipinas Hanapbuhay Program

Congratulations to our Cacao Amazona from Sagbayan, Bohol! It is to be remembered how she was repatriated from Kuwait a year ago. Without any means to support her family, she came home to the Philippines with just her belongings and blurred dreams.

When she found out about Plantacion de Sikwate’s seminar with DOST Bohol, she attended for a day got know more about the benefits of cacao planting and chocolate making. Since then, she went on a mission to save two things: her family’s best interests and the Filipino Aromatico heirloom cacao’s white beans.

She now is doing well and have attracted the nods of OWWA-Region VII for being one of the 1,000 beneficiaries of the Balik Pilipinas Hanapbuhay Program.

Awarding rites are currently happening for the OWWA 2019 Marilag Award where she is the deserving awardee. In behalf of Plantacion de Sikwate Board Members, Officers and the entire Cacao Community, CONGRATULATIONS Ms. Felipa ‘Indai Le’ Cortes of Sagbayan, Bohol!!!! You are indeed the epitome of a Woman of Inspiration.

March 30, 2019 The OWWA 2016 Mariliag Awardee for Balik Pinas, Balik Hanapbuhay Program paid a courtesy call at the PDS Heaquarters today. WIth her are PDS CEO Mel Santos and his wife Maam Allie, and PDS Nestor Saludo. Sharing her “Oscar-award” like grateful thanks to all who helped achieved her dreams.
Maraming akong dapat pasalamatan… Unang una ang Diyos na laging naka patnubay.

Sa OWWA Overseas Workers Welfare Administration at sa mga iba pang tao na tumulong sa aking mabilisang pag uwi from Kuwait noong ako’y nagpa repatriate.

Sa tulong ng Plantacion de Sikwate Cacao Producers Association, Inc. (PDS) ay nakapag simula ako ng Cacao Nursery at naitayo ko ang Villa Cortes Criollo Farm. Dinagdagan pa ito ng tulong financial ng OWWA para sa kanilang Balik Pinas Balik Hanapbuhay Program. Sa ngayon nga ay meron na akong produktong Indai Le Tablea na sinusuportahan naman ng Department of Trade and Industry. Salamat sa walang sawang suporta ng aming Negosyo Center dito sa Sagbayan at kay Sir Blair Panong at Ms. Ai Rish. Dahil dito ay nabigyan ako ng Award sa katatapos lang na event ng OWWA.

Salamat din sa Office of the Provincial Veterinarian – Bohol (OPV) sa kanilang ibinigay na 12 ka pirasong Native Chicken na sa ngayon ay naparami ko na at ang iba ay nai ulam ko pa. ?

Salamat din sa drum na bigay DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE VIIIIII (D.A.) thru SagbayanMunicipal Agriculture Office (MAO) Arlen Rosolada Aparrii . Malaking tulong ito lalo na ngayong tag init.

Kahit kulang na kulang ako sa financial para maka sustain ay may mga taong katulad ninyo na bukas palad para tumulong. Nawa’y pagpalain pa sana kayo ng ating Panginoon.




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.

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.


Cebu Chapter Induction of Officers



Tonight’s event at the Mandani Bay Cebu was a success! Food was really great, such an accommodating staff, and impressive place.

Congratulations to the newly inducted Cebu Chapter Officers. Thank you, new members and guests, from the Regional DA, DENR, and PDRRMO.

I would like to commend a new member who volunteered to cover the event for us. At first, I said don’t work since we invited you as a member; not a supplier. He insisted on sharing his talent. Thank you very much for your amazing captures. If you are in Cebu, get AnneDrew Perfect Captures.

My heartfelt gratitude to all the men and women who made it possible. Thanking all of you might take me until tomorrow. But it is indeed tomorrow on my clock. You know who you are.

God Bless everyone and good day to all. — Christopher Fadriga

image image image image image image image image image image image image image image image image image image image image image image image image image image image image image image image image image image image image image image image image image



PDS Ilocos Chapter

image August 19, 2017

#TeamCACAO went to Brgy. Tanap, Burgos, Ilocos Norte for the PDS-Agropower-Sandigan seminar. More than 75 participants attended! Thank you for the warm welcome plus we were amazed at the security unit deployed by the Municipality.


image image image image image

August 20, 2017

#TEAMCACAO held another seminar in Sitio Cagcag, Brgy. San Juan, Pasuquin, Ilocos Norte.

The seminar was even attended by bus drivers, bus terminal dispatchers from Maria De Leon Bus Company who had a day-off from work. They openly expressed their interest to plant cacao.

image image image image image image image

We are also so thankful for the support of the entire Ilocos Region as they are laying out the plans to make the PDS Regional Heirloom Cacao Center. To the Governors of Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, Pangasinan, La Union, Mayors and City Agriculturists as well as all LGU Heads of the Ilocos Region, thank you for choosing PDS.

To our PDS Ilocos Chapter, welcome mga kabsat!