National Year of Rice

It’s a Tuesday. In other news…

You remember I danced, right? Well, that dance had a purpose. The purpose was to gather all heads of bureaus and attached agencies for a National Management Committee Meeting. And that particular ManCom meeting breathed life to the President’s thrust to push for a self-sufficient Philippines.

Rice has been Filipinos’ staple food since time immemorial. Owing to that is the fact that the Philippines is an agricultural country. Farming and fishing still form a large part of our source of livelihood.

It just crossed my mind that the thrust for our country to be self-sufficient in terms of rice production is appropriate, if not perfect. Di ba, the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) in Los Banos, Laguna is the premiere institution in terms of rice production training and knowledge?

For several years since its inception, the IRRI has taught hundreds upon hundreds of trainees from our Asian neighbors. It’s a good thing that we have been able to share our technical know-how in terms of producing the ‘miracle rice.’ The downside now though is that hundreds upon hundreds of sacks of rice are being imported by the Philippines from these Asian neighbors of ours. They were our students. Now the students are feeding the teachers. Sad.

Every bit and morsel of rice, cooked or uncooked, goes through a very intricate process. Every single farmer knows it by heart. And it breaks their hearts to see grains of rice thrown away. It breaks my heart, too. Sayang na sayang. I remember, both my lola and Papa discourage leaving anything on my plate. They would tell me, Ubusin ang kinuha. Huwag magtira. And the obedient daughter that I am, I would wolf down everything on my plate. Kaya ako tumaba. Nang tumaba.

That lesson alone taught me not to waste anything. Even a single grain of steamed rice na nahulog from my plate, I still eat. Wala pang five minutes, I tell myself. Well, except if it fell on an apparently dirty surface, I give it to either Meeyaw or the dogs. Hihi.

What’s more, I really don’t waste kanin because, ehem, half cup of rice na lang ako every meal. (“,)

During the ManCom meeting, it was reported that the Bicol Region is the main producer of rice in the country. It was able to shoot to 118% of its target. I’m mighty proud of that! *round of applause* With that happy news, I’ve regained my confidence that we will be able to push the thrust even further.

And the idealist that I am, I encourage you to put your fist against the area of your heart and join me in reciting the Pledge for Rice. Repeat after me:

 I further encourage you to copy and paste/ print / reproduce/ distribute copies of the Pledge for Rice. Post it on your walls, give it to friends, encourage awareness of the National Year of Rice. Be a Filipino.

One more thing; please take time to thank our farmers (and fisherfolks) as we bless and partake of the food laid on our tables.

Thank you, thank you, thank you!

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