My Raw Food Experience, Wellness Lessons and Farm Tour with Dr. Albert Jo at the Rapha Valley Organic Farm in Don Salvador Benedicto, Negros Occidental

When I got back home from my Negros trip, I was amazed with the diversity of the experiences I had. I've been to quite a number of organic farms so far (the most this year thanks to the ATI-DAR, Agricultural Training Institute of the Philippine Department of Agriculture) and you would think that I'd get tired of all of it already. I learned something new though each time and got to see a different side of having or visiting a farm per location... A very good example below is our visit to the Rapha Valley Organic Farm of Dr. Albert Jo. I tasted the best asparagus of all time and started to think about the things I put in my mouth all these years. I think this was a turning point for me - that there could be another alternative to eating beef and steak only every day and it may be about time already. Haha.

rapha-valley.jpg

Dr. Jo's farm is a bit farther than the others we visited (an hour or so away from Bacolod). It's in the highlands and is located in the municipality of Don Salvador Benedicto in Negros Occidental. That's him below with the salakot =) They welcomed us with a cold towel with citronella. Hehe.

rapha-valley.jpg

They ushered us into this area. People would actually come to this farm for a few days of wellness retreatWe spent around an hour here listening to his stories about his change of lifestyle. At 56, Dr. Albert Jo was super energetic, enthusiastic and looked super healthy. It's hard to imagine that he used to have a rheumatic heart and asthma. He was a carnivore like me in his previous life with a history of diabetes in the family.

rapha-valley.jpg

Oh, there were intriguing things like how he got his eyesight back to 20-20! with a simple recipe of 1/2 cup of kulitis (local spinach), this organic detox recipe which I tried at home and was so effective! and a lot about the things we eat and the advantages of eating fresh and raw food. He a fan of carrot, green juice, buko juice (has loric acid that can only be found in mother's milk), oregano and Chinese malunggay (he says nobody sprays malunggay coz it's very cheap). The topics ranged from burgers to corn syrup to softdrinks to milk to chips to fat to sugar to margarine to umami to apples to fish to hospitals and many more hahaha. He told us about camote (most "nutritious carbs" in the Philippines). He has this for breakfast every day with his crew (vs. white rice which is sugar so you get hungry easily after 3 hours). All I can say is - super eye-opener. Haha. 

rapha-valley.jpg

This is ripe langka (jackfruit) juice with carrot. Interesting combinations they come up with at farms... Haha.

rapha-valley.jpg

Combinations like: The white one here is organic cashew herb cheese from Guimaras and soaked for 6 hours (to do away with uric acid) with Himalayan rock salt and rosemary. There's black rice puto in the plate, puto manapla and a bloodless (and meatless) pate from the carob plant....

rapha-valley.jpg

This I can easily digest and put in my plant name list - Mickey Mouse plant! Haha.

rapha-valley.jpg

"Let your food be your medicine. And take it fresh." I heard there are some hanging ube in this tunnel.. (wonder if I heard right haha)

rapha-valley.jpg

Guess what? Hehe.

rapha-valley.jpg

Rapha Valley is situated near Kanlaon Volcano or Mt. Canlaon. Some parts of Negros use geothermal energy for electricity.

rapha-valley.jpg

This view must include parts of the Mt. Kanlaon National Park.

rapha-valley.jpg

We started our 45-minute walk around the Rapha Valley Organic Farm

rapha-valley.jpg

with white ginger!

rapha-valley.jpg

This is just a preview of what we did all the way haha.

rapha-valley.jpg

We went down through a narrow path while holding and smelling freshly picked organic bulbs (and eating leaves hahaha).

rapha-valley.jpg

He introduced lettuce juice (lactucarium) as having an opium-like effect when soaked for 3 hours then pureed into juice.

rapha-valley.jpg

I loved Dr. Jo's version of labels.

rapha-valley.jpg

If I'm not mistaken, this is mizuna lettuce with the peppery flavor... 

rapha-valley.jpg

And this, I'm super sure of it - is the BEST baby asparagus I've eaten in my life haha. Well, I don't normally like asparagus so I've only tasted a few. Anyway, this was freshly picked and Dr. Jo let us eat it right then and there after picking! He told us not to worry about uric acid and putting his plants in our mouths while walking. Haha. 

rapha-valley.jpg

rapha-valley.jpg

This is sage. Dr. Jo told us about the leaves of carrots too filled with Vitamin K and tastes like parsley.

rapha-valley.jpg

This was a very common scene there haha.

rapha-valley.jpg

I had an intro to a bit more of turmeric here. There's Thai turmeric (luyang dilaw) one can juice and leave in the fridge overnight after that's believed to be good for uric acid and Alzheimer's.

rapha-valley.jpg

I usually just pass by this flower or take a picture. I finally get to know it as lantan flower (believed to be anti-cancer), also known as baho-baho.

rapha-valley-bacolod.jpg

There's Italian oregano. I haven't acquired the taste for it yet - strong and spicy. I heard something about oregano being put in wounds.

rapha-valley-bacolod.jpg

Dr. Jo was even giving out cuttings here and there too hehe.

rapha-valley-bacolod.jpg

We walked, stopped and ate our way through his farm. My mouth was full of different flavors. Hahaha.

rapha-valley-bacolod.jpg

He said yacon was a great substitute for apples.

rapha-valley-bacolod.jpg

rapha-valley-bacolod.jpg

Dr. Jo was looking for local turmeric this time. I'm not a very big fan of ginger or turmeric hahaha.

rapha-valley-bacolod.jpg

rapha-valley-bacolod.jpg

I looked out into the distance and was wowed by the valley view. 

rapha-valley-bacolod.jpg

Dr. Jo's farm also dipped like that and we were to begin our descent already.

rapha-valley-bacolod.jpg

Then we will go up again all the way up

rapha-valley-bacolod.jpg

to that white area there on the other side.

rapha-valley-bacolod.jpg

At the edge of his farm were these citronella plants. They would cut them if ever there's an infestation. Ingenious plan really =D

rapha-valley-bacolod.jpg

rapha-valley-bacolod.jpg

There were also attractants, repellants, Japanese lantern plants (which attract monarch butterflies), periwinkle and cat's whiskers along the path.

rapha-valley-bacolod.jpg


This sigarilyas (winged bean) goes well with gata and bagoong hehe. Dr. Jo convinced me to eat this raw with the anti-stress and anti-anxiety line hahaha.

rapha-valley-bacolod.jpg

Dill is for taking out the fishy taste (lansa).

rapha-valley.jpg

There's so much more there I couldn't really catch up with some anymore and was holding them this way hahaha.

rapha-valley.jpg

Errmm...

rapha-valley.jpg

Gotu kola - I've been seeing these a lot in farms...

rapha-valley.jpg

rapha-valley.jpg

This is my memory of this trip with Dr. Jo in Negros, holding up all sorts of plants hahaha.

rapha-valley.jpg

One thing I would not forget though is that he gave us culantro (Vietnamese cilantro) and it was the foulest thing ever hahaha. I stopped putting everything in my mouth after that...

rapha-valley.jpg

rapha-valley.jpg

Plant container ideas...

rapha-valley.jpg

Sili...

rapha-valley.jpg

rapha-valley.jpg

Strawberries I believe...

rapha-valley.jpg

Madre de agua if I am correct. My brain was on overdrive and the heat was not helping. Hahaha.

rapha-valley.jpg

I'm slowly learning here hehe. It's no longer just all green leaves... 

rapha-valley.jpg

The next segment is about more flowers and our flowery lunch at the Rapha Valley ;) I'm just gonna breeze through them (coz there's so many pictures already!) hehe.

rapha-valley-farm-negros.jpg 

rapha-valley-farm-negros.jpg

Itsy bitsy tomato...

rapha-valley-farm-negros.jpg

Some of the flowers taste sour! Haha. I tried one and it was kinda spicy like pepper...

rapha-valley-farm-negros.jpg

"The darker the flower, the higher the anti-oxidants." - Parang fruits hehe.

rapha-valley-farm-negros.jpg

rapha-valley-farm-negros.jpg

rapha-valley-farm-negros.jpg

Bigonia ka ba? Haha.

rapha-valley-farm-negros.jpg

rapha-valley-farm-negros.jpg

rapha-valley-farm-negros.jpg

I liked the ambiance of the restaurant so much.

rapha-valley-farm-negros.jpg

rapha-valley-farm-negros.jpg

It's like I'm in Mongolia in my mind with that big tent setup! =D 

rapha-valley-farm-negros.jpg

rapha-valley-farm-negros.jpg

rapha-valley-farm-negros.jpg

There's my wonderful view while I ate...

rapha-valley-farm-negros.jpg

rapha-valley-farm-negros.jpg

"Let your food be your medicine." What a wonderful idea to think of organic and natural food this way.

rapha-valley-farm-negros.jpg

"This is how your plate should look" (right)...

rapha-valley-farm-negros.jpg

Some of these flowers were added to the veggie mix.

rapha-valley-farm-negros.jpg


For the salad bar, there's a vinaigrette sauce from coconut vinegar and honey...

rapha-valley-farm-negros.jpg

rapha-valley-farm-negros.jpg

Casoy and honey gumamela juice...

rapha-valley-farm-negros.jpg

I liked mixing both the pasta sauces...

rapha-valley-farm-negros.jpg

rapha-valley-farm-negros.jpg

Mahi-mahi...

rapha-valley-farm-negros.jpg

Pure juice squash pie carrot cake with fermented bignay.

rapha-valley-farm-negros.jpg

Turmeric creme brulee...

rapha-valley-farm-negros.jpg

I finished my meal with a warm cup of tarragon tea.

rapha-valley-farm-negros.jpg

rapha-valley-farm-negros.jpg

rapha-valley-farm-negros.jpg

rapha-valley-farm-negros.jpg

Bathroom view haha.

rapha-valley-farm-negros.jpg

Lastly, as pabaon, Dr. Jo told us that an hour of deep tissue massage is equal to 4 hours of walking! Hahaha. Aghhh... - like the scarecrow below LOL. It's amazing what a few hours talking and walking around Rapha Valley with the Doctor can do hehe.

rapha-valley-farm-negros.jpg

Dr. Albert Jo
Brgy. Kumaliskis, Don Salvador Benedicto, Negros Occidental 6105
0939-5029088
0910-7042023
0932-8704721
zoelyf_ja@yahoo.com

To visit the different ATI-assisted projects (Organic Farming Learning Sites), you can drop by or ask the ATI Regional Training Center nearest you or inquire through:
Call -
982AGRI (982-2474) for Metro Manila calls
1-800-10-982AGRI (1-800-10-9822474) for provincial toll-free calls using PLDT landlines
Text -
For Smart and Talk & Text Subscribers, send a message to 391-DA (391-32). 
For non-Smart Subscribers, send a message to 0920-946AGRI (0920-9462474).

2 comments:

  1. Miss you dear! I really read your post coz I am planning to refer Dr. Jo to my cousin who was recently diagnosed of stage 4 cancer of colon. Maybe a visit to this wellness farm could help...

    Hope to see you soon!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Miss you too, Sis! Hope this post provided you with more info. Maybe Doc could help her like it helped us.

      Delete

Hi. Thank you for sharing your thoughts! I'd love to hear from you =)