Thursday, January 14, 2010

Ifugao: Rice planting experience in Mayoyao, Ifugao

Mayoyao, Ifugao called me back. I had previously made that long trip to the Mayoyao Rice Terraces for the rice harvest tour. This time, I was at the rice planting (pfukhay ad Majawjaw) tour as part of out-of-classroom learning activities for my students. It's the real FarmVille!

We had taken an evening bus to Santiago, Isabela and arrived early in the morning. From there, it was a five-hour rough road ride up to Mayoyao, through the towns of Alfonso Lista and Aguinaldo which were previously part of Mayoyao. We had to deal with a flat tire along the way. But that was part of the adventure.

As soon as we arrived in Mayoyao, we dropped off our bags at our lodge and proceeded immediately to the Mapawoy Terraces Cluster to plant rice. We were really late so they had started planting already by the time we got there. But they waited for us before they slaughtered the pig. You should have seen the faces of my students as they observed this inherent part of the Ifugao culture.

Right after that, we went straight to the paddies. One by one, my students stepped in the mud. The initial shrieks as they made their first steps in the slippery mud slowly changed to delight as we planted the rice seedlings into the soft ground.

We had the pig for lunch of course which was boiled with salt and eaten with rice and the pork broth, the traditional way meals are prepared and served in Mayoyao.

It was quite a hike back to the road and we went straight to the lodge to take a nap since we hadn't gotten any rest from the long trip since we arrived.

We woke up just in time for dinner and a cultural show. Before calling it a night, we chewed on moma (nganga or betel nut).

Anyway, just wanted to let everyone know that there will be another rice planting tour next month hosted by the Pochon Group in Mayoyao from February 19 to 21. Contact Josh Nalliw at or +63 906 5308242 for inquiries. It's definitely better than FarmVille! It's the real thing!

Here are my blog entries on the rice harvest tour two years ago:
Part 1: Trip to Mayoyao, Ifugao
Part 2: Mayoyao Rice Terraces in Ifugao
Part 3: Rice harvest experience in Mayoyao, Ifugao
Part 4: Trekking along the rice terraces of Mayoyao
Part 5: Journey across the Ifugao heartland

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