Scene City | Philippine-Australia Friendship Week winds up

IT WAS the last leg of the weeklong observance of the Philippines-Australia Friendship Week when we tagged along to visit three lovely farms planted to cacao in Davao City.

The week started with a kick off ceremony on Monday, May 21, 2018, at 7:30 AM at the Flag raising ceremony and proclamation program at the Davao City Hall by Australia’s Deputy Head of Mission to the Philippines, Mat Kimberley and City Administrator Zuleika Lopez.

Australian Ambassador Amanda Gorely and party visiting Cacao Academy at Catalunan Grande

Australian Ambassador Amanda Gorely and party visiting Cacao Academy at Catalunan Grande

At 1:00 PM Deputy Head of Mission Mat Kimberley visited the DepEd Region 11′s National Educators Academy of the Philippines or NEAP located along Quirino Avenue, after which a visit was made at 2:00 PM for Brigada Eskwela at Palma Gil Elementary School, also at Quirino Avenue, with DepEd Asec. Revsee Escobedo, DepEd 11 Regional Director Alberto Escobarte, with the Australia Global Alumni.

Sunday, May 27 was a busier weekend for the group as Australian Ambassador Amanda Gorely toured three areas devoted to growing cacao in Davao City. Meeting place was the Pasalubong Center along Palma Gil Street, where the various chocolate products from Davao City were displayed and sold. The group was made up of Davao City Tourism Officer Gene Rose Tecson, Edith Isidro of the Philippine Information Agency, Davao City Government representatives, Roan Abasolo of the City Information Office and members of the Australia Global Alumni. We had a tour guide from Guide Davao during the trip to the Davao Cacao Academy in Catalunan Grande, Gran Verde Farm of the Holganzas and ended up for lunch at the Malagos Garden Resort and the Chocolate Museum.

The Cacao Academy tour was hosted by Val Turtur of CIDAMI and member of the Australia Global Alumni, having taken agriculture courses in Australia. Wit Holganza of Gran Verde Farm took us on a quick tour around the five-hectare farm planted to cacao, mango, vegetables and other farm products. We also tasted her Granola sweets using cacao nibs.

Lunch at Malagos Garden Resort was hosted by Charita Puentespina with her sons Dr. Bo and Angel and daughter in law, Olive, who makes the best cheese in this part of the country. Ambassador Amanda Gorely participated in the “Make Your Own Chocolate” activity at the Chocolate Museum with Australian Deputy Head of Mission Mat Kimberley. Lunch was also attended by Councilor Al-Ryan Alejandre, Gene Rose Tecson and Susabel Reta.

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