Beyond being chocolate lovers, Filipinos love homegrown products. They take pride in taking pleasure with local cuisines, sweets, and drinks. Joined by Cebu Bloggers Society, The Metro Stores at Ayala Center Cebu featured local tablea or chocolate brands made with a world-class artisan. The highlighted products, together with the visionary owners, are proudly from Cebu, Bohol, and Davao.
Owned by multi-awarded Rex Puentespina, native from Davao, Malagos Agri-Venture Corporation offers “from-tree-to-bar” cacao products. The highly innovated technology they use to create 72 to 85 percent dark chocolates attempts to preserve the natural aroma of cacao beans. In spite of his success locally and internationally, Mr. Rex gives the credit of creating high-quality confectionery to the combined efforts of his farmers.
A quick-witted, straightforward Boholana (a woman from Bohol island), Dalareich Polot of Dalareich Chocolate House refines her mother’s tablea brands to accommodate the taste buds of the millennials. While maintaining the native taste of cacao, she handcrafted Ginto chocolate bars like a real chocolatier artisan. With a big heart for the locals and a millennial herself, Ms. Dalareich envisions “to be the best chocolate maker that will put Philippines, especially Bohol, to the World’s Chocolate Map.” And of course, you know it: Bohol is the home of Chocolate Hills.
Tatak Argaoanon (proudly branded from Argao, Cebu), Guilang Tableya showcases the unique aroma of homegrown tablea products. The local business is started by Miguela “Guilang” Lanutan in 1948 by experimenting with cacao beans for various recipes. The dark black seeds can create bittersweet drinks and goodies, such as sikwate (hot chocolate), champorado, cakes, and pastries. Edgar Lanutan, Guilang’s son and current successor, emphasizes the preservation of the smokey fragrance of their products. To help the environment, Mr. Edgar has started using paper materials to cover their one-of-a-kind chocolate brands.
Committed to bringing “the taste of home,” Family’s Choice puts tableya coins on the market from our native cacao beans. They take pride in delivering top-notch chocolate powder rich in polyphenol antioxidants perfect for fudge brownies and tableya cupcake. A dozen of tableya sachets are available for everyday delecacies, such as champorado and hot choco.
From the name itself, Mandaue’s Nutricious endeavors to provide healthy and premium chocolate delicacies, such as Tablea de Mandaue and Champorado Porridge. They advocate in serving organic and natural goodies not only in Cebu but in the whole Philippines and the world as well. Aside from cacao treats and delights, the company specializes in creating savory polvoron, dried peanuts, baked peanuts, peanut butter, and peanut bar masareal using local ingredients to preserve the natural taste.
Aiming to add more prestige for Davao, NutraRich exhibits the finest of local cacao products from the rich soil of the Philippine South. During the owner’s talk at the Metro, she emphasizes the good benefits of pure, unsweetened chocolates, backed up with a thesis study from nursing students.
Also adding to the growing pedigree of chocolatiers from the South, Cacao de Davao contributes to making chocolate products healthy, free from preservatives, additives, and fillers. Since Davao is also a home various Filipino fruits, the company blends the taste of their brands with chili, calamansi, coffee, mango, banana, coconut, and the famous durian while preserving 70% of organic dark chocolate.
Metro Supermarkets nationwide make these world outstanding chocolate brands available for every Filipino home. You don’t need now to go to Belgium to buy expensive cacao products because our own artisans have created affordable, world-class chocolates made with the palate of a Western connoisseur.