Sikwate {4}


The local drink made from native cacao has many names. I often use sikwate, but you will hear it called native chocolate, tsokolate, tskolate, tabelya, etc. Tableya is really the tablets before the drink is made, but some still refer to the drink in that manner. Regardless of the name used, it’s a treat.

When I first moved here I was making sikwate every morning. I found that to be a little too much, and have since resisted making it at home. I reserve my consumption for when I’m out and about, for the most part. Thankfully I’ve found a few places that make it.

Homemade Tableya {2}

Homemade Tableya
Today’s guest article is provided by a reader (on my request) after learning of her first attempt to make homemade tableya. I hope you enjoy the article and photos.


“The Magic of the Chocolate Tablet”

The most favorite and well-loved food of the sweet-toothed is of course the chocolate. It comes in various flavors, forms and sizes. The very source of this sweet delight comes from the humble makings of cacao or cacao bean.

Tableya – Pure Cacao Tablets {5}

Tableya – Pure Cacao Tablets

In case you haven’t heard, dark chocolate, or pure cacao, is one of the latest health kicks here in the US. I had began to hear about pure cacao beans and/or nibs prior to my trip to the Philippines late last year. I even purchased some, and have begun adding them to my green smoothies and my hot cereal in the morning. They aren’t sweet, but I like them a lot.

While visiting Davao and Samal Island last year I got to take a trip to Bankerohan Market where we enjoyed the local favorite of sikwate. Sikwate (or sekwate) is a hot drink made from the pure cacao beans. I also picked up some of the cacao tablets for my trip back home. That was my first time to try the hot chocolate drink made of this pure cacao, and it was quite a treat for me.

Bankerohan Public Market Davao City {17}

Bankerohan Public Market Davao City

One of my favorite places that I visited during our recent trip to Davao and Samal Island was the Bankerohan Public Market in Davao City. The trip to the market was toward the end of our visit and served two purposes, to help me practice my Cebuano (Bisaya) in a “live setting”, and of course to see this gem of Davao City. My only regret was that I didn’t spend more time there. Next time it will be a priority for me.

I’d not been to the Bankerohan Public Market during any previous visits, so this was quite a treat for me. I wasn’t expecting it to be so large and so nice. I was also able to go through part of the Agdao Market while there this time, but I much prefer the Bankerohan Market. The stalls, and really the whole setup, just seemed so much nicer. I’m not sure how the two compare in prices, as I didn’t really get a chance to buy that much and there was an awful lot to take in.