Cream of the Crop: Davao’s Journey to Becoming the Cacao Capital of the Philippines

Cream of the Crop: Davao’s Journey to Becoming the Cacao Capital of the Philippines

The local cacao industry is making waves in the world market with brands like Malagos Chocolate by Puentespina Farms reaping international awards. There is no stopping the allure and fascination with chocolates, and almost everyone with a sweet tooth has his or her own favorite. But what makes Davao cacao special? In celebration of World Chocolate Day, we put a spotlight on the city’s newest signature produce. Best Cacao Variety Filipino-made pure chocolate on the rise Valente Turtur, executive director of the Cacao Industry Development Association of Mindanao, Incorporated (CIDAMI), believes that one of Davao’s biggest milestones to date is a recognition that cacao beans from the region are among the world’s best. The Philippine cacao bean was recently selected as one of the top 50 samples for the 2017 Edition of the Cocoa of Excellence Programme, the entry point for the International Cocoa Awards in Paris, France. “What is the significance of this? Davao cacao is now one of the sought-after beans by chocolate makers from the U.S., Japan, and Europe,” Turtur shares. Davao produces about 80 percent of the country’s cacao. Based on aggregate data from the Philippine Provincial Agriculturist Offices (PAGROs), the Davao region has more than 20,000 hectares of cacao farms, with Davao City having the largest area of 6,060 hectares. With a good crop and a ready world and local market, Turtur is optimistic about opportunities to bring the cacao industry to greater heights. “Our thrust right now is to focus on the production of quality cacao. To get a good price, our cacao must be categorized as fine or flavor cacao. In five...
Taste of Comfort: Our Picks for the Best Rainy-Day Dishes

Taste of Comfort: Our Picks for the Best Rainy-Day Dishes

The upside of the rainy season? It’s the perfect opportunity to slow down and savor comfort food that warms the body and soul. We went around the Alsons Properties community to ask people’s favorite rainy-day dishes. Here are their top picks: Dencia’s Lugaw and Tokwa’t Baboy Dencia’s is a Davao institution for good reason: it’s home to arguably the best lugaw and tokwa’t baboy in town. The restaurant also offers other comfort food such as pancit and fresh lumpia, among other Filipino-Chinese favorites. “Dencia’s is the perfect place to duck in and wait out the rain. The restaurant has been in Davao for decades yet people never seem to get tired of it. Their food always hits the spot.” –Eric de la Costa Ladislawa resident Dencia’s is located at Gen. Luna St., Davao City. Open from 7AM -9PM. Call (082) 227-6777 for inquiries. A classic pairing: lugaw and tokwa’t baboy New Davao Famous’ Gulame Another rainy day staple is New Davao Famous Restaurant’s gulame. Packed with texture and flavor, this beef and tripe noodle soup has a distinct tangy and spicy taste. “Not a lot of people may be familiar with this dish, but I’m sure the older Dabawenyos know what I’m talking about. One bowl of gulame will surely make you sweat away the rainy day.” -Conrado De Jesus Woodridge resident New Davao Famous Restaurant is located at 401, R. Magsaysay St., Davao City. Open from 6:30AM-9:30PM and 5:00PM-10:00PM. Call (082) 227-1972 for inquiries. Gulame is a rich beef broth like no other Seafood Sate Soup Myk, the chef-owner of Unit 206 Damosa, goes for a decidedly Asian...
7 Last-Minute Presents Your Mom Will Love

7 Last-Minute Presents Your Mom Will Love

What do you give to the most important woman in your life? That’s the dilemma many people face when Mother’s Day approaches. If you’re still struggling to pick out a gift, this guide is just what you need: Sow & Gro Garden Kit Each grow-it-yourself kit contains a planting guide, a coconut husk pot, seed packets, and fertilizer, allowing your mom to easily grow organic herbs and veggies she can use in her cooking. Available at ECHOstore, Unit 1, Lenel Building, Robinsons Highlands, Diversion Road, Buhangin, Davao City. My Home Kitchen’s Strawberry Luxe Box The sweetest way to express your love for mom? With chocolate-dipped strawberries garnished with 24-karat gold leaf, of course! For orders, please visit www.myhomekitchen.com.ph Bouquet from Fleurs Du Jour Leave it to Fleurs Du Jour to arrange the loveliest bouquets for your mom. This Mother’s Day, they are offering pastel-themed arrangements of Ecuadorian roses, Holland tulips, and other premier flowers. Ready-made arrangements are available at Fleurs Du Jour booths at Abreeza Mall G/F Supermarket Hallway and at SM Lanang Premier G/F from May 11-13. La Chula Clutch Bag For something fun and functional, give your mom one of La Chula’s stylish clutch bags. All their products are handwoven and proudly Davaoeño made.  For orders, message La Chula: m.me/ LaChulaPhilippines or visit their booth this weekend at the Davao Souk Summer Fair at Sea Green Cafe+Boutique Rooms, Jacinto Extension, Davao City KitchenAid Mixer KitchenAid mixers are both a cooking essential and a work of art, making them the perfect present for mom. Even better, they’re holding a special sale just for Mother’s Day. KitchenAid is located at 3rd Floor...
Homegrown is Best: A Primer on Backyard Gardening

Homegrown is Best: A Primer on Backyard Gardening

When it comes to produce, Davaoeños are spoilt for choice. From cacao, to arugula, to passion fruit, to durian—the number of crops that thrive on Davao soil is simply astounding. For others, though, enjoyment comes not just from sampling this bounty, but from growing it, too. With enough space, the right tools, and proper know-how, you too can start a backyard garden. Take a look at this guide we’ve prepared: TOOLS OF THE TRADE Have these tools and supplies ready before you get planting: Trowel Shovel Garden shears Hoe Rake Wheelbarrow Water hose Watering can Gloves Fertilizer WHAT TO GROW  Potatoes This hardy crop requires minimal space and attention, yet produces a pound or two per square foot. Just water your plot to keep the soil barely moist, and apply low-nitrogen or organic fertilizer every so often.   Tomatoes Tomatoes are another prolific grower that will do well in your backyard garden. Locate the plot in an area that gets at least six hours of sunlight a day. Plant the seedlings at least 12 inches deep and 18 inches apart. Give the plants just enough water to keep the soil moist.   Radishes Cool-weather vegetables like radishes are a great fit for upland areas. Sow the seeds about six inches apart, and cover with a half-inch of soil. Water the soil until it is evenly moist but not soaking. Radishes need about six to seven hours of sunlight each day.   Corn Yes, you can grow corn in your yard! Make sure to fertilize the soil generously beforehand. Plant the kernels about 1.5 inches deep and 12 inches apart....
Fast Four: Alsons Properties Residents Share Their Favorite Sojourn Destinations

Fast Four: Alsons Properties Residents Share Their Favorite Sojourn Destinations

Travel and time. Two of life’s greatest luxuries. As it often happens, though, a hectic schedule means having to reign in our wanderlust. Luckily, Davao City is proximate to many wonderful attractions that are just a few hours away by car or plane. In the spirit of summer, these residents of Alsons Properties communities share their favorite jaunts. CARINE, Las Terrazas homeowner Q: What is your favorite summer destination near Davao City? Why? A: The raw beauty of Samal’s Vanishing Island is unique in this day and age. Only during low tide can the island be visited, and the water reaches up to the ankles only. Q: What’s your most memorable experience there? A: It was seeing a fisherman and his whole family prepare their lunch. They cracked open freshly caught sea urchin, and even offered it to us. It was the freshest and tastiest urchin I’ve ever tasted. Q: What one tip can you give first-time visitors? A: Rent a boat for the whole day, and bring snorkeling gear. Visit Vanishing Island, and the numerous snorkeling sites around Samal and Talikud Islands. BIANCA, Woodridge Park homeowner Q: What’s your favorite summer destination near Davao City? Why? A: Bohol will always be on top of my list. I always look forward to its pristine beaches, the affordable and scrumptious local cuisine, and the gregarious nature of Boholanos. It also holds a special place in my heart because my maternal grandparents were born and raised there. Q: What’s your most memorable experience there? A: Our clan reunions where I used to dance ballet during the program. Also, spending time with...
Alsons Dev Breaks Ground for Northtown Phase 1 Cabaña

Alsons Dev Breaks Ground for Northtown Phase 1 Cabaña

In photo: (First Row L-R) Alsons Dev EVP Rosvida A. Dominguez, VP and GM Eric de la Costa, Senior Project Officer Lara Sabandal, Senior Project Officer Jeanette Cabaya, Construction Superintendent Alex Gornes, AGM for Business Units Jolla Soriaga; (Second Row L-R) AGM for Management Services Amado Bernardino, Construction Management Dept. Manager Juan Claudio Tinga, AGM for Operations Conrado de Jesus, and Construction Superintendent Placido Fabillo On February 22, 2018, Alsons Dev broke ground for the Cabaña, a 4,516-sqm leisure amenity situated in Phase 1 of Northtown’s residential neighborhood. Designed in partnership with MANA Architecture + Interior Design, an award-winning firm based in Manila, the Cabaña features a gazebo, and kiddie and adult swimming pools for the convenience of nearby residents. It also makes for a charming venue for more intimate gatherings. Aside from the Cabaña, Northtown boasts of The Club at Northtown located in Phase 2, a 2.5-hectare clubhouse complex featuring world-class facilities for wellness, events, and sports. To stay updated on developments in Northtown, follow Alsons Properties on Facebook or subscribe to our...