I should have put the same caption to the countless pictures we have taken during our visit to an organic farm in Quezon. Yes, picking wild raspberries in a cool, breezy weather can happen in the Philippines! We found the hidden garden and its treasures in Bangkong Kahoy, Dolores Quezon.
Two weeks ago, I and my OA Blogger friends, together with the Agricultural Training Institute embarked in another journey of organic discovery in Dolores Quezon. On our way to the venue, we were in debate on which destination we are heading – Bangkang Kahoy, Bagong Kahoy, Bagong Bangka.. until we arrived right in the middle of Mt. Cristobal and Mt. Banahaw – in Bangkong Kahoy (Wooden Bench).
True to its name, we we were ushered in the a nipa-hut style restaurant where we had lunch and seated in wooden bench. It took us around 3 hours to get to the destination. Bangkong Kahoy is indeed a hidden treasure – but greater treasures await us in the buffet table. We had mushroom soap, and more mushroom dishes. Joining us on our lunch were some foreign guests and students from University of the Philippines who were on the site for field trip. Oh, how I missed field trips!
Click Read More to know more about this trip!
For dessert, we had these red berries which goes perfect with sugar. Its rough surface is in contrast with how chewy it is – reminded me of berry-flavored jelly beans. Finally, I found a name to call this new fruit discovery – Wild Raspberry or Sampinit.
For someone who loves to drown herself with water, clean, fresh water is something I always ask for whenever I am out and eating. So I asked – and I was directed to this basin sink. We found out that the water running from this faucet flows from Mt. Banahaw and is pure and fresh! Spring water!
Growing up in Manila where drinking water from faucet would mean suicide, I was a bit hesitant to try the drink it, but the opportunity to taste a mountain-fresh water was right in front of me – flowing graciously in crystal clear. So I drank – it is naturally cold and refreshing.
When we were ushered to our sleeping room, I was expecting to spend the night in a nipa-hut style house, or probably stay with the locals in the area.
At night, you will not need air conditioner, as the place is naturally cool with temperature playing at 20 degrees.
We headed out for a quick farm tour of the valley and we were met by Sir Dion Pullan, a great grandson of the Bangkong Kahoy Valley owner, who prefers to call himself as a caretaker. Like most of the other land owners, Sir Dion aims to help local communities through livelihood program and work with local businesses in the area. They also want to preserve this beautiful site for the next generation and get the youth involved on this project through the program called FRIEND (Foundation for Reliance, Integrity, Education, Nurture Dolores).
Then off, we visited the Wild Raspberry plantation site. We were advised that the students who visited ahead of us harvested most of the wild raspberries.
Sir Dion promised to take us to a better Wild Raspberry area of the farm, and we walked some more in the valley and got mesmerized with its beauty.
What to do and what to see at Bangkong Kahoy Valley?
Take many pictures! Look at the beautiful view of the mountains! We spent a few good minutes in this area just to take pictures. The cool weather and picturesque view give a feeling that you are not in the Philippines (probably New Zealand?), but just the thought that we were actually in the Philippines makes it more fun!
Back in the Bangkong Kahoy Valley restaurant, we had more of the Wild Raspberry – a shake (Php 60)!
Our mini tour was done and we so enjoyed our free time. The cool weather is just perfect, as you enjoy the view and listen to the sound of nature.
They say that at night, fireflies would come out. We waited in a cool night, as we adore the beautiful sky and stars above us; however, no good camera was able to take the beautiful sight. Instagram was disappointed of #OABloggers. It was just stored in our memory. We decided to stay in our room, thinking that someone would come to pick us up for the firefly “show” but it must be the cool weather and long drive that drove me to the dream land.
Thank you so much, Bangkong Kahoy Valley and Sir Dion for accommodating us and for the new discoveries. Thank you Ms. Niet, ATI, Pinoy Extension, and OA Blogger Friends for making this trip alot more fun!
Planning to visit Bangkong Kahoy Valley?
HOW TO GET TO BANGKONG KAHOY VALLEY:
- Take any bus going to San Pablo, Quezon.
- Alight at San Pablo, and take the Jeep going to Dolores, Quezon.
- Alight at Dolores Church
- Take tricycle going to Bangkong Kahoy Valley.
Sir Dion advised that they can also pick-up guests as arranged. They are also working with the tricycle drivers to have a fix rate for fare going to BK Valley.
BANGKONG KAHOY VALLEY ACCOMMODATION:
Room Rate is Php6,000 per night (good for 4 to 6 pax). The room that we stayed in has two queen beds and 2 extra beddings. Breakfast is included.
Dion & Jing Pullan
Email: [email protected]