Thursday, May 6, 2010

Payew, Will the New Generation Continue To Build Them?


Demang Rice Terraces in Tadian, Mt. Province.

The “payew”- rice terraces, have been built by the Igorots long before the modern tools have been invented.  With only the crude tools, the Igorots have managed to build the rice terraces that have supplied them with rice and other crops for hundreds of years.

What make the rice terraces so amazingly beautiful is the fact that they have been built so perfectly hugged around the mountains, plus the fact that they have been built with the sweat and blood of the Igorot ancestors adds to its significance.
 
Some of the rice terraces are left to regenerate lost fertility.
In summer when the rice turn golden brown, the rice terraces look like a gold mine with the rice grains as the gold nuggets.  Rice is the staple food of all Filipinos and Igorots are not excluded. Igorots are heavy rice eaters because of the nature of their work.   Men especially are committed to their manual work in the fields from dawn to sunset and it is not with naps and breaks.  As soon as they start working, their only rest is the lunch break.  Igorots are known as hard working people.

Today, the modern lifestyle has taught the younger generations to shy away from farm work. Each child wants an executive position when college days are over. Nobody wants to go back to the field and farm. Farming is considered hard work with the least ROI. Nobody wants to work in the mud anymore and remain poor.  The young generation has invaded the modern world and they are out hurdling with the other people all over the world in order to achieve more and taste what life could offer.
Amidst the drastic change of technology lies the rice terraces awaiting hands to toil the soil.   But is there anyone from the new generations who is interested to go back to the mountain and build another terrace to add to the stairways to heaven?  .

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