From Tablea to Good Fortune: The Rags-to-Riches Story of Bohol’s Chocolate Princess

Get to know the inspiring story of a daughter of a street sweeper who reached good fortune, all thanks to chocolate. Learn about the rags-to-riches story of Dalareich Polot, “Bohol’s Chocolate Princess.”

Image by Dalareich Chocolate via Facebook

On the island, a woman named Dalareich Polot is known to be the “Bohol’s Chocolate Princess” because of its award-winning chocolate. Their brand “Dalareich” is a popular brand that has reached far and wide. But behind the success of Dalareich Chocolates is an amazing story of how perseverance and faith changed the humble life of a small family.

Dalareich was born to four siblings, a father who is a tricycle driver and a mother who is a street sweeper and a tableya vendor.

Back in 1994, Nanay Elsa would make cacao and Dalareich would sell it to the streets for P35. Money wasn’t easy and there were times when Dalareich had problems paying for his tuition fees.

One time, the young lady was so upset because the exam was near but they still didn’t have enough money for tuition. She recalled the amazing story of how a mysterious lady gave them what they needed.

Dalareich shared on Rated Korina, “May kumatok po sa bahay namin, at hindi namin alam saan siya galing. She’s a blind woman. Alam niya yung bahay namin, and I was so surprised because she just said that she wanted to buy this tableya.”

“And she gave the money. We gave the tableya and she left. And we realized when we counted the money it’s exactly my tuition fee.”

“Hindi na namin alam kung paano siya hanapin. So, that’s the time sabi ni Mama, ‘Grabe si Lord, alam Niya if kailangan talaga ng pera, meron,” she recalled.

Dalareich as Bohol’s Chocolate Princess

Image by Dalareich Chocolate via Facebook

Good fortune started pouring in for their family when Dalareich joined the Young Women Entrepreneurs Boot Camp 2013. Her entry was her mother’s tableya.

Dalareich bagged the grand prize and won US$5,000 or around PHP250,000. That’s when she started investing to expand their business. She shared, “Doon po talaga nag-open ng door and after that I got grant money to buy a delivery van for our tableya business.”

The following year, she earned a scholarship grant at Ghent University in Belgium where she learned everything about cacao and chocolates. This motivated Dalareich to focus on the cacao industry of the Philippines.

She said, “We grew up eating sweet chocolates, na dapat pina-proud natin yung meron tayong cacao, because not all countries can grow cacao.”
“And tableya na people think na sobrang baba yung product natin, why not innovate it? Tableya is most expensive because hindi hinahaluan ng kahit ano,” she added.

Empowering women through cacao

As chairman of the Bohol Cacao Development Council, Dalareich is committed to empowering women by helping provide jobs.

“Kelangan natin ma-empower ang mga walang-wala, di nakapag-aral. I got that from my mom,” she said.

Because of her world-class tableya, Bohol’s Chocolate Princess has won the gold award from the Academy of Chocolates Awards in London last 2019. She was the first awardee from Southeast Asia and the Philippines.

Sally Mae