Saturday, 9 November 2019

Sikwate Story


They say beautiful stories are those written with extraordinary, spotless words by finest individuals who mastered the skill of intertwining letters into words, words into phrases and phrases into sentences. But for me what makes a story striking is not to as who wrote it or how well it is written but it is as to how the story was made and its impact to the reader.
I grow up as someone who is easily fascinated by words; hence, I considered writing as a passion. At first, the pen and the paper has been simply just my way of channelling sentiments and stressors, until I have had the opportunity to broaden my knowledge about it. Since writing and reading comes hand in hand, I tried to read countless pages of renowned books, stunning articles and well-written non-fiction stories, which I have the most interest.  I am in awe of a lot of them.  But little though I know that while I am looking for that grand story, I already had given one.

“Pangayoa na sa Ginoo, og para nimo na para nimo gyud na. Ihatag na Nya nimo”, these are the exact words we do often receive from mom, most especially at times when we encounter the utmost hurdle. When on earth I feel like I am up to no good to the path I am taking, or whenever negativities and doubt blew me in thin air, it has been a constant relief. I will not let the odds beat me because when it was them who had experienced the lowest point in their lives for us, they have risen above it all.  When there were moments when it is easy to just give up, let things be and do nothing, they chose not to.
Our family has a bean to bar chocolate making business, which my mom comes into after our “lola” (grandma) passed away.  Our Lola Tomasa used to sell anchovy (bulinaw) and locally-made "tablea" (native chocolates) for a living. Her little business was patronized by the town-folks who seemingly couldn't complete breakfast without a cup-full of hot chocolate. When she passed away because of breast cancer, my mom was pleased to continue grandmother's morning errand for her loyal customers.  Simultaneously my mother was also a metro-aid cleaner who pave the eerie streets of the city, hours before the dawn-light to meet ends with my father who was working as a "tricycle" driver to sustain the five of us in the family and to send us all to school. Even though how tough life was, they didn’t lose the courage to go on because they do not want us to experience fierce trials as they’ve been.  No matter how buried we were in poverty, they spent hours of hard work for us to get the diplomas that they haven’t been able to experience. Because when they were once like we are, my grandparents could not afford to send them to higher grades in view of the fact that they do not have enough resources. But as for my parents, they didn’t let these events of their past bury them.
Selling locally crafted tablea was the only way my mom earns extra income, then. By dawn she works as a street cleaner and by the morning after her duty,  she goes straight home to send us a little treats for breakfast and starts to roast cacao beans and handcraft tablea that she and my father usually delivers to numerous “sari-sari” stores , for us to survive the day. She often even recalled how uneasy it was. There was this instance when one of my older sisters, who were then studying high school, called her while she was trying to swipe trash and dust near her school street.  “Ma... Ma...”, but my mother didn’t want that my sister might be teased by her friends thus she chose to turn a blind eye and walked ahead.
On the other hand, later on in life after numerous rejections and persistence, my mother was able to supply the product for a local supermarket. My other sister, Dalareich, the second among the five of us, who was little back then would help her sell some of it after class hours. And little did they know that it would be the start of a turning point.  

With the right amount of determination, hard work, prayer and perseverance, everything gradually paid-off. The tablea -product flourished into a family enterprise and was supplied in more than few of local shopping malls, endorsed in deluxe hotels, airport shops, and through direct-website demands.
My sister Dalareich, who graduated computer engineer, pursued a wider venture about the business. In September 2013, she joined a pitching competition and narrated our business story and innovative business plan within a maximum of five minutes. She even added her hopes to venture tablea into chocolates. She hopes that Bohol would soon not only be known by the wondrous Chocolate Hills but as well as a home of one of the world’s finest chocolates. Yet she did not expect anything after the final pitch, she called my mom through phone and in response my mother said, “Ayaw kabalaka, kay ug para nimo na para nimo gyud na, og dli okay ra. Naa pay mas maayo nga moabot.” ("Don't worry because if it is really for you, it will be yours. God will give it to you. If not, for sure, there will be great things that are yet to come.") 

We received another call from her and this time it made us all jump in glee. She was awarded as the Outstanding Young Woman Entrepreneur in the first Young Women Entrepreneur Bootcamp (YWEB) 2013. But the good things did not stop there; it seems like a fairy godmother heard her wishes. In 2014, she had given the opportunity to learn how to make a bean-to-bar chocolate from top chocolate-makers in the world as she was granted a scholarship in Belgium to study cacao and chocolate processing in Ghent University. And just recently on September 8, 2017, our family has been so blessed to have built our humblest chocolate factory house near our place. It welcomes guests and tourist who would want to know the roots of Bohol’s cacao history as well it serves as a showroom of our local tableya-based products and dark chocolates.  As well as the business product triumph to have represented Bohol in Salon du Chocolat, one of the world’s largest chocolate shows in Paris, France.
Indeed our story as a family has been like a box of chocolates. It all started as quiet as a dream but now things are slowly falling into the right places, stitching a beautiful tapestry in our lives. As of writing, I do remember how my mom’s voice would drive people and students to tears as she narrates our story of hope as well as her own life experiences.  With great joy, what my mom has been praying before is now slowly by slowly becoming genuine.

By: Lahlah (Angelah Polot) 


Wednesday, 18 October 2017

Little Things that Would Make You Love Amorita

“Dear Angela, The Little Love – Amorita – welcomes you! Here, infinite delight can be found everywhere; even in the little things.”

Those were the first lines I’ve read upon onset in our breathtaking and naturally furnished junior suite, on a printed piece of note that was left by the general manager with complimentary cookies next to it. Those for me are also just the perfect words to describe Amorita. Throughout our entire stay, I felt like a little darling again taking pleasure in little things the resort has to offer with its variety of fun activities, enticing clear waters, stunning boutique, infinity pools, endearing playground, and the sunny-salty feels that is a lot more right to make me put my mind off from the everyday hustle.

As well as the resort itself has something very little that you don’t need to puff to make everyone love it- and it is the sweet- tranquility that it would make you feel.

Saturday, 8 July 2017

Meet the 20 candidates of Miss Bohol 2017

(Photo Credits:  Miss Bohol Official )
(Photography by Gerald James Cabal)

PANGLAO, BOHOL - The 20 vying Miss Bohol 2017 candidates were presented to the media, bloggers and social media influencers on June 17 at Mithi Resort and Spa. 

This year's theme, BEHOLD BOHOL, features participating municipalities:

Sunday, 26 March 2017

And The Race is Back On! TOUR DE CEBU is Returning in Bohol

Panglao Island, Bohol, March 26, 2017– And the race is back on! Tour de Cebu will be returning to Bohol on October 20-22, 2017 for its 4th Tour de Cebu – A Touristic Rally Across the Visayas - another round of regularity race consisting of vintage cars made in 1972 or older and is driven across the nation where the goal is precision; not who finishes the race first.

Wednesday, 23 November 2016

10:31' Yuletide Collection, Every Sweet Tooth Would Love To Have

 “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of GOD.”
 1 Corinthians 10:31
Have you ever tried passing along M. Parras Extension, Tagbilaran City counting how many days left for Christmas?

But suddenly your empty stomach cackles, as if teasing how excited you are, in the company of two hand-carries of yuletide decorations. That tight spot! Remember?, when you are about to drain but still can’t help wondering where to get “chestnuts” of presents.

Simultaneously, you’re also thinking of a cozy place to hang-out with friends on the holidays? Lifting your heads up expressionlessly will give you the answer.

Lanterns hovering along M. Parras Extension, Tagbilaran City
It is as if this haze of yuletide lantern-starlight hovered along M. Parras street would lead you the right manger where Santa’s goodies are hidden in a sleigh.

 And just in front of St. Anthony de Padua Church, the search is over.

Caught in an awe of a fleshy-stylish pink café shop with a dancing Santa on the doorway and his sleigh on the other side, loaded with puffy gifts, gives you the hint of 10:31 by Chef M

Monday, 21 November 2016

Everything I love About Fred’s Book Cafe

Fred’s is the very first book cafe in Tagbilaran city, the very first haven of metropolitan’s bookworms - literarians, bibliobibuli, book-bossoms, bibliophiles, bibliosmia and for everyone whatever they might want to call themselves, who just love to be surrounded with good books and aroma of hot coffee, refreshing calamansi juices ,tasty waffles, meaty spaghettis, cafe crumbles, and blends tucked inside in an artsy. Such stuff, are hard to decline because they are the best rather be’s, the best resemblance for love.

We love books. We love coffee.
We love the smell of books. And we also love the aroma of coffees.
We love to eat. And we also love to read.
We love to talk. And we also love to chill.
And most of the time, that’s just what we all want,
To be with who/where or what we love to be/go/do.
We love to be with someone we love,
And we love to do, what we love to.

Everything I love About Fred's:

1.       Books

Every kind of book in the cafe is made up of stories, even the tiniest, as well as each one who enters the cafe is made up of unique chapters of life stories, picking up another story in a new perspective. Perhaps that’s why people like books, because people are like books.

Saturday, 8 October 2016


Photo Credits: Jonathan Mandin with our dear BSMT II-A (Loi, Arabelle, Eric, Roland, Ollice,LG, Keith, Maureen, Ruby, Angela, Jejie, Marj, Jessa, Jecel and Geena.)
         We had our pilgrimage walk last October 5, 2016 from Holy Name University (HNU) down to Nuestra Senora de Asuncion (Our Lady of theAssumption) , Dauis Church. The moment we arrived our destination, we peacefully sat at the doorway of Cafe Lawis , adjacent to the church, to take a rest.

A taho vendor, carrying on top of his shoulder two large buckets that hang on each ends of a wooden pole, suddenly came near us shouting of the TAHO he was selling with a big grin.Our attention was caught off when he surprisingly bombarded us weird & silly questions:

Saturday, 24 September 2016

TheLittleGelahGirl Turns 18

SEPTEMBER 23 1998 , A baby girl was born and she was named Angelah. As naive and unsophisticated, she crept into the world like a tiny caterpillar enjoying the bright new day. Curious of where will tomorrow brought her to, she continued to journey and take pleasure in the life she has, overcome the waves, sailed away and untangled the ties.

Friday, 23 September 2016


ABOUT ANGELA:    |Cc: Liza Macalandag 

Angelah Polot, born and raised in the city of Tagbilaran, is the daughter of Mr. Ricardo & Elsa Polot and the youngest sister of Irene, Dalareich, Renel and Jessa. She is a public alumna throughout her elementary and high school years. She is a graduate of  Booy Elementary School and a proud alumna of Dr. Cecilio Putong National High School (DCPNHS) under the Special Program in the Arts, Creative Writing Class. She was the Editor-in-Chief of The Boholenian, the Official School Publication of DCPNHS.  She says she's not a good speaker but she's passionate about expressing her thoughts and putting them into words. Since she was little, she used to write and send letters to her sisters whenever she felt angry or whenever there's a special occasion to celebrate in the family. Since then, she's been joining press conferences and writing competitions in schools or online.  She is currently exploring Bachelor of Science in Medical Technology at the Holy Name University.  

She's been writing online at since 2012 and is an active member of the Bohol Bloggers Collective. She is also a contributor to Bohol Chronicle's LifestyleBohol.