Swiss Embassy in Manila launches 3rd edition of Angels for Angels project

This is in partnership with SM and other organizations

In celebration of the 65th anniversary of the diplomatic relationship between the Philippines and Switzerland, the Swiss Embassy in Manila launches the third edition of its Angels for Angels project to promote women empowerment, livelihood, and solidarity.

This is in partnership with Auro Chocolate, Malagos Chocolate, Tigre y Oliva, SM, Chef Gaita Forés, Chef Chele Gonzalez, Swiss Chef Armin Armein, and many more partners. This advocacy puts the spotlight on the chocolate heritage of both countries.

Swiss Ambassador Alain Gaschen (center) and wife Daniela
with SM Assistant Vice President Christian Mathay

"2022 is a very special year for us," says Swiss Ambassador Alain Gaschen. "Aside from the beginning of a new administration and the continued recovery from a worldwide pandemic, this year we celebrate 65 Years of Diplomatic Relations. This year’s celebration is anchored on innovation and sustainability as we continue “Building the Future, Together” and what better way to do so through chocolate?"

Angels for Angels is a solidarity action started by the Embassy of Switzerland in the Philippines in 2020, after a year challenged by a volcanic eruption, a series of strong typhoons which had brought the worst devastation in years, and the Covid-19 pandemic. The project combined solidarity and corporate social responsibility, integrating two core values of the Swiss-innovation and sustainability. Used Nespresso capsules were upcycled and transformed into little “Angels”as Christmas tree decoration, produced by the women communities of the Negrense Volunteers for Change. Secretary Ted Locsin described the ornaments as “jeweled tears of happiness for a sharing Christmas."

Now on its third year, as the Philippines and Switzerland celebrate the 65th anniversary of their diplomatic relations, the Swiss Embassy aimed even higher and launched a project named the Swiss Chocolate Legacy. Both Switzerland and the Philippines have a long tradition of chocolate making: Switzerland is famous for its chocolates around the world. Daniel Peter invented the milk chocolate in 1875, the conche invented by Rudolph Lindt in 1879 gave milk chocolate its silky smooth texture, and some of the best tools to produce chocolate are of course Swiss made. The Philippines, on the other hand, is the first country in Asia to cultivate cacao (through the galleon trade) and one of the few countries that not only cultivates cacao, but has also a tradition to consume it (tablea).

"When one thinks of Switzerland, chocolate is what usually comes into mind but what most people don’t know is that the Philippines also produces chocolates," he says. "This is possible due to the cacao industry which has been long standing in the Philippines, even before we formalized our diplomatic relations."

True to the principles and values of the Angels for Angels project—Innovation, Sustainability and Solidarity—the Swiss Embassy decided this year to support Cacao farmers and especially their women communities. They have teamed up with award winning and pioneering Filipino companies Auro Chocolate, Malagos Chocolate, and Tigre y Oliva. All three brands produce premium chocolates that are proudly Philippine-made and truly tree-to-bar. Sustainability is a major pillar in the philosophy of all three companies, and they all commit to make a positive impact on the lives of local farmers and the environment through sustainable sourcing policies and community programs.

The project was also the occasion to further explore the use and processing of coconut sugar, which makes the chocolate healthier and diabetic-friendly. 

After the successful collaboration in 2021 in all Supermalls in Metro Manila, Cebu, and Davao, the Swiss Embassy teams up once again with SM this year. SM supported the action and endorsed it towards its tenants. The Chocolate Angels will be found in different locations throughout the Christmas season. SM organized and hosted the launch of the project at The Podium.