While not known for producing chocolates, the Philippines once again was adequately represented as chocolate experts in Britain recognized one of the country’s entries.
“Malagos Premium 100% Unsweetened Chocolate” won a bronze award under the Best Unflabvoured Drinking Chocolate category at The Academy of Chocolate. Haiti’s Kokoa Collection Hot Chocolate earned the gold award while an entry from Ecuador — Favarger drinking chocolate — received the silver award. Another Ecuadorian entry, Dick Taylor Craft Chocolate and Brazil’s Du Jour Choco Chaud shared the bronze award with Malagos Premium.
“This goes to show that our base chocolate (cocoa liquor) can compete side by side with other chocolates around the world. As far as I know, this is a first for the Philippines,” said Rex Puentespina, chocolate maker and sales and marketing director at Malagos Agri-Ventures Corp. He added that the award came as a surprise as expectations were low for the Filipino entry.
The Academy of Chocolate is an organization founded in 2005 and composed of chocolate experts and advocates who foster the well-being of the production, distribution and promotion of chocolate. This year, a record number of over 500 entries were received from different parts of the world.
The brand has previously won bronze and silver at the event in 2016 and 2015, respectively.
“This award validates the quality of beans and chocolates we have been producing the past two years,” Puentespina said.
In 2012, Malagos started making premium single-origin cocoa liquor in 2012. It sources its raw materials from a cacao nursery certified by the Bureau of Plant Industry.
The mother-and-son tandem of Charita and Rex Puentespina have been working with more than 40 small farmers in Calinan, Davao City and used cacao beans, specifically the Trinitario clones, which is a cross between the Criollo and Forastero varieties, harvested from trees growing in the foothills of Mount Talomo, a report from GMA News said.
The Puentespinas are also known locally for its ornamental plants and cut flowers.
Besides chocolate and plants and flowers, Malagos Agri-Ventures Corp. also operates a nature-themed resort in Davao, and produces artisanal cheeses under the brand Malagos Farmhouse.