It was a good day despite the rains happening around the country.

PDS CEO Mr. Mel Santos flew out from Cebu together with Bohol’s “Cacao Amazona” Ms. Indai Le Cortes of Villa Cortes Criollo Farm.

They visited one of the booming cacao farms in Peñaranda, Nueva Ecija — Golden A Natures Farm.

Indai Le was commissioned to graft the remaining 7,000 rootstocks in order to spread the cacao varieties that demand premium prices for their unique taste and aroma in the Luzon area.

Mr. Mel Santos and Indai Le visited the farm together with the Municipal Agriculture Officer Mr. Ponciano Guillermo and other MAO – Peñaranda personnel.

Be connected.

For inquiries about Golden A Natures Farm’s cacao seedlings for sale, contact goldenAnaturesfarm@gmail.com or 09278771695 (Globe).

A Ratatouille Taste-imonial

Thank you Khalil Corazo for having a ratatouille moment when you tasted this simple craft chocolate bar from Christopher Fadriga.

Thank you Khalil Corazo for having a ratatouille moment when you tasted this simple craft chocolate bar from Christopher Fadriga.

To those who are new to this site, thank you for dropping by and reading through our cacao adventures. Chris Fadriga is Plantacion de Sikwate’s Chairman and National  President.

He has a plantation, nursery, and training camp at Brgy. Atipuluan, Bago City, Negros Occidental.

Here is Kahlil Carazo’s article entitled ”Are these the Best Craft Chocolate Bars in the Philippines?”

Thanks for reading and we hope to have shone some rays of sunshine your way!

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 ❤️??


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!



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)

Because Helping Never Stops

Good Day! Thank you for watching our TV guesting at Everyday Goodwill with our newest PDS member and Friend of PDS Maria Teresa Cancio last Tuesday. It is with pride and joy that the livestream video at Inquirer 990AM reached an impressive 659 views! Just last Tuesday evening, Ms. Cacao told me that an initial 358 viewers tuned in. Thank you to those who watched.

I rested the entire Wednesday even if I really wanted to pay a visit to a cacao farm in Nueva Ecija. The intense thunderstorms prevented me from pushing through but I got to talk with the farm owner Mr. Oscar Paragas and listened about his intent to plant 36,000 seedlings of the Heirloom cacao variety.

Today, as I woke up Ms. Cacao to greet her a Happy Birthday, I prepared another farm visit schedule closer to home in Marilao. Met with Bong Gonzales’ Farm Manager Raffy Herrera. Bong is our PDS Affiliated Farm owner in Brgy. Caysio, Sta. Maria, Bulacan. With me is Ka Isme of the Pangkat Kaunlaran of DZMM’s Usaping Agrikultura sa Kabukiran.

The days away from the Queen of the South — Cebu was indeed productive for PDS. Proved distance can still bridge us closer to the people we care about. As new friendships were made, old friendships strengthened, I head home to Cebu with Happiness in my heart.

All because I helped. I listened. I inspired.

Food and Filipino Hospitality

When a Cacao Producer’s CEO meets the Cacao Authority’s CEO, #CacaoTalks do not stop at R.O.I.s — it goes beyond.

Destination: Philippines

After setting the date for the arrival, Don Alec went on his way.  He is our guest from the Dominican Republic in the Carribeans. Since the place was several miles from the Philippines, I had to Google to locate it.

According to them, “The Dominican Republic is a Caribbean nation that shares the island of Hispaniola with Haiti to the west. It’s known for its beaches, resorts and golfing. Its terrain comprises rainforest, savannah and highlands, including Pico Duarte, the Caribbean’s tallest mountain. Capital city Santo Domingo has Spanish landmarks like the Gothic Catedral Primada de America dating back 5 centuries in its Zona Colonial district.”

First time meetings prompt you to research a bit in order to have a conversation piece. Once I found out that the Dominican Republic is with Spanish heritage, then we are not that far away.

Our forever gourmand Ms. Cacao has endless takes when food is concerned. In Instagram, she is known as recipechick.

Ms. Cacao never missed a beat when she makes a review or even captures a home cooked meal moment. Upon learning that I was to meet with Don, she said that the Dominican Republics share the same love for food — their empanada or pastelitos.In the Philippines, there are numerous versions of the smaller-sized Empanadas; we call it Empanaditas. It comes with different fillings such as mango, durian, beef, torta or pork with potatoes, corned beef or Reuben, chorizo, and even chocolate.

Being able to taste similar foods that a foreign guest have in their country could be one of the conversations to break the ice.

Knowing how similar their food is to ours, I told Chris Fadriga, PDS President that we have to bring Don to places where the Philippine cuisine is known for.

First Stop: BOHOL

Chocolate Hills, Carmen, Bohol

Don’s flight from the Ninoy Aquino International Airport came as a breeze. We immediately waited until our guest arrived in Cebu for us to reach the town of Sagbayan.

It was PDS Bohol Chapter Vice President Cecilia de Leon who did the honors of saying WELCOME TO BOHOL!

We visited the Heirloom Cacao Farm of Indai Felipa Cortes who happened to be one of the newest CERTIFIED MEMBERS of Plantacion de Sikwate. Indai was the one who also introduced Don to us when he came across our OFW Repatriate from Kuwait article on May 21, 2018.

Filipino Aromatico SN-00088 & 89

Hidden in Bohol are two of the several Criollo trees we have tagged in our Search for the Criollo cacao variety.

Don was thrilled to the hilt that he took photos as proof that his travel to our country was worth the miles.For lunch, we brought our guest to KEW Hotel. Duke Miñoza, PDS Certified Member and owner of Buenaventurada Farms,  joined us.

I told our guest to try our shrimps, squid, and the famous Kare Kare; that even the late Anthony Bourdain said our food will soon be known all over the world. Don instantly fell in love with the Kare-Kare, bagoong (shrimp paste) and green mangoes.

Second Stop: BACOLOD

The following day we woke up real early to catch the Fast Cat Ferry for Bacolod. During lunch, we took Don to the outskirts for him to taste the local food. Still, his new found affinity for Kare Kare continued together with shrimps and calamari.

The afternoon’s sun was fierce but that did not hamper Don Alec’s purpose — to see if there is indeed an Heirloom Cacao growing in the Philippines.

The Dominican Republic has rainforests so the cacao will thrive there as well. The only advantage we have over other countries is that the Philippines is right smack in center of the equator making it the favorite residence of the Mexican cacao remnants from the Manila Acapulco Galleon Trade.

After the exhausting day, Don said that he wanted a longer stay in the Philippines. A couple of days was not enough to see our country. And as General McArthur once said, I SHALL RETURN.The experience we had with our guest is one for the books indeed. Simple, close to home, yet inclusive. I am happy that Don appreciated the Pinoy Tour and the chance to come close & personal with our Philippine Heirloom Cacaos.


All these happened because we aim TO HELP. TO LISTEN. TO INSPIRE.

From the Queen of the South to the City of Smiles

by Mel Santos

“Back to work!” said millions of workers today; but not for my PDS. We are a private-led cacao association with a Farmer-centric mindset. So a back-to-work day is not slowing us down.

In fact, I woke up Christopher Fadriga (PDS President, right side wearing a purple collared shirt) around 4AM with a plan in mind. “We’re going to Atipuluan with you.” We then agreed to complete the Pinoy Tour with Cacao Authority’s Don Alec.

Our destination: THE CITY OF SMILES.

Nestor Saludo (left side in a white cap), our PDS Cebu Chapter PRO, kept his jolly side up as we boarded the Fast Cat Ferry in Toledo Port, Cebu which is bound to Don Carlos Port in Bacolod. “I need to do a raindance’ he said. The mighty sun was up and with the looks of it, a sweltering day awaits. But as Ms. Cacao (Mia Concepcion, PDS Media Director) mentioned yesterday, “Rain or Shine, our passion moves forward.” (read here)

The last time I visited Chris’ plantation and nursery farm was last year. I took more time in Luzon and Mindanao while Chris took Visayas. When distance is a problem, you make ways to bridge the gap, right?

LDR or Long Distance Relationship (Ms. Cacao is laughing at the other end of the phone line as to why I know this Millennial term) is hard at first but when you keep the faith and have the communication lines always open, Batanes to Jolo is just a stone’s throw away.

Chris’ cacao plantation and nursery left me in awe. It was a humble nursery last time I saw it but now, it looks like every cacao farmer’s paradise. It may have the same amenities of a cacao farm – water, irrigation canals, wind breakers, intercrops, seedlings and trees. But why is Chris’ Farm such an impressive sight? Is there a secret formula (Humic Acid, Foliar, Feng Shui or the NO TRESPASSING sign) that makes his farm well kept, safe, and conducive to house the Heirloom Cacao National Training Camp?

Well, the Chris Fadriga Plantation and Cacao Nursery has Balrly Valenzuela. (left side in blue basketball jersey) Salamat gid, migo. (Thank you, my friend) for your determination, green thumb, and passion to care for the Filipino Aromatico. Keep up the good work and thank you for supporting us and our very busy President.

Team PDS (Chris, Nestor, and I) have finished lunch with our guest from the Carribeans, Don Alec so we are heading out to the field to explore. We have a lot to accomplish but what a difference a day makes?

The difference is that the PDS Team travels near or far TO HELP. TO LISTEN. TO INSPIRE.

Cherrels and Cacaos to Harvest

Heirloom cacaos have a distinguishable trait. Ms. Cacao calls them the baby bump but it is one of the many physical indications of a fine tasting cacao variety. you may call it a baby bottle nipple for its curved tip.

However, what is more important is the cut test to see white beans to lilac or light pink colored hues. The bean shape will also tell you its story.

Join us as a member and through our cacao adventure, we can plant 20 million trees. It is a challenge we send to all cacao planters. SAVE THE HEIRLOOM. SAVE THE LINEAGE. SAVE ORGANIC CHOCOLATES.