RHONA GOC-ONG-VILLARIASA of Sunstar
ANOTHER “first” will again highlight Davao City that will make every Davaoeño prouder. This November 18, the first ever Chocolate Museum in the country will open its doors at Malagos Garden Resort, Baguio District in Davao City.
In an interview, CharissePuentespina, the managing director of Malagos Resort said with the opening of the Chocolate Museum, they are expecting that it will help promote their products and will open more doors of opportunities in the market.
She added that it took time before they finalize the plan of putting up the Chocolate Museum which is built inside the resort.
The 230-square-meter museum can be found beside the chocolate factory inside the Malagos Resort. “We think this is something exciting kasingawalangibang chocolate museum in Mindanao and the Philippines. Most of the people nanagpupuntaditosa resort are asking kung paanoba raw naminginagawayung chocolates dito. So we decided to put up the museum wherein they can see paanoba [ito] gawin and at the end of their tour, they can make their own chocolates.”
Puentespina added that the goal of opening a Chocolate Museum is also to help the small medium entrepreneurs. “We are proud that thru cacao beans, we can make chocolate products and sold them. The idea is to encourage the people to do the same such as having a small cacao then turned them into tablea or chocolate that they can also sell.”
Before the chocolate products of the Puentespinas made its name internationally, they started making few for the local market till their chocolate business prospered.
To sustain their growing demand of cacao beans, the Puentespina's has a wide cacao plantation in Calinan area. But Puentespina encourages other cacao growers to plant more cacao trees to prevent scarcity of supply.
The distinct taste of Malagos Chocolates were able to get numerous international awards such as the 2016 Great Taste Award in United Kingdom, 2016 Academy of Chocolate Award, 2015 International Chocolate Award in Germany, and 2013 Asean Best Food Products Recognition Awards in Singapore.
Puentespina cacao beans are produced in the foothills of Mount Talomo where the land is teeming with fruit crops.
The land is rich with fertile soil and blessed with a favorable climate which is just right to give the cacao trees an ideal condition to produce beans. For now, Davao City is positioned to be the country's cacao capital. Cacao is one of the priority commodities identified by the Department of Agriculture.
In a data, the country has 23,000 hectares of cacao-producing areas, 21,000 hectares of which are in Mindanao. Davao City has a total of 16,000 farmers devoted to cacao farming and covers a total of 6,000 hectares.
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