How to Atak Urban Gardening.

Share your backyards as a place for fruit trees or if you have no spaces to share, convince the neighborhood to plant or help people who has interest in planting.

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Let me ask you. Does cacao farming begin and end with just money alone?

We asked city and urban dwellers if they want to start their leap from being employed to being a farmer. Some would say that amidst the COVID-19 dilemma, several industries felt the gut punch straight on.

Help from the government, both monetary and food, will take a family as far as the next day.  So is there another way to augment one’s daily-weekly-monthly needs?

Learn to PLANT.

Plantacion de Sikwate Cacao Producers Association, Inc., or simply PDS, has launched a program called ATAK²
(Ating Tanim alay sa Kalikasan at Kalusugan).

They heeded the call from DENR Secretary Roy Cimatu who said that “The damage from COVID-19 and climate change brings about destruction and chaos to any nation,”  and of course, DA Secretary William Dar who said that “we need to feed our bodies with the essential nutrients to keep it functioning at top capacity. There is no one miracle food to fight COVID-19 but I encourage the public to do a Whole-food diet, mostly plant based colorful food that you can prepare from scratch, preferrably from your own garden.”

ATAK¹
Ating Tanim Alay Kalikasan (ATAK) is an agro – environmental tree planting program in urban areas of the Philippines that was conceptualized by Plantacion de Sikwate with the following objectives.

* To teach every individual to cultivate and farm fruit bearing trees within their respective properties (backyards).

* To be able to support the different greening program of the country.

* To be a model to everyone on how to make efficient tree  planting possible in urban areas in the Philippines

*To introduce healthy plant cultivation as a beneficial factor for humans and environment. 

*To share our backyards as a place for fruit trees or if we have no spaces to share, convince the neighborhood to plant or help people who has interest in planting.

* The harvests can be transformed into finished products like chocolate
tablets, candies, salads and ice cream.

Thru the help of different government agencies as well as private institutions, the ATAK¹ and ATAK² Program will propagate hundreds of thousands of seedlings to be distributed to all interested constituents of local agencies. Plantacion de Sikwate (PDS) will handle the technical support by conducting series of hands-on training seminars, free consultancies that can be arranged in person or thru social media.

* Any planter may use their harvests for their personal consumption, sell or donate to the designated buying stations that will be established strategically.

* The proceeds from sale will then be allocated for the future environmental project of the host cities or municipalities.

Who can Join this legacy?
Local Government Unit (LGU’s)
Government Organization (GO’s)
Private Companies
Civic Organization (NGO’s)
Religious Organizations
Students Organization
All individuals who are willing to be project volunteers.

WHAT TO PLANT?

– Rationale –
The Philippines is one of the countries situated near the equator that remarkably possess fertile soil, and welcoming weather conditions to grow cacao, avocado, jackfruit and malungay..
We have chosen heirloom cacao (Filipino Aromatico) as one of the trees to plant, because this kind of variety is rare (representing only one (1) percent in terms of population around the world). Hence, this is the most sought after cacao variety by the chocolatiers.

The ATAK² program can help not only chocolate makers but the Filipino Cacao Farmers thru the multiplication of this plant. The program will make the trees available everywhere  where the cacao farmers can source and extract budsticks (scion) as raw material for grafting in the propagation  of this precious plant. The success of the program will also generate PRESTIGE by recognizing the facts of the Manila-Acapulco Galleon Trade from the country’s history.

The AVOCADOS and JACKFRUITS will also be made available everywhere where Filipinos can source and eat one of the best food of the world.
On the other hand, MALUNGAY is rich in medicinal value that can prevent illnesses so the Filipinos can stay healthy and live much longer during this pandemic.

All of the trees are healthy foods for consumption and are beneficial to the environment.

 
What are the crops/plants?

* Malunggay (Moringa Oleifera) is a rising star in the world of super foods. The tiny leaves of this tree may be the world’s most nutritious green. As climate change makes rainfall increasingly unpredictable for low-income farmers in the country, Moringa will become an important tool for helping communities not only nationwide and the world to take control of their own nutrition.  

* Jackfruit (Artocarpus heterophyllus) is one of the favorite fruits of Filipinos. Aside from its smelly sweet taste, it is considered for its high medicinal value. Sometimes the young jackfruit is cooked with coconut milk that can be served in the dining table. Also known as the ‘miracle’ food crop, it could be a replacement for staple crops under threat from climate change.

* Avocado
(Persea americana) is prized for its high nutrient value and is added to various dishes due to its good flavor and rich texture. Avocado fruits contain high potassium level. It is the main ingredient of the famous Mexican Guacamole.

* HEIRLOOM CACAO (Filipino Aromatico™) is one of the chosen mediums in tree planting. Chocolates made from this variety costs more in the global market to to its superb taste, and aroma. It may be remembered that in 1877, “cacao first traveled outside its American homeland to the Philippines aboard Manila galleons.” This kind of cacao variety is called Criollo  By planting this kind of tree we cannot only help the environment but may dearly help preserve this precious and important heritage of the country.

Answering the earlier question on “Does cacao farming begin and end with just money alone?” PDS Chief Executive Officer summarizes it all with
“Ang Sino mang tao na nagtanim ng punong kahoy sa kapaligiran ay may pagmamahal sa kaniyang kapwa, na katulad ng pagmamahal niya sa kanyang sarili ”

For more details on sponsorships, and pricing, call Mel Santos -PDS CEO, at 09175073704 or email plantaciondesikwate@gmail.com


PDS Farm Visit April 25, 2019

WISH GRANTED.

There comes a time when you ask the heavens to give you a sign so you’ll know if your intentions were heard. When you have associated every single rose petal as thee sign, you’d go to bed realizing you’ve been misled. Soon after you’d start questioning your faith.

I have gone to almost every church all over the country and have whispered my intentions. I wished for more Criollo mother tree searches, and more planting materials to complete the Filipino Aromatico trademark variety mix. We needed more Trinitarios (K9, W10, and BR-25s). I was starting to ask; was I worthy of such demands?

From Quezon City, where TeamPDS declared its commitment to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) on preserving the environment by planting High-value crops from open, barren lands, to residential/commercial backyards. Someone urged me to rearrange my schedule.(L-R: Ms. Ann Wynkoop, Ms. Charo Yu (OWI), DENR Sec. Gen. Roy Cimatu, Mel Santos (PDS CEO)

3 hours and change land travel via T-PLEX Expressway, I was welcomed by SIGN #1. “Welcome to MANGALDAN, Pangasinan.”There I met up with PDS member Conrado Soriano (cacao propagator & tablea maker ~ Federico’s Cacao Tablea) Mia a.k.a Ms Cacao met Cons at the Cacao Level Up Seminar in QC last February 21 and told me non-stop that she often visit Pangasinan to swim at the beach, eat at Matutina’s Restaurant, and visit to venerate Our Lady of Manaoag. She knows that part of the North with her eyes closed. She also told me that I should visit Pangasinan when I have the time since I told her that it was one of my WISHES.I was praying to have the chance to meet someone who was dedicated to planting as I was. The 3-hectare farm tour with Cons paved the way for me to meet the Regional Focal Person for Region 1, Mr.  David Rhondal DA R1 — SIGN #2.I later on found out the Cons was able to propagate the Trinitario variety that was one of the Filipino Aromatico trademark variety mixes that would produce the best blend for the country and the world. — SIGN #3. I was happy to see a good supply of scions and budsticks that would help Plantacion de Sikwate’s benefactors.Now that the farm tour was over, Cons drove me about 12 kilometers via Binalonan to a solemn place by majority of the Catholic religion — there I saw SIGN #4. Welcome to Manaoag.
Ms. Cacao told me that there are times when you can vaguely see the face of the Our Lady of Manaoag. She may appear blurred to Her visitors for She knows his or her purpose of visit ~ just passing through for FB photo-ops or in need of Divine intervention.
I climbed several steps to reach the cathedral and from the doors, I clearly saw Our Lady cloaked in GOLD. Thank you for allowing me to see Your beauty today, Our Lady.In closing, we all look for SIGNS to validate our wishes. Little do we know that what we are searching for is right before our very eyes. We become complacent when we thought we have seen the SIGNS we wished for. We forget to say thank you Our Lady or thank you Lord; so allow me to share with you with an excerpt of a prayer called DISTURB US LORD.

“Disturb us, Lord, when we are too well pleased with ourselves,
When our dreams have come true
Because we have dreamed too little, When we arrived safely
Because we sailed too close to the shore.

Disturb us, Lord, to dare more boldly, To venture on wider seas
Where storms will show Your mastery;
Where losing sight of land,
We shall find the stars.
We ask You to push back
The horizons of our hopes;
And to push into the future
In strength, courage, hope, and love.

Thank you for giving me and Plantacion de Sikwate the strength, courage, hope, and love to continue our advocacy. Have a great weekend everyone!

 

With God’s Grace: Bulacan Missionary Church Plants Filipino Aromatico Seedlings

Fr. Nap Baltazar is from my hometown in Bulacan. He wanted to plant cacao in order to feed the street children with champorado. At first you may say why not lugaw like we always do. Yes, that is common but does it have the right vitamins and minerals to last a day?

Champorado with real Filipino Aromatico cacao tablea is filled with antioxidants, vitamins, and other remarkable goodness that grow, go, and glow. We are happy to share that the open area of their church shall plant the heirloom cacao seedlings. In no time, the children will enjoy a good cup of Champorado personally made by the people they look up to.

Now that we are here, remember that cacao/chocolate is considered the food for the gods? Fr. Nap’s presence takes us closer and under the Divine mercy of our Lord. In today’s gospel, the parable of the Prodigal Son was mentioned.

We may have went the other way when we believed that cacao in the country is about to die. We tried different crops and strategies but the real variety knocked at our doors. Those who may have thought we have sold our souls to the devil now opened their eyes that what we offer is the chance to allow farmers gain their grounds and use their voices.

The Prodigal son may be us or you. In someway or another, we have made the wrong decisions, we have faltered. Now that the truth is here, accept and rejoice because you did not seek false paths or false messengers to bring you closer to a bountiful harvest.

Filipino Aromatico Official Carrier


Transporting our Golden babies via the PDS #FilipinoAromatico #Maharlica CARRIER – Philippine Airlines.

Thank you for making sure that our grafted Heirloom cacao seedlings arrive at their destination in Isabela.

Philippine Airlines – The Heart of the Filipino ❤️??

#deliveredbyAir
#preventsMortality
#PDScares
#officialcarrier
#OnwardsPhilippineCacao

CACAO LEVEL-UP SEMINAR @ QC

CACAO LEVEL UP SEMINAR
February 21, 2019 10AM-5PM
3/F TriNoma, EDSA cor. North Ave., Quezon City, Metro Manila

MEL SANTOS
CEO, Plantacion de Sikwate
* Filipino Aromatico Heirloom Cacao
* Planting the Heirloom Cacao (nursery to field)

ROMELA FABULA
President/Owner – Opulento Agriventures
* Cacao Biological farming system
* Biological pest control inputs
* Crop vaccination technology

CHRISTIAN VALDES
Chocolatier, CMV Txokolat
* Chocolate Bar making
* Pinoy Craft of Chocolate bars

Executive Chef CHRISTOPHER CARANGIAN
Food Historian, Jose Rizal University
* Philippine Food and our National Hero Dr. Jose Rizal

*————————————*

SECURE A SEAT for P3,000 (Inclusive of meals and certificate)

To Reserve a Seat, SMS/call:
Mel Santos 09167170207
Mia Concepcion 09155130093

*** All payments are to be settled on or before February 18, 2019 via
Plantacion de Sikwate Cacao Producers Association, Inc.
Banco de Oro, J. Center Mandaue City Branch
Account No. 00419-032-4488
** Once you successfully have deposited your fee, take a photo of the deposit slip and send to PDSCACAO@gmail.com or inbox at PDSCACAO here at FB.

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.

Cacao Level Up Onsite Training, Ubay Bohol

YOU ARE INVITED TO A TWO-DAY ONSITE TRAINING IN UBAY, BOHOL.

VENUE: Remina Cacao Farm, Sinandigan, Ubay, Bohol
TIME: 9AM – 4PM
DATE(s): AUGUST 21-22, 2018

REMINDER: This is an exclusive onsite-training for members of the Ubay Cacao Growers Association. HOWEVER, if you want to participate, kindly prepare your meals.

For inquiries, leave a message with:

MR. MEL SANTOS 0916 717 0207

..–..

DAY 1 of the PDS CACAO LEVEL-UP ONSITE TRAINING for affiliate farmer members of the Ubay Cacao Growers Association.

Remina Cacao Farm, Ubay, Bohol

(click for photos)

(click for more photos)

..–..

 

DAY 2 of the PDS CACAO LEVEL-UP ONSITE TRAINING for affiliate farmer members of the Ubay Cacao Growers Association.

Remina Cacao Farm, Ubay, Bohol

WHAT HAPPENED: More lectures and actual grafting procedures took place.

CONGRATULATIONS new members. #oathtaking

CACAO and COCONUTS.

intercropped for a sustainable livelihood during the PDS CACAO LEVEL-UP ONSITE TRAINING for affiliate farmer members of the Ubay Cacao Growers Association, Remina Cacao Farm, Ubay, Bohol

 

Ang Probinsyano by Mel Santos

As one of the fans of the telenovela ANG PROBINSYANO, I got to chat with an acquaintance I have not seen for quite a time while waiting for my ride home from the airport.

One of the character actors that Coco Martin (Ricardo Dalisay/Carding) singled out to be part of the supporting cast, who happens to be a godson to the late movie king Fernando Poe Jr. — Amay Bisaya.

Our 30-minute chat led us to his interest to support UBAY, BOHOL and learn more about cacao planting since his territory is Samar and Bohol. Amay requested to include him as a participant in the PDS seminars that would happen.

I joked him to bring Coco Martin when he attends the seminar since he (Coco Martin) has a mini-farm inside his mansion in Quezon City full of mango trees, papaya, ampalaya, talong, petchay, sili, among others. Green thumbs and farmers are close to PDS specially those whose farms have already planted the recommended intercrop-able plants with cacao.

I am glad to see friends and acquaintances, here and there, who show interest to our cacao. Perhaps the next person I might bump into again is Renato Hipolito (John Arcilla, of the Heneral Luna fame and good friend of Ms. Cacao who graced our event at the Marriott Hotel last 2016.)

We are all probinsyanos since we come from different regions in the Philippines. I am a Bulakenyo and Cebuano by heart.

Who knows what tomorrow may bring but wherever my passion leads me, I am proud to say I am a PROBINSYANO.

I HELP. I LISTEN. I INSPIRE.

Cherrels for Mi Amour

Planted in our PDS Training Center, Brgy. Atipuluan, Bago,City, Negros Occidental last February 2017. The prolific blooms then have resulted to prolific cherrels now.

Need I sing our song MY CHERREL (cherrie) AMOUR still? Planting continues with these happy hormones. Have a nice day!

#FILIPINOAROMATICO™.
#itstheTIPthatmatters

..–..

FLOWERING STAGE
by: Chris Fadriga

it’s not the quantity of flowers that matters. it’s the cherrels that will bloom after that. flowers from cacao trees, in this photo is a young age of 20 months, is a proof that a rare kind of cacao variety unknown to Filipinos can really thrive in our country.

I personally cared for these babies from seedlings to trees. At the end of the day, some flowers may fall but some will stay. With the right planting technology we follow, these blooms will grow and be one of the most coveted cacao varieties due to its floral scent.

(click here for the photos)

..–..

My CHERREL (cherrie) AMOR.

Soon you will hum the same song when your GOLDEN babies bear their first cherrels.

(watch here)

When in Rome, do what the Romans do


BY: Mel Santos

An old saying where no man should work on a Sunday may perhaps be true – to most. Here at Plantacion de Sikwate, we can’t help but answer even the smallest kinds of questions.

The other day, as the time stamp reflects, we were asked how to become a member. It is our calling to help. To listen and to inspire those who come our way.

We treat each and every person’s queries with confidentiality. Thank you for entrusting to us with your hopes and aspirations.

Thank you to our page admins who do not fail to help.

Well, we are FILIPINOS. We help each other. Anytime, any day. The only Roman in us is that we love chocolates.

“Carob was very famous in ancient Rome. This is comparable to the cocoa and is also used for chocolate-like flavors. The Carob was introduced to the Romans by the ancient Greeks. In fact, the evolution of the Roman diet was highly influenced by the Greeks whose culinary skills were more advanced than the ancient Romans.” (source)

Should you want to become a member of PDS, CLICK THE LINK /