December 1, 2023

MAYOYAO, Ifugao – The efforts of the municipal government to restore abandoned rice terraces are paying off as at least 295 bundles of indigenous rice were recently harvested in these rice fields.

One hundred eighty bundles of indigenous rice were harvested at Sitio Tupfitub, Mapawoy during the “Igwang” or “ahebto heto ad henanga” (rice harvest) done on June 29 and 30.

About 100 bundles of indigenous rice were earlier harvested at Tabla in Barangay Poblacion, and 15 rice bundles in Barangay Mapawoy.

The rice harvest was participated by the local government led by Mayor Jimmy Padchanan Jr, the community, and teachers and students.

In 2020, the sangguniang bayan approved Ordinance 09 institutionalizing and providing funds for the Mayoyao Rice Terraces Restoration and Maintenance Program, aimed at preserving the cultural heritage and promoting sustainable agriculture.

The municipality has since made significant progress in the restoration of a total of 161.645 hectares of abandoned rice terraces. In 2022 alone, it successfully restored 2.405 hectares in Tabla; 0.764 hectare in Banhal, and 2.104 hectares in Mapawoy.

The ordinance also provides for the participation of high school students and the academe in the restoration process through work immersion. This is to connect the youth to the rice terraces, transfer the indigenous knowledge, and give opportunity to gain actual experience of the rice cycle culture.

The traditional rice harvest is also a unique opportunity for researchers and students to document the rice cycle process and delve into the rich cultural heritage of the Ifugao people. – Florida Robles