TABLEA CHOCOLATE

550.00

SWEET SURPRISE IN SAN JACINTO. A weekend visit to my hometown of San Jacinto, Pangasinan brought a sweet surprise. We got to meet an old gentleman who lived in the next barangay and he had 200 cocoa trees growing in his backyard. Here we are getting our tablea from so far away, at considerable expense and effort, when some are being grown and processed not 4 kilometers away from where I grew up. I am beyond flabbergasted, I am pleased. This tablea is different from the usual chocolate tablea. This one is on the light-sweet side—you can say that it is more suited for a younger palate or someone who does not care too much for bitter chocolate. We find the departure from quite enjoyable. If you like the taste of Milo, this is Milo but much thicker.

The other thing we liked about this tablea is the story of the affable, old man who is growing it. His name is Juanito Cayabyab. Twenty five years ago, Mang Juanito lost his job after Marcopper Mines in Marinduque closed down from worst environmental disaster in Philippine history—a fractured drainage tunnel flooding villages and poisoning the Boac River forever with 1.6 million cubic meters of toxic mine tailing. He returned to San Jacinto and eaked a living from driving a tricycle. One day, while ferrying a passenger to a distant barangay, he chanced upon a fruiting cocoa tree by the side of the road. Seeking out the owner, he was able to buy five pods, paying the fantastic sum of five pesos each. Fast forward to the present day, Mang Juanito has parlayed those pods into tree. Two hundred fully mature and fruiting trees to be exact, and each one is providing an income that is able to support him in his old age. What a success story, one that is literally about finding the “seeds of opportunity”. How inspired I am to write this.

SNAP BUY SAN JACINTO TABLEA. We are looking for 50 Rural Rising Members to buy 8 Chocolate Tableas for P550. Thus help Lolo Juanito Cayabyab of San Jacinto, Pangasinan.

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