Philippine Rice Fields

Rice fields are beautiful.  Fertile, green for the most part, lush.  No wonder green is one of my favorite colors.

When I go back home to the Philippines I love to take pictures of rice fields.

Rice Fields, background of coconut trees and the mountains

I remember trying to plant rice when I was younger, and stepping into the muddy rice fields.  You have to have strong leg muscles to plant rice the traditional  way —- it is very hard work.   I would go with my aunt who we fondly called Nanay Lucing, when she brought food to feed the crew of rice planters.

I ended up making an early exit and being pulled back on top of a carabao (water buffalo) when  leaches started  to feed on my little legs.

Thankfully, that was my first and last time participating in planting rice.  The mud was fine, but the leaches…not so much.

water buffallo kalabaw or carabao late 1800s

No, this is not me…it is an old photo of a kalabaw or carabao (water buffalo) found in the book “The Philippine Islands” from the Gutenberg website by Ramon Reyes Lala. It was published in 1898 by the Continental Publishing Company.  I would have been about the same size though…

There is a well-known Philippine folk song on planting rice and the lyrics go something like this:

Magtanim ay ‘di biro
Maghapong nakayuko
‘Di man lang makatayo
‘Di man lang makaupo.

The English version:

Planting rice is never fun,
Bending over ’til the set of sun.
Cannot sit, cannot stand,
Plant the seedlings all by hand.

And a literal translation:

Planting rice is not a joke
Just bending all day long
You can’t even stand up
You can’t even sit down.

There are famous rice terraces in the Philippines.  The Banaue rice terraces are over 2,000 years old, created mostly by hand on a mountainside, around 5,000 ft in elevation.  More information on the Banaue Rice terraces can be found on www.en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Banaue_Rice_Terraces

Banaue Rice Terraces panaorama

Here is a lovely quote about rice fields from another old book about the Philippines, published in 1890…

Rice Field quote by John ForemanAnd I agree!  Rice fields are beautiful…what do you think?

NOTE: More rice related articles can be accessed by visiting the “Rice, Rice & More Rice” category under the parent topic, The Philippines. 

Category includes articles on why the Philippines have to import rice to feed its people, and a rice post popular on Pinterest, with photos of sinangag — the traditional breakfast of garlic fried rice.

Hello World Indeed!

 

Well, hello to life on the Internet world at least.  It’s a little scary to do this and get on the blogitty blog highway, but here I go anyway!

Memories of growing up in the Philippines, with one foot in that culture and  the other in the United States, and creating a record for my American grandchildren are some of  the reasons why I decided to blog.  I’m sure more—topics and reasons that is—will spill out, and I hope that will be a fun process.

Newly planted blog, so here is a picture of a newly planted rice field.  I think rice fields, in all stages, are beautiful and I will post more on this next time.

Ingat palagi,

Lola Jane