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Guide to Chocolates in the Philippines: Where to Get the Best, Farm Tours, Local Brands

Guide to Chocolates in the Philippines: Where to Get the Best, Farm Tours, Local Brands

Verified Expert

Dalareich Chocolate House’s signature products Photo by Dalareich Chocolate House

The Philippines' love affair with chocolates is one that developed, progressed, and grew stronger through the years. Read this article to know where the best cacao producers are, Philippine farm tours to add in your itinerary, and local chocolate brands to try. 

Cacao was first brought in the Philippines by the Spaniards in during the mid-17th century. Theobroma cacao, the scientific name of Cacao literally means “food of the gods”, a true testament to the undeniable impact of chocolates in people’s daily lives even during ancestral times. 



It was a match made in heaven since the country’s climate is within 20 degrees of the equator – perfect enough for cacao trees to grow and flourish. This made the Philippines the first Southeast Asian country to plant them.

However, despite the Philippines ’ competitive advantage in terms of location and climate, it has only been during recent years that the local chocolate industry has taken flight. 

Cacao from Malagos Garden in DavaoPhoto by Malagos Garden Resort Davao

Filipino pride chocolate brands like Malagos, Theo + Philo, Auro, and MS3 have been making a mark in the global scene as they consistently reap international awards and recognition.

Handcrafted with pure passion and dedication from talented local chocolate entrepreneurs, these chocolate brands are truly products to be proud of. 

With the combined team effort of the relevant government agencies, world-class chocolate companies, and hardworking local farmers – no doubt, Filipino-made pure chocolate is on the rise.

Main Producers of Cacao in the Philippines

There are a number of locations in the Philippines that are known as key producers of cacao. Add these destinations to your travel list if you're a chocolate lover: 

Davao Region

Cacao beans prodeuced in DavaoPhoto by Malagos Garden Resort Davao

Davao is dubbed as the Cacao Capital of the Philippines because of the region's world-renowned quality of cacao. Home to the award-winning local chocolate producer, Malagos Chocolate, the Davao region is responsible for about 80 percent of the country’s cacao production. 

It boasts more than 20,000 hectares of cacao farms with the largest area of 6,060 hectares located in Davao City. 

Through the years, Davao takes pride in bringing the Philippines in the forefront of the international market as it continues to produce the finest cocoa beans worthy of the world’s attention and recognition. 

The most sought after Malagos Chocolate and the young, emerging Auro Chocolate, are proof that Davao has what it takes to shine alongside international brands.

Passion and hard work from the local farmers, continuous quench for innovative ways of producing world-class chocolates, and combined with the city’s perfect climate made up the ideal equation to put Davao in its well-deserved limelight. 

Batangas

Chocolate drink from Tablea in Batangas

Filipinos’ love of chocolate dates as far as the Spanish era and history itself shows that as early as the 17th century, hot chocolate made from “tablea” is served during breakfast on special events. 

The province of Batangas is famous for producing “tsokolate tablea”, a thick hot chocolate specially made from cacao balls. “Tablea” means tablet in Spanish and “tsokolate” is the Filipino term for chocolate. 

Considered to be one of the top producers of the best quality of cacaos in the Philippines, Batangas still holds the crown when it comes to the production of this deliciously good local treat.

Made from dried local cocoa beans which are roasted and grounded for a few hours to achieve a rich, chocolatey taste. Most often, a local sugar called muscovado is added to achieve its consistency before it is shaped into balls or tablets.

Cebu

Cebu has always been on the top list for tourism destinations in the country, but it is also on its way to claiming a spot in the list of top Philippine producers of world-class cacao. 

Criollo, popularly known as the “cacao Bisaya” is considered the rarest amongst the cacao varieties in the country. Fortunately, local farms and plantations in Cebu grow them. Its strong, aromatic, rich and bittersweet taste gives it the uniqueness that sets it apart from chocolates from other countries.

Cebuano’s love affair with chocolate is believed to have originated from the legend of Maria Cacao, a story about a deity that lived in the mountain of Argao, Cebu. Her palace was surrounded by cacao trees and she would harvest them and sail down through the rivers of Cebu where her ship would magically turn into gold.

Most would say that the famous Argao tablea was a product of years of craftsmanship passed from one generation to another.  The magic of the folklore continues as all eyes are still on Cebu, reaching new heights in making yet another delicacy world-famous aside from their lechon.

Bohol

Cacao tree in BoholPhoto by Dalareich Chocolate House

The exquisite tourist attraction Chocolate Hills put Bohol on the top tourism destinations in the Philippines. But this island province has also been recently recognized in the global scene because of their cacao.

The homegrown brand Dalareich in Bohol won in the prestigious Academy of Chocolate Awards in London which uncovered the massive potential of the province to produce world-class chocolates at par with the leading countries such as Switzerland, Belgium, and Germany. 

Part of the local tableya’s charm is brought about by the hard work and efforts of the farmers who plant, harvest, and process the cacao beans to create different kinds of flavors – each unique in their own ways.

Truly, Bohol has a lot more to offer than Chocolate Hills. It’s set to treat us with locally handcrafted, high-quality chocolates worthy of the world’s attention too. 

South Cotabato

South Cotabato is also another key player in cacao production as it houses the equally well-known Kablon Farm. Situated in the municipality of Tupi, this growing and copious farm has become a large source of the Trinitario cacao through the years. 

As the primary supplier of cocoa beans for world-renowned chocolates like Solikiki, Duffy’s Land, Krak, and Dormousel; Kablon Farms have played an utterly significant role in making sure that they produce the best and finest ingredients in the market. 

Cacao Farm Tours

If you want to deep dive into learning more about cacao production in the country, these cacao farm tours in the Philippines should be in your travel itinerary: 

Malagos Garden Resort

Malagos Garden Resort in DavaoPhoto by Malagos Garden Resort Davao

Malagos Chocolate is the most popular locally made chocolate brand in the Philippines. Not only known among Filipinos, but it has also already captivated the hearts and meticulous tastes of the global chocolate lovers with its superb quality and authentic, distinct flavor. 

The Malagos Garden Resort is the fruit of labor of its founders Roberto and Charita Puentespina and has been welcoming guests since 1994. Deemed as one of Davao’s top tourist spots, young and old alike will surely be treated to a day of exploration as you tour around their very own Chocolate Museum.  

The whole place will surely satisfy all of your senses as you savor the beautiful sight of its flora and fauna, enjoy the fresh ambiance surrounded by nature, and fulfill your chocolate fantasy in the Chocolate Laboratory where you can create your own chocolate delight. You can join Davao tours that usually include a visit to Malagos Garden Resort. 

Cacao Culture Farms

Cacao Tree from Cacao Culture Farms in DavaoPhoto by Cacao Culture Farms

Cacao Culture Farms is the brainchild of couple Kenneth and Shiela Reyes-Lao who decided to leave the hustle and bustle of the city and moved to Davao City. They came across the idea of venturing into the promising business of chocolate-making and the rest was history. 

The 3-hectare farm can be found in Calinan Davao and initially serves as a Plant Nursery Operator. Nowadays, it serves as a hub for post-harvest processing and cacao product manufacturing for local farmers. 

Gran Verde Family Farm

Tour of the Gran Verde Family FarmPhoto by Gran Verde Family Farm

This farm in Davao City will treat you to a view of a variety of flowers, plants, fruits, and vegetables. The tour in Gran Verde Family Farm will not be complete without learning the ins and outs of local agriculture whilst sipping a cup of a delicious, warm cup of house-made “sikwate”, a local term for hot chocolate made from the cacao that the family grows in their plantation. 

Gran Verde Family Farm is a big advocate of giving back to the community. The farm has provided a source of livelihood for local farmers while supplying natural and healthy food to the community in the area.

Dalareich Chocolate House

Chocolate production in Dalareich Chocolate HousePhoto by Dalareich Chocolate House

Dalareich's success story started in the province of Bohol. Born out of passion and love for their family, the couple Mr. and Mrs. Ricardo Polot, together with their daughter Dalareich Polot, founded the company until it reached its unwavering popularity today.

Last January 2019, Dalareich Food Products brought pride to the country as it received the gold awards in the prominent international London-based Academy of Chocolate Awards 2019. 

A trip around the farm will definitely make you fall in love with their chocolates even more as you learn about the inspiring journey of the owner Dalareich, discover the process of chocolate making, and listen to the brief history of cacao in Bohol and the rest of the Philippines. 

Revel in a firsthand experience when you visit the cacao farm and witness a day in the life of their hardworking farmers. Plus, a guided tour to see and taste the infamous cacao fruits and some of Dalareich’s signature products.  

Alindanaw Farms Cacao

Cacao tree in Alindanaw Farms CacaoPhoto by Alindanaw Farms Cacao

Alindanaw Farm is located in Calbayog City, Western Samar.  The farm welcomes visitors who wish to go on a full-day escape in nature with the thousands of cacao trees planted in the land. The farm also takes pride in creating their very own local sweet treat called Choco Jam. 

Bakaan Farm Training Center, Inc.

Bakaan Farm Training Center in Ilocos SurPhoto by Bakaan Farm

Situated in the town of Salcedo in Ilocos Sur, Bakaan Farm showcases different types of agricultural crops, plants, and vegetables. Visitors, young and old alike, can go on a tour around the farm and learn about planting and cacao processing.

The Chocolate Chamber

Owned by the Chocolate Queen of Cebu herself, Raquel Choa, this boutique café will surely transport you the chocolate haven of your dreams. 

A one-of-a-kind experience awaits as you savor their uniquely delectable, award-winning chocolates with a long history of labor and love. Other items in their menu include hard to resist cookies, bars, flourless cake, and chocolate pizza. 

Local Chocolate Brands to Try

You don't have to make your own chocolate treats out of Philippine cacao since there are a number of local chocolate producers in the country that you can purchase and take home as souvenirs. Here are some of the most popular local chocolate brands that you should check out: 

Theo + Philo

Theo + Philo chocolate productsPhoto by Theo & Philo Artisan Chocolates

Theo + Philo is one of the most loved homegrown artisan chocolates in the country. Its name comes from Theo, the cacao bean’s scientific name, while Philo means love. 

Some of its fearlessly exotic flavors are Dark Chocolate with Calamansi (Philippine lime), and Dark Chocolate with Green Mango and Salt. You can try the Chili Chocolate flavor if you're adventurous. 

Malagos

Malagos ChocolatePhoto by Malagos Chocolate

Undoubtedly, Malagos Chocolate is the industry’s leading chocolate producer with several international awards under its belt. 

High-class quality is of utmost priority for Malagos and they take their “tree to bar” approach to heart – ensuring that they create chocolates at par with international standards. 

Tigre y Oliva

Chocolate products by Tigre y OlivaPhoto by Tigre y Oliva Chocolate

Made from cacao sourced from Davao, Tigre Y Oliva is known for handcrafted, single-origin chocolate bars. Proudly Philippine-made in the sunny province of La Union, this emerging chocolate brand should be on every chocolate lover’s must-try list.

Their bestsellers include the Sta. Maria and Sto. Tomas. 

Auro

Chocolates from AuroPhoto by Auro Chocolate

Auro Chocolate is another proudly Filipino chocolate company that is raising the bar high when it comes to creating chocolates.

Offering a wide variety of flavors that will surely make you crave for more, Auro fulfills any chocolate lover’s wish with its plain dark and white chocolates. They also have chocolate bars with extra treats like cashews, cacao nibs, and banana chips. 

Magdalena’s Cacao Bean Chocolates

Magdalena's Cacao Bean Chocolates productsPhoto by Magdalena's Cacao Bean Chocolates

Created using locally sourced and produced cacao, vanilla, and raw cane sugar, Magdalena’s Cacao Bean Chocolates promises a unique artisanal experience. Their decadent creations don’t come in single bars, rather they are in the form of chocolate clumps.

Risa

Chocolate products from RisaPhoto by Risa Chocolates

Risa chocolates are the kind that will leave a good impression and will make you want for more. They produce premium handmade chocolates with no other than the high quality of cacao beans from the province of South Cotabato. 

Cacao Culture

Chocolate products from Cacao CulturePhoto by Cacao Culture Farms

Cacao Culture is another Davao producer known for Cocoa Butter and Chunks, Roasted Cacao Nibs with Coconut Sugar, Chocolate Covered Mango Strips among other superior quality products that you should not miss. 

Lerio Chocolates

Chocolate bars from Lerio ChocolatesPhoto by Lerio Chocolates

Lerio Chocolates are crafted from cacao beans, locally grown, and carefully selected in Rosario, Agusan Del Sur. The balance of sweetness and rich cocoa flavor easily makes Lerio everyone’s favorite. 


Explore the Philippines' Rising Cacao Industry

Cacao nibs from Malagos ChocolatePhoto by Malagos Chocolate

The future looks bright for the local chocolate industry as Filipino chocolatiers continue to innovate and break new ground to bring the Philippine’s artisanal chocolates to greater heights. 

Immerse yourself in the chocolate industry in the Philippines by joining cacao farm tours and supporting local chocolate brands. Check out Philippine tours that you can add to your cacao exploration.