ORMOC CITY – This city’s homegrown Alto Peak Chocolates were among the awardees of the Entrepreneur Award 2023 on food tourism during the micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) and Go Negosyo’s Tourism Summit 2023 held at SM Seaside City, Cebu on Saturday, May 6, 2023.

The said event was in partnership with the Department of Tourism (DoT), which identified the capability to market tourist offerings as one of the most important training sessions needed in the tourism industry.

Alto Peak is a local producer of premium chocolates located in the city of Ormoc and owned by couple Noel and Celeste Barquera, who recognized the support of LGU-Ormoc, DOT, the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), and the Department of Agriculture (DA) in their success. Accordingly, Alto Peak started as a small producer of indigenous and native tableya, but now it is proud of its name as a pioneer of a promising chocolate industry here in Leyte.

They also expressed gratitude to their artisanal partners, weavers, local artists, PDL, wood carvers, and cacao farmers.

Meanwhile, the Tourism Summit 2023 was seen as a big success, opening new opportunities for stakeholders in the tourism industry. The said summit brought together tourism industry experts, policymakers, professionals, entrepreneurs, social media influencers, and MSMEs in a day-long sharing of insights on the future of Philippine tourism and discussed collaborative ventures on how tourism will recover from the COVID-19 pandemic in terms of strengthening tourism-related activities for MSMEs.

The event was also attended by Tourism Secretary Christina Garcia Frasco, ASEAN Business Advisory Council Philippines Chair Joey Concepcion, Cebu Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia, Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama, Panglao, Bohol Mayor Edgardo Arcay, and Siargao Mayor Sol Matugas. By Gwen Maurillo (EV Mail May 8-14, 2023 issue)