Oct 2, 2017
Chocolate Overload at Dalareich Chocolate House
Location: Dalareich Chocolate House, 0091J Bukid Dr., Tagbilaran (city), Bohol (province), Philippines
In tableya conversations with friends, the newly opened chocolate factory - Dalareich Chocolate House, the first of its kind in Bohol, kept popping up. It was an itch that finally had to be scratched. Luckily for me, it was in Tagbilaran, just a few minutes away by bike from my place. A conversation with the chocolate princess herself, Dalareich, opened me up to the hidden world of chocolate.
Even without the chocolate house, Dalareich's personal story is already compelling. Given the family's newfound stature, she is transparent about their humble beginnings - her mother was a street cleaner and her father was a tricycle driver. Her grandmother started a tableya (local cacao) business selling to sari-sari stores and sikwate (native hot chocolate drink) vendors at the wet market. This was passed on to her mother with everyone in the family pitching-in from sourcing, production, to selling. Modest earnings from the small business allowed her to graduate with an engineering degree.
The Belgian Connection
An opportunity came up when a Belgium-based company sponsored a contest for an all-expense-paid 2-month chocolate immersion course in Belgium. Dalareich, against all odds, made her pitch and beat everyone else. The knowledge, experience and insight she gained in Belgium was the genesis for the launch of the first ever, chocolate factory in Tagbilaran using the latest Belgian know-how in chocolate making. Now, her mandate is to educate people about proper chocolate making. She holds tours in the factory explaining the intricate process on how a cacao fruit turns into the much sought-after chocolate we all love. Not resting on her laurels, she's preparing for a trip to Paris to level-up her chocolate making skills.
During all this story-telling, she lavishly prepared a table full of chocolates for my indulgence - pralines, hot sikwate, cold choco drink, 4 flavors of dark chocolate, chocolate spread, chocolate covered cacao beans, and even the actual cacao fruit! I wasn't shy about downing them all until chocolate came out of my ears! If that wasn't enough chocolates, she even gave me a chocolate loot bag! Christmas came too early for me :)
Dalareich hasn't "arrived" yet. It's a Herculean struggle to pioneer an industry that no one in Tagbilaran has done before. She has to shift the public mindset about chocolate (that it's not just the lowly tableya people relegate it to) and drum-up demand for proper local chocolates in Bohol.
I completely agree with her. I'm a great fan of sikwate but tableya never enjoyed the exalted status of coffee. It has always been traditionally served in wet markets where people pay a pittance for a cup. In a way I take delight that it remains affordable to me, but I would also like to see a trendy tableya cafe ala Starbucks where people can be sipping their sikwate in comfortable lounge seats with good air-conditioning and fast wifi. With Dalareich's forward-thinking initiatives, I think that vision will become reality sooner rather than later.
Thank you for that memorable chocolate pampering, Dalareich!
Reader Comments:Dalareich Polot
(Oct 12, 2017) Thank you for this great article Gigit. So happy you visited us! Till next time!
(Oct 3, 2017) Oh man... how did I not hear about this place before... Next day off...
(Oct 3, 2017) Yey! Finally!
Next stop: Yoga for 60+ Students at the University of Bohol
Related Bohol Coffee/Cacao Links:
- Cacao Drum Roasting Jan 27, 2018
- Making Sikwate: from cacao fruit to a hot dark chocolate drink Jan 25, 2018
- Exploring the Cafe Scene of Tagbilaran Oct 7, 2017
- Chocolate Overload at Dalareich Chocolate House Oct 2, 2017
Bohol FYI / Tips
- the tourist area where most of the hotels, restaurants, ticket offices, tour operators are, is located within the Alona Beach area
- the tourist attractions in Bohol are far apart and spread-out. It would be difficult to visit them all using public mass transit. Better hire a van (P3500/day) if in a big group, or rent a motorcycle (P400/day + gas)
- Bohol relies on its tourism for revenue. As expected, everything they can capitalize on from tourism is extensively used and developed
Tagbilaran Port to PanglaoYou can charter any tricycle from the port all the way to Panglao (~P300), but if you want to do it on the cheap,
- don't take the tricycles lined-up inside the port. Walk past the port gate and immediately outside, you'll see many tricycles. Take one to the bus terminal in Dao (~P15)
- in Dao, take the jeep that plies the Panglao route (~P20)
Tagbilaran (Bohol) to Cebu City by boat** schedules and rates keep changing, call for latest schedule
- Weesam Express - departs 6:15 AM, 11:30 AM, 4:00 PM
one way: Economy (aircon) P500.00, Economy (non-aircon) P400.00, First Class P600.00
round trip promo (at least 2 days advance booking): Economy (aircon) P600, Economy(non-aircon) P500, First Class P1200
round trip promo (1 day or on the day booking): Economy (aircon) P800, Economy (non-aircon) P700, First Class P1200
- Ocean Jet - departs 6-7:05-8:20-9:20-11:40AM, 1-2-3:30-4:20-5:30-6:30PM, 2 hours, arrives Pier 1 in Cebu
Open Air / Tourist Class P800, Business Class P1000
+63(32)255 7560 / +63 (32) 255 0115 / 0917 638 0000
- SuperCat (2GO) - departs 5:50-11AM, 3:45-5:25-8:15PM, arrives Pier 1 in Cebu
+63 32 233 7000
Things to do, Places to go in Bohol
- Chocolate Hills - this is a clustering of more than 1200 hills within a 50km2 area. They range in height from 30-50 meters. What's unusual is their near-perfect conical shape resembling an individual chocolate chip. No one knows how they were formed. Entrance is P50/pax.
- Tarsier Conservation Area - located Upper Bonbon, Loboc. The tarsiers are no longer being played at by tourists as circus props, but instead, visitors now view them in cordoned-off areas in their natural 6ha habitat. As they are territorial and nocturnal, they are predictable on where they can be viewed. P50/pax.
- Alona Beach (Panglao) - Alona Beach is the tourist hub of Bohol. It has 1.5 kms of white sand beach lined-up by bars, hotels and restos. Alona is also the jump-off point for Balicasag Island, a world class dive destination.
- Danao Adventure Park - located in Barangay Magtangtang, 72 kms (2 hours ride) from Tagbilaran. Adventure activities include river trekking, tyrolean traverse, rappelling, bouldering, rock climbing and ziplining.
Carlos P. Garcia Island
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