Those who believe that only time can heal a broken heart, have perhaps never eaten chocolates or been to Rapha Valley.
Inspired from the Hebrew term rapha which means “to heal”, Rapha Valley is a rolling seven-hectare organic vegetable farm and a rustic bed and breakfast place located in the highlands of Don Salvador Benedicto, the summer capital of Negros Occidental. It is a sanctuary offering wellness program, agricultural tours, and organic food for those who want to momentarily get away from the city and experience a simple and healthy lifestyle. One of the farm owners, Dr. Jo Albert is actually a medical doctor by profession but a chef, and health and wellness advocate at heart.
Rapha Valley is special in many ways, promising three things: relaxation, rejuvenation and healing.
The Santol House, one of the earliest physical structures of the farm, was built from old santol trees that have outlived its fruit bearing days. Even its furniture and decors, including its ceiling and foundations were carved and designed from the tree.
The events hall or big tent, where the kitchen is also located, serves as the dining area for those who avail the agricultural tour. Food being served is cooked in clay pots, the old fashioned way, and never in aluminum pots and pans. There are studies showing that food is healthier and tastes better when cooked in earthenware.
Rapha Café, a farm to table restaurant, serves food directly from their vast farm and garden. They serve organic food, with no oil, msg, sugar and unhealthy additions.
Lemongrass juice, a good body cleanser
Herbed and flower salad with honey mustard dressing
Tofu cheese and ginger cookie
Penne in salsa verde or creamy sauce of lentils and herbs
The award winning guilt-free chicken adobo
Chocolate lava cake with stevia leaves as natural sweetener
Dr. Albert usually goes from table to table cheerfully providing mini lectures on healthy living and the health benefits of his food creation. He usually warns diners to stay away from French fries, sodas, beers and other processed and microwaved food; encourages them to eat raw fruits and vegetables as much as possible and to detoxify at least four times a year. He even shared the ingredients to his natural cleanser which should be drank three times a day for three days, without consuming anything – a mixture of 4 litres of water mixed with juice squeezed from 20 pcs. of calamansi, 2 tbsp. of black strap molasses and 1 tbsp. of cayenne powder or sili labuyo.
For those who intend to stay overnight and commune longer with nature, there are homey casitas or cuartos to choose from complete with the bed and breakfast service.
An expedition walk around Rapha Valley is invigorating and at the same time, educational.
There are so many things I discovered from my brief sojourn at Rapha Valley. But I guess one of the important lessons I learned from Dr. Albert is having the courage to fulfill your own dreams. He never really wanted to be a doctor. He just finished his medical degree to fulfill his parents’ wish. And after that, he pursued his life-long dream of being a chef and a health advocate by opening Negros’ very own Sweet Valley High.
Brgy. Kumaliskis, Don Salvador Benedicto
Tel Nos.: 0939-5029088, 0910-7042023