Bean to Bar Chocolate Festival (PDS as presenter)

Hello Cacao Growers! We have just finished with the Bean to Bar Chocolate Festival last April 30 when PDS was invited as one of the presenters. As early was March 30, we asked our PDS Cacao Community for their support. It was also great to have received countless requests from different Government agencies. To all who have joined, remember the PDS letterhead we sent? Having the chance to use the logo of the PCAF was a humbling moment for us.

We are Plantacion de Sikwate Cacao Producers Association, Inc. (PDSCPAI); an association initiated by the Brothers of the Sacred Heart of Davao City on June 2014.  Our advocacy is to teach Cacao Farmers who believe and support the natural way of farming to produce chocolate that is healthy for consumers.  We represent the Philippine Council for Agriculture and Fisheries (PCAF) National Sectoral Committee – Commercial Crops-Cacao Industry Development Sub-Committee (NSC-ComCrops-CIDSC) as Vice Chairperson.

We are a non-stock, non-profit organization duly registered with Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) with a mission to do continuous research and development, share the best practices in production, processing, profit-making and sharing, engage in Human Resource Development and develop linkages and networking.  — as our letter went.


It was indeed an unforgettable sight when 64 participants flocked to Glorietta 2 that morning. Thank you so much for making that trip so worthwhile. One of the early birds at the Bean to Bar Chocolate Festival. Thank you Maam Donna Urriza for attending! It was a long way from Nagcarlan, Laguna and we are so happy that you arrived safely. Nice meeting you!


It was such a delight to see these people meet for the first time. (L-R) Maam Corazon del Mundo (PDS Member), Mr. Manuel Carpio (Agropower and PDS Technical & Research Officer 2 – Luzon), Ms. Monette Cerda, Mr. Basil Bolinao (PDS VP – Luzon) and Mr. Linus Lee (Agropower). At the background you could also see that Dr. Fernando Zialcita arrived early for his late afternoon speaker slot at the event.


Ms. Estela Duque, Event Organizer and Founder of Moulinet Chocolat (UK) opened the Bean to Bar Chocolate Festival. Here, she shared the Festival Goals wherein “this ground-breaking initiative celebrates Philippine history and heritage; focusing on traditions and landscapes — both rural and urban that have enabled cacao to thrive in this country.”

Ms. Duque continued on by saying that (the chocolate festival)
“positions history and trade as tools, not merely for promoting Philippine Fine/Flavour and Heirloom Cacao as a brand and commodity but also for understanding the international community’s role in promoting social cohesion and positive regional identity in the country.”


Part One  (Programme of Activities) dealt on a narrative of the emerging fine/flavour cacao sector (FFC) of the Philippines.

Speaker 1 was Mr. Mark Ocampo. Mark is the Managing Director of Auro Chocolate (PH). He showed a video called Empowering Farmers. Their cacao farm is located in Davao at Almacen, Kilometer 11, Catalunan Pequeno, Talomo and offices at Fabtech Bldg., Santiago St., Paseo de Magallanes Commercial Center, Makati  City and Block 2F Lot 3, Phase 1 Filinvest Technology Park, Calamba City, Laguna.A1


Speaker 2 was Mr. Melencio Santos. Vice Chairman of Plantacion de Sikwate Cacao Producers Association, Inc. He introduced what PDS was also about and continued on showing the pride of the largest cacao association in the country to date. The following photos *see below these are the ones Mr. Mel Santos presented at the event.





Click here for The Search for Criollo Video








A big round of applause from people who mattered most. It was an exhilarating feeling for the people who made the video possible. PDS would like to thank the men and women who supplied Ms. Cacao the inspiration, ideas and photos as she did the video.

Speaker 3 was Mr. Steven DeVries. He is the owner of DeVries Chocolates from Denver, Colorado, USA. A Bonafide Member, mentor and one of the advisers of PDS, he discussed different areas of the chocolate process from bean to bars. He also showed how the heirloom cacaos should be guarded and given special care. He happens to be one of the founders of the Heirloom Cacao Project in the United States of America.





Here are photos from PDS participants during the event. Many thanks to all of you who have showed support to PDS.

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This song was part of the Criollo Search video. That presentation rocked the mall with a song everyone grew up with! [embedyt][/embedyt]

Lunch was held at Cabalen, just upstairs from the event proper. The event entrance and food ticket looked like this. Ms. Cacao kept on saying that “Do not lose your golden ticket! Just like in the Willy Wonka Chocolate Factory, lose the ticket, lose the F-o-o-d.” Here are some photos that were shared.18052778_120300003321720839_1784242045_n

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After lunch, there were three speakers who discussed History, Culture, and Trade of Philippine Cacao.

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