REVISED --- OUR HERITAGE
This is our family’s love story with nature, which is rooted in deep love and respect for the land. Our founders, Roberto & Charita, bought their first farm in 1963 in Tagakpan, Davao City located in the foothills of Mt Talomo. Here, our founder, Mama Charita cultivated the land and planted a lot of fruit trees, coconut, coffee, & bananas; and operated a small piggery. Thereafter, they expanded their operations and invested in additional farmland.
We built the Malagos Garden Resort, a 12-hectare nature-themed park that included a bird sanctuary & a butterfly museum in 1996.
It now houses the first chocolate museum in the country, which opened in 2017. Guests can now experience the Tree-To-Bar guided tour of the museum, farm, and its facilities inside the resort.
Charita's love affair with cacao began in 2003 when we leased a farm in Malagos, Baguio District, Davao City. The farm had existing cacao trees.
Her advocacy was to revive the cacao sector, which had crashed in the 80's. She also wanted to make our very own premium Philippine chocolate instead of just exporting the cacao beans.
She'd always say, "We need to step up. Let's put more value to our raw material. This way we could employ and empower more people, especially the farmers." And that started our incredible journey in making chocolate.
From 2003 - 2012, while we improved on the cacao growing & post harvest practices; built our factory; studied chocolate making, Charita had embarked on a campaign to make cacao a priority crop. She was one of those instrumental in seeking the support of ACDI/VOCA, an organization that gives technical assistance to support cacao & coconut sectors in 2010.
In August 2011, she was the key person in the establishment of CIDAMI (Cacao Industry Development Association of Mindanao) and ran it forward for two years. CIDAMI is a cacao value-chain organization composed of farmers and farmer cooperatives, nursery operators, traders, processors, input suppliers, and academe.
Charita already received three (3) awards for her work in the cacao industry: 2017 Outstanding ASEAN Woman Entrepreneur; 2017 Leaders and Achievers of Davao (LEAD) Award; and 2017-2018 Gawad Saka Award Outstanding Agricultural Entrepreneur, Department of Agriculture.
Today, Philippine cacao, now a priority crop, is experiencing a resurgence. It is thriving with more farmers and new chocolate makers on board. We are very happy to have led this revival.
There is now a concerted effort from both the private and local government to improve the livelihood and well-being of farmers as well as to help put Philippines on the chocolate map of the world.
Our international awards, hard work and efforts have borne fruits. We are very proud to have helped pave the way for Philippine cacao to arrive at where it is now. Mabuhay!