FEASTING on a delicious healthy meal while enjoying the spectacular view of Kanlaon, the mountains, and the valley can be such pure bliss.

Add to this the cool breeze of the upland weather of Don Salvador Benedicto and the greens and flowers surrounding the place and everything spells for a perfect relaxation. All these and the many insights we learned from Dr. Albert Jo and his wife Marilou when we spent two days and a night at Rapha Valley.

I have long wanted to make a visit to Rapha Valley, but I only found the opportunity lately. The ambiance of the whole place is a welcome change from the bustling city. Doc Albert and Marilou toured us around Rapha Valley, getting us acquainted to the many amenities and the herbs and vegetation they grow on their property.

Rapha Café

We tried the sumptuous meals at Rapha Café that were personally prepared by Doc Albert. What is unique in Rapha Valley is that the food is not your ordinary fare. They were specially created with the use of natural and organic ingredients. Rapha Café is a food haven for vegetarians and vegan, too.

How would you like to eat a bloodless dinuguan with an organic black puto? Or a guilt-free Rapha Adobo? I especially liked the Tofu Cheese which added flavor to the Black Rice Bread. The Pancit Negrenese was very apt for our lunch, which has tamarind leaves and some zest. We capped our lunch with Bulkan Kanlaon as the chocolate oozed out of the mini-cake. The drinks were refreshing, too, like the hibiscus lemonade and the cold tea made of turmeric, tanglad, cinnamon and ginger.

We exchanged stories while we were enjoying our food. I found out that it’s not just the ingredients that matter when choosing our food. We also have to know the source of the raw products. Plus, how food is prepared should also be taken into consideration.

Catinas and cuartos

It was not just the healthy food that visitors can enjoy while at Rapha Valley. There are several suites and cottages where you can spend the night alone, with friends or with family. The cuartos, located at the inner part of the private area, have terraces where you can lounge and watch the view below. I like the colorful interiors of the rooms. They did the interior design by themselves and they did a great job of it.

They were simple that fuses modern and native look. The rooms had fan and television. Alkaline water and warm water are also available. Toiletries and beddings are provided. The neat place can be your home for a few days in a farm environment. The bathrooms were also beautifully designed. Ours had small rocks placed at the edge of the bathroom.

Garden, bonfire and a lot more

Apart from Rapha Café and the suites, Rapha Valley has the Santol House where visitors can hang out. They also have the briefing area, where Doc Albert holds orientations when groups arrive in their property. They also have the Tent for seminars and large gatherings. There is a bonfire area where groups can spend the night exchanging stories and stargazing.

Most of all, they have a garden where you can acquaint yourself with the many vegetables, fruits, flowers and herbs. It was interesting to learn their many uses – medicinal and culinary-wise. Indeed, Rapha Valley is a wellness destination where one can commune with nature and know more about food and our bodies.


Claire Marie Algarme blogs at http://firsttimetravels.com. Follow her as @firsttimetravel on Twitter and Instagram.