Monday, January 10, 2011

One Grain of Rice Means a Life Saved

by: Felisa daskeo

I was still a very young girl when I learned the value of each grain of rice.  Being farmers with narrow rice fields terraced on the mountains, rice was never abundant in my hometown.

The rice harvest every year was just enough consumption for the Igorot families before the next harvest season came.



 So when we dropped a grain of rice while eating, my mother’s father would always remind us to be very careful not to drop any grain of rice because rice is very important.  It was a big sin to my grandfather to drop rice on the floor.

My grandfather valued rice just like how the modern woman values diamonds.  He never wanted to see rice scattered on the floor or the table; not even a grain of rice.  Igorots are heavy rice eaters because they are hard workers too.  They need lots of energy to till the land that produces rice. 

Rice is the staple food of Filipinos, especially the Igorots who work so hard every day in those days tilling mountains and building them into rice terraces.  Perhaps the new Igorot generation would even wonder how the rice terraces were built because today, most of the young Igorot generation has evolved into the modern world of technology and they are now outside the mountainous confines of Mountain Province, enjoying an air conditioned room.

Looking back and reminiscing about the past with my grandfather brings me back those fond memories and those words that were so valuable to me.  When I look at the present situation where hunger is rampant in many areas around the world; I always think of my grandfather’s teachings when we were kids.  “Do not waste anything because everything has an ending.”

True as my grandfather said, life is getting harder and harder and food is getting scarcer and scarcer.  Hunger is experienced in many countries, especially in the third world countries, and I always remember that “ONE GRAIN OF RICE” is very important.  If each person could save a grain of rice a meal, then it means there will be more people to have food.

My grandfather was right, and I will always treasure his teachings.

Copyright 2011 Felisa Daskeo

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

The Importance of Rice Wine to the Igorot Family

Making rice wine is one of the important chores that an Igorot must learn in the olden days.  Not so much now because there is already too much wine in the stores that could be bought for consumption.  The rice wine is one of the necessities that an Igorot family must have in the house.  This is part of their tradition.  As a custom, rice wine is used when old men and women pray to the spirits.  It is very important then to have rice wine always ready.  The belief that the spirits around have something to do with circumstances happening in the community is part of the Igorot life and those who are rooted in the beliefs and practices never forget to talk to their dead when someone gets sick or something wrong is happening.  This is where the rice wine comes in handy.