Once when we were little kids, my brother used to play basketball with me in front of our house. He had set up a basketball ring attached to the wooden frame of our store’s roof. I would run after him, chasing the ball, not bothering to dribble it, and go straight to aim a shoot at the ring. Then I sprained my ankle.
I remember it very clearly like it was yesterday. Mom and Dad took us to this farm. We walked a long way, with me limping behind. My siblings all came to join me. I didn’t even have any idea what we were doing there. Then we reached this small Nipa hut. An old man came to greet us. Mom and Dad talked to him briefly, then we all went inside. The old man approached me and examined my sprained ankle.
I didn’t know what happened next. Everything went so fast and the next thing I knew, I was crying in pain. He manipulated my ankle so quickly, I didn’t have time to react. I just felt a terrible pain, and after that it was gone. He asked me to walk and the limp disappeared.
The man went to the kitchen with my Mom and Dad, while my siblings and I, went out to the rice field and played. After a while, Mom and Dad called us. The old man gave us each a cup of this delicious hot chocolate made in heaven. It was perfect. I can still remember the taste. I always associate this hot chocolate with my sprained ankle. I have never tasted a hot chocolate that good.
When I was in College, my younger sister and I tried this coffee shop in Manila called, Tsoko Nut Batirol. We ordered their specialty, the Tsokolate Ah. As soon as I tasted this hot chocolate served in an old fashioned mug, it brought childhood memories of my sprained ankle and the delicious hot chocolate. It was not as delicious as the one served to us by that old man in the Nipa hut who healed my sprained ankle. But it was the next best thing.
My sister and I went back to that coffee house with my other sisters to try it, but to our dismay, the coffee shop was already gone and replaced by another coffee shop.
I still dream of that delicious hot chocolate. No other hot chocolate could ever replace it. I think this is the Tablea Tsokolate. Though I don’t know to do it in the traditional Filipino way. If only I could taste that heavenly hot chocolate again.
Photo courtesy of Tsoko Nut Batirol.