Digital Reporter

The sounds of the wild filled the air, and animals were in every corner and surrounding a mid‑sized tree at the center.

This is “Sugarlandia,” a world inspired by the island of Negros in Visayas, put up as Chat Noir Co. Inc. (Chat Noir), the company behind the small‑batch Philippine rum Don Papa, paid homage to the island in celebration of the company’s fifth anniversary last September 6 at Pineapple Lab in Makati City.

The premium rum is aged in American oak barrels for several years and distilled from rich sugar cane produced in Negros, to which Chat Noir attributes the spirit’s smooth yet strong taste, the rum’s light and fruity aroma from its vanilla, honey, and candy flavors.

“The introduction of Sugarlandia is meant to give our followers, old and new, a richer brand experience to drink in,” Stephen Carroll, founder of Chat Noir, said.

An activity that allowed the guests to craft face masks representing the fictional land’s faunas opened the celebration. There was a presentation called “The Ritual,” where Don Papa mixologists showcased a wide variety of drinks from the premium rum. Dance group Fundacion Central Flamenco entertained the crowd, swaying movements inspired by the animals and creatures found in Superlandia. One‑man‑band Hoochie Coochie Mikkie and Mario Serrano provided music.

Paintings showcasing the works of the winners and finalists of the 2016 Don Papa Art Competition were also exhibited in the venue.

Since its launch in 2012, Chat Noir has expanded the distribution of Don Papa Rum to 21 countries across Europe, Asia Pacific, North America, and South Africa. This expansion is in line with the company’s foremost goal to introduce Philippine‑made rums to the global market.

“Our proposition was very simple when we started out and it’s still the same—we want to be the world’s premium rum from the Philippines and that’s really what we set out to do,” Monica Llamas, co‑founder and communications director of the company, told SparkUp. “We really focus on the product because it was always about coming up with a product that could really stand in the world stage as a quality product.”

The company capped off the celebration with the announcement of its plans, including the launch of Don Papa Rum’s Rare Cask and the third installment of Don Papa Art Competition 2017.