Rapha Valley: The Place

 The sound of wind chimes was adds to a relaxing ambiance. The whole place is tastefully decorated by Jo family. From the welcoming area, you are now ready to take the tour. The host, Dr. Jo himself, is just as entertaining as the place, sharing tidbits and trivia’s about the different medicinal value of each plant. His style of touring his guest is such as follows: Point-Explain-Cut-Taste-Explain some more. You don’t only learn about the flowers, the vegetables, the plants, you get to taste them right at the spot where they are growing. No kidding! The stuff is real good and really clean. After the initial apprehension fades, you get to enjoy yourself, lose track of time and just immerse yourself.

Go up and down, round and about while enjoying his engaging short lectures and amusement of eating raw uncooked vegetables straight from the ground.

The place is unique in myriad ways; the Santol House as they call it was structured from old Santol trees that have outlived its fruit bearing days. From the furniture, the décor to the ceiling and foundations, it was carved and designed from this tree. Such eye for design and ingenuity in being able to make use of what the earth has produced, strikes a chord in your heart.

Just as unique as the Santol House, is the restaurant that serves food directly from their vast garden. The restaurant is also a rare site set in a big tent that is well ventilated providing an exquisite view of the grounds. They serve food extra special with particular attention to detail. No oil, no msg, and no toxic additions that we usually belittle when we cook or eat. No sugar, but there is honey. Yummy, sweet heavenly honey!

Food was cooked in clay pots, the old fashioned way, slow and precise. Definitely a change from the city’s fast food in aluminum pots and pans

There is even a system of serving food for first timers it’s a menu that starts with herb flowered salad with two dressings toasted sesame seed and vinaigrette. Then you can enjoy your linguine pasta with either of the two sauces: red herb sauce or mushroom and dill sauce. Two slices of fennel and nut crusted fish is then served on your plate. Pink lemonade to accompany the dishes. Then your dessert of what seems to be a cross between a pumpkin pie and a carrot cake top with bugnay -in honey and turmeric creme brulee. All desserts are served with tarragon tea. For second timers, vegetarian callos served with tri-colored rice with fresh moringga and a choice of sautéed greens or penne in coriander pesto. And for dessert, dig in into an all natural and sugar-free pineapple sorbet topped with wine-poached yacon.

Rapha Valley can boast of beautiful landscaping, lush greenery, breathtakingly scenic view and unique healthy dishes. One could liken the place to the Garden of Eden, where God has naturally provided all necessities. There is a feeling of deep reconnection and spirituality as you embrace the experience.

There is so much for the senses to absorb from the sound to the sights, to the smell and the taste. Every nook and corner has a story to tell. Leave the place with good memories, satiated taste buds, a good feeling in your tummy, and refreshed, relaxed and uplifted.