Molded with stories and heritage, Argao Guilang Tableya is more than just the cacao. It’s a brand that represents what Filipino taste is, why stories matter, and what chocolate sensory is all about.
Every tableya carries more than just an aromatic flavor of chocolate. Every Argao Guilang Tableya is made with stories and vision.
The History of Guilang and the Myth of the Maria de Cacao
It all started in 1948, by a woman named Miguela “Guilang” Lanutan. She lived in the town of Argao. Decades ago, it was a land known filled with cacao trees. From the backyard of her home and a cacao tree, Guilang made cacao tablets with her bare hands to help her husband in supporting the family—to raise their children and secure their future.
Labored with passion and artistry, people adored her cacao tableya. And from its humble roots, in the 1970s, it became Argao Guilang Tableya—a cacao tablet served in famous beach resorts in the Philippines.
Because of the heavenly taste of Guilang’s cacao, some believe that her tableya has the secret of Maria de Cacao, a woman of Argao’s folk stories. Locals believe when there was a big flood coming from the rivers of Mt. Lantoy, Maria de Cacao would pass by with her golden ship. Maria de Cacao would magically deceive the locals of only seeing ordinary trees in the land of Mt. Lantoy, so as not to defile the cacao fruits, not knowing it’s a plantation filled with cacao trees, even with vines that bear fruits. Guilang’s factory still stands beside that old river from the legends of Maria de Cacao.
Legend or not, Guilang still felt that there’s something to be improved. And the heavens sent her a man who would change the flavor of her tableya.
A white man who tasted her tableya turned into a breakfast chocolate drink in Argao Beach Club looked for the woman behind the chocolate. He visited her little store, where she sold hot chocolate drinks. He talked to her and gave her a chocolate technique. And she did it. It turned out that the chocolate technique is from a Dutch chocolatier of a famous chocolate company in Europe.
The Tableya of Today
And now, Argao Guilang Tableya is a brand that Guilang would never imagine it could be. From the backyard of her home, now it has its own factory. With only a vision to secure her children, it is a business helping out local cacao farmers and with more than 30 workers, making the tableya with artisan and traditional process. From simple cacao, it now embodies a distinct Filipino taste that competes with European chocolate.
Argao Guilang Tableya is a sensory experience of taste and smell. With a smooth chocolatey texture as a tableya, it smoothly blends in with boiling water into a hot chocolate drink. When drinking it, the smooth feeling still lingers and glides in your taste buds, leaving a perfect mix of bitter and sweet, and an aroma that exudes peace. It gives you a feeling of comfort and ease, like how exactly Guilang wanted her children to feel.