Thursday, June 7, 2012

For the Gods

Upland cultures tend to be rice-centric. The terraces are associated with several festivals and customs relating to planting, harvesting, ridding the fields of rats, among others. The cycles rule the rhythms of life..

Rice wine in the Cordilleras is tapuy. Fermented from upland rice varieties of glutinous rice (sometimes a in combination with non-sticky rice), it is part of many rituals, For instance, it is customary to make an offering of the wine to the gods, prior to making the climb to see the Kabayan mummies. In some rites, some of the wine is  sprinkled or poured on the ground for the deities, prior to taking a sip of it.

During the Ipitik festival, wine makers from all over the Cordilleras come together to bring together their best wine concoctions and share their stories and practises. Recently, at the Tam-awan International Arts Festival, several wine makers also came to Baguio with their products, guaranteeing many a merry evening.

Tapuy has a clear sweetish taste, with a strong alcohol aroma. The uninitiated would be best advised to sip it slowly as one can underestimate the innocuous 28 proof alcohol content.

Inuman na.

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