Award-winning Malagos Chocolate put the spotlight on the endemic birds of the Philippines in its new packaging. The Davao-based company commissioned illustrations of the endemic birds that inhabit the area surrounding its farms in Davao for its 85-gram boxes and 25-gram pouches. The packaging includes informative descriptions of the birds and their habitat.
“It’s so important to let people know about how dependent we all are on nature. The presence of these birds are an indicator of the health of our farms here in Malagos,” said Rex Puentespina of Malagos Chocolate.
The homegrown and family-owned brand prides itself in its tree-to-bar chocolates, where the entire process, from harvesting to packaging, is done within its farms. Malagos is also known for using premium, single-origin chocolate, where the beans are sourced only from Davao, thus reflecting the terroir of this part of the southern Philippine island of Mindanao.
“We make sure that varied native and endemic plants are being protected and grown in this area to have a balanced and sustained ecology inside the property. The quality of our chocolates reflects the richness of this diversity,” Puentespina said.
Among the featured birds are the fun and colorful Philippine Hanging Parrot (Loriculus philippensis), also known in the Philippines as colasisi or kusi because of its penchant for hanging—sometimes upside down—on its perch. This playful quirk is matched by its lively colors: a vibrant green with contrasting bright hues of orange, red, yellow or blue.
Also featured is the Orange-lined Sunbird (Leptocoma juliae). This species is identifiable by the thin, orange line in the middle of its chest, and the long, curved beak it uses to feed on nectar.
Then there’s the bright green Guaiabero (Bolbopsittacus lunulatus), which makes a high-pitched sound in flight. “You can find them in flocks of 15 to 20 crossing the vegetation of the car park area, the main entrance and around the gardens,” said Puentespina.
“These birds feed on the fruits and insects that can be found on the plants and trees we preserve here in Malagos,” said Puentespina. These insectivores and fruitivores include the Rufous-crowned Bee-eater (Merops americanus) and the Red-keeled Flowerpecker (Dicaeum australe).
The abundance of bees, wasps, dragonflies and other insects in the garden attracts some of the birds to feed and linger. “Some of these birds are threatened, like the Southern Silvery Kingfisher. Its presence here indicates the good health of the environment,” Puentespina said.
The endemic birds series of Malagos Chocolate is now available in select stores and on malagoschocolate.com.