Sunday, January 24, 2010

Rice Terraces Tinawon

Have you eaten tinawon?

Rice grown in the World Heritage Site of the Rice Terraces of the Philippines is organically produced only once a year unlike the hybrid rice that can produce two or more yields per year. Tinawon means yearly.

UNESCO declared the terraces a World Heritage Site in 1992 after studying the Asian region. Rice terraces appear in other countries like China and Burma. But it is only in the Philippines where the terraces are so extensive they encompass four provinces, thus the inscription is of the Rice Terraces of the Philippine Cordilleras

Tinawon is pounded and not milled or polished, thus it retains its fibre and germ, the healthiest portions of the rice. Intensely fragrant it compliments any accompanying dish. Off season, it can fetch prices of up to P120 to P200 per kilo.

Everything surrounding it is ritualized, from its planting to its service on the table. This year, we are lucky enough to be invited to the rice planting rituals of Mayoyao, Ifugao. It would be good it you could join us.

Letter of Invitation
Dear Friends,

We are once again inviting you to join the Pfukhay ad Majawjaw (Rice Planting in Mayoyao) to be held on February 19-21, 2010 at Barangay Banhal, Mayoyao, Ifugao. This activity is being jointly-hosted by the Pochon and Maanichar Centennial Batch Assoc. (Pochon Group) and the Barangay Banhal Community. Other partner organizations include the Mayoyao Tourguides and Indigenous Knowledge Holders Allied Organization (MATIKHAO) and the AKHA’KHA-EMEH Cultural Performing Group.

For this particular tour, participants get to choose experience actual planting at the ricefields aside from the spectacular sites that Mayoyao can offer. Highlights of the tour include the cultural presentation where the different Native and War dances will be showcased by the AKHA’KHA-EMEH Cultural Performing Group. The participants will also be able to learn how the Mayoyao Native houses were constructed through the demo to be conducted by the Indigenous Knowledge Holders and Scholars.

It is the advocacy of the Pochon group to help maintain and preserve the richness of the cultural heritage of this town to allow the generations to come to appreciate the cultural practices of the ancestors who tried their best to hand the rich culture to the present generation for the next to learn about it. A portion of the tour’s proceeds will go to the heritage trust fund that will be used to help promote the indigenous culture of the Mayoyao people to its young generation and people who wish to have an extraordinary experience in the beautiful town where unexplored nature still abound.

Please help save our dying heritage. Join the Pfukhay ad Majawjaw 2010!

Thank you very much.

Yours truly,


Group President


Package Cost: P3,900 Tour package. Inclusions: Guide Fee

Cultural Presentation

Demo on Native House Construction

Transportation within the Province



Add P450.00 Bus fare from Banaue to Manila

P4,350.00 Total Cost (Land travel insurance not included)

 To bring: Trekking shoes
Water bottle for drinking water
Trail food
Other clothes and gears suitable for cold weather and trekking

Note: February is a wet and cold month. While weather is always unpredictable, it can rain every afternoon. Temperature in Mayoyao is around 20-25 degrees Celsius at daytime and 15-20 degrees Celsius at night time.

Feb. 18, 2010 Thursday9.00PMETD Manila via Victory Liner Bus, Kamias/Kamuning Terminal
Feb. 19, 2010 Friday5.00AMETA, Santiago City (Victory Liner Terminal)
Travel to Mayoyao via the Ifugao towns of Aguinaldo and Alfonso Lista

6.30AMBreakfast at Ubao, Aguinaldo, Ifugao
10.00AMETA, Mayoyao, Ifugao

Room assignments/Rest
12NNLunch at the Lodge
Demo on Native House Construction
Visit to the Museum
Visit to Acacoy Nature Park

5PMRoaming around the Town Plaza/shopping for souvenirs
7PMDinner at the Lodge

Feb. 20, 2010 Saturday7AMBreakfast at the Lodge
8AMProceed to planting site and join the planting
12NNLunch with the community
1PMTrek to Abfo’or Burial Tomb at Ottong
Trek down Mapawoy rice Terraces Cluster
5PMBack to the Lodge
8PMCultural presentation

Feb. 21, 2010 Sunday7 AMBreakfast
8.30AMVisit to Chu’it Viewpoint
10AMTravel to Banaue
12NNLunch at Midway
3PMETA, Banaue, Ifugao
8PMDeparture for Manila via Florida Bus Liner

Feb. 22, 2010 Monday4-5AMETA, Manila, Florida Bus Terminal, Lacson St., cor. Espana Avenue, Sampaloc, Manila
Description of places and activities:

1. Aguinaldo, Ifugao – Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo, the first president of the Philippines, is said to have rested here a while (previously a part of Mayoyao) when he was fleeing from American forces during the Philippine-American War.

2. Alfonso Lista, Ifugao – The first town of Ifugao from Isabela. During WW2, the Japanese forces are said to have erected a fort in this place (can be seen along the road going to Mayoyao).

3. Ubao, Aguinaldo, Ifugao – This was the former hunting ground of General Dosser who was assigned in Mayoyao to help the guerrillas fight the Japanese forces in WW2. Today, this is the site of the rodeo competition held in every summer.

4. Acacoy Nature Park – A good vantage point for viewing the upper region of the Central Mayoyao Rice Terraces Cluster particularly Chaya Rice Terraces. It is where the “Hospital in the Clouds” is located. The hospital has received awards as the cleanest in the entire Ifugao Province.

5. Demo on Native House Construction – Indigenous Knowledge Holders and Scholars will conduct show how a native house is built with all the rituals and cultural practices that go along with it.

6. Chu’it Viewpoint – Another site for appreciating the Mayoyao Central Rice Terraces cluster.

7. Mun-alajah Waterfalls – One of the pristine waterfalls of Mayoyao. It offers the cleanest and coolest waters. One can drink directly from the water. Also a perfect site for snorkelling and swimming. (not included in the itinerary)

8. O’Phaw Mahencha Waterfalls – According to myth, a beautiful woman named Mahencha had to leap 3 times for an interval of at least 8 meters each waterfalls just to retrieve her necklace which had fallen off while she was taking a bath. (not included in the itinerary)

9. Bongan Rice terraces cluster – The start of the trekking adventure to the rice terraces of central Mayoyao.

10. Apfo’or Burial Tombs – Igloo-type mausoleums built out of stone for warriors during the early days.

11. Manual rice threshing/pounding/sifting – This had to be done before the local people ate when there were no machines.

12. Ecopark – A collection of rare woods are planted in this Ecopark which is managed privately by a family. The park is called “Pinuchu” or mini-forest. (not included in the itinerary)

13. Mayoyao Hostel (Ottong) – This is the site of the oldest Apfo’or Burial tomb.

14. Mapawoy Rice Terraces Cluster – It is the location of what we call the “Father house” or the biggest native house which can accommodate approximately 20 people and also the “Mother Field” or the widest ricefield in the area.

15. Visit to the Clairvoyant – Many people do not believe this clairvoyant can perform healing wonders. My Belgian visitor was relieved of his backpains when the clairvoyant “fixed” his aching back. One has go to see to believe. (not included in the itinerary)

16. Marian Center – Located at the site of the Catholic High School, a vegetable garden converted into a Retreat center offers the best example of infrastructure development that do not sacrifice the nature and the environment. It is built beside a waterfalls that when filled with flowing water shows the image of Mama Mary. (not included in the itinerary)

17. Lomogig Stone – The stone is a huge boulder standing in the middle of a river supported by 3 small stones at the base. It has been said that as long as the Lumogig Stone stands, Mayoyao will continue to experience Peace, Love, and Abundance/Prosperity which are symbolized by the 3 small stones. (not included in the itinerary)


Anonymous said...

Cool. Too bad there isn't something like this for the summer.

Maribel said...

Please write about other kinds of rice!