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Joyce Oreña: Life is not just like a box of chocolates

Proudly handmade in the Philippines by Joyce Oreña and Raquel Choa: JÔ Joyce Oreña x Ralfe Gourmet will be available at the “Smartshop,” on Sept. 21 and 22 at the Rockwell Tent in Makati. The Smartshop is organized by the Zonta Club of Makati & Environs.

MANILA, Philippines - Check out JÔ Joyce Oreña x Ralfe Gourmet at the “Smartshop” on Sept. 21 and 22 at the Rockwell Tent in Makati, a bazaar organized by the Zonta Club of Makati and Environs, and experience a fresh way of gift-giving.

Artisanal jewelry and chocolates come together. Two women full of passion in everything they do, Joyce Oreña and Raquel Choa, collaborate on what they do best. Both are proud of the exceptional quality of their products made in the Philippines.

Joyce Oreña is no stranger to fashion. As a favorite fashion model of Manila designers in the ’90s, she had the privilege of donning the best couture pieces on the runway. She made it to the covers of the country’s fashion magazines and, under the management of CalCarrie’s agency and then Elite Model Management, appeared in editorials and campaigns in Hong Kong and Singapore.

One’s choice of accessories speaks volumes about the wearer’s personality and style. Joyce Oreña, the creative behind the celebrated brand JÔ, knows this all too well and applies the same philosophy to her unique pieces.

JÔ brings together a variety of elements to create highly textural and color-saturated adornments. But more than being mere items of adornment, JÔ allows one to experiment and experience unconventional ways of wearing an accessory.

Ralfe Gourmet is about tradition, innovation and a culture of excellence.  “Everything starts with the beans,” Raquel Choa, the lady behind Ralfe Gourmet, says about her grandmother’s guidance. “It is crucial that the cacao beans are carefully selected, cleaned and sorted. Once they are ready, they are ready, and the beans are roasted to perfection.”

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Following the roasting is another crucial stage — the roasted cacao nibs are pounded very carefully to produce cacao liquor or cacao mass. Cacao lovers fondly call it “unsweetened chocolate,” which is then shaped into plumps and the forms left in the creative hands of the artist.

Ralfe Gourmet enlivens a chocolate-making tradition by incorporating the latest trends in tablea production. The result is 100-percent cacao liquor that is truly tablea, undoubtedly unadulterated, and exquisitely Filipino.

The gastronomic concoctions are simply endless, from luscious chocolate drinks to sumptuous chocolate goodies like tartufini, truffles, and choco-mango sticks.

Local is world-class. Check out JÔ Joyce Oreña x Ralfe Gourmet and find out.

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