SWEET SURPRISE IN SAN JACINTO. A weekend visit to my siblings in San Jacinto, Pangasinan brought me a sweet surprise. The gladness from seeing family was added to by the gladness of meeting this stranger—a man who lives just four kilometres away, in his backyard are 200 cocoa trees. A face slap moment, we are getting our tablea from so far away, at considerable expense and effort, when some are being grown and processed right under my nose. I am not flabbergasted, I am pleased. This tablea is different from the blended Batangas-Mangatarem tablea we have made available to you members last week. That one is on the rich-bitter side with very little sugar.
It is good. This one is on the light-sweet side—you can say that it is more suited for a younger palate (kids) or someone who does not care for bitter chocolate. It is just as good. We did try this cocoa, we found the departure 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. As it turns out, his passenger was the owner, and he was allowed to buy five pods for five pesos each. The equivalent of his fare. 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 inspiring I am to write this. If there is something to be learned from the story is this: No success comes in a snap. Except success in Snap Buys because we are going to do one now for Mang Juanito’s tableas.
So SNAP BUY, five (5 pieces) of TABLEA SWEET EDITION, pay only P305. SEVEN LOTS ONLY. First members to say “MINE” and send proof of payment gets it. Sale is final when you say “MINE”. Proof of payment expected immediately. Available for pickup today at RuRi House.
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